About the artist
Real World was the label largely responsible for Khan's breakthrough into a non-Indian audience. It was their marketing skills and the platform provided by the WOMAD organization which introduced him to Westerners. Mustt Mustt (Real World CD RW 15) released in 1990 was a deliberate attempt to target the white market with its non-traditional arrangements, yet it seems positively cherubic beside later abominations. "All these albums are experiments," he told me in 1993. "There are some people who do not understand at all but just like my voice. I add new lyrics and modern instruments to attract the audience. This has been very successful." Success, however, bred indifference to the virtues and values of the original music. Many find the remix albums, the Western and youth-market releases, a source of despair: buyer beware remains the watchword. When singing his traditional work he remains peerless. Many fans regret the dilution of his talent that has occurred with his "experiments." However, in 1994, reportedly tired of unauthorized releases, he took greater control of both his business affairs and his concert and recording activities. With his international renown at an all-time peak, Khan died on August 16, 1997; a seemingly endless procession of posthumous releases appeared in the years to follow.
Ken Hunt, Rovi