Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Lost Album ‘Chain of Light’ to Illuminate Fans on September 20

An extraordinary musical event awaits fans of the legendary Pakistani qawwali singer, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. On September 20, Real World Records will release "Chain of Light," a previously unheard album recorded by Khan in April 1990. This discovery, unearthed from the tape archives of Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios, offers a unique glimpse into Khan's peak performance era, capturing his powerful and emotive voice in pristine quality.

"Chain of Light" features four traditional qawwals, including one that has never been heard before. Khan is joined by his eight-member party of singers and musicians, showcasing his extraordinary vocal capabilities. The recordings were made during the same sessions that produced his acclaimed crossover album "Mustt Mustt" with Canadian producer Michael Brook.

Khan, who hailed from a 600-year-old lineage of qawwali singers, began leading his family's musical group in 1971. His voice played a pivotal role in spreading the devotional music of Sufism worldwide. Known for its powerful yet agile qualities, Khan's voice not only embodies the tradition of Sufi qawwali but also conveys the essence of emotive singing.

Over his illustrious career, Khan became a cultural icon, admired by a diverse range of fans from around the globe. The late Jeff Buckley once described Khan as "my Elvis," and his admirers included The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. Khan's voice also graced the soundtracks of films by Hollywood directors like Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, and Tim Robbins.

Khan's collaboration with Peter Gabriel and Real World Records began after his memorable performance at the 1985 WOMAD festival, where he captivated a predominantly Western audience for the first time. This breakthrough led to his signing with the label and an international profile boost, particularly after contributing to Gabriel's 1989 album "Passion," which featured in the movie "The Last Temptation of Christ."

Reflecting on his work with Khan, Gabriel expressed immense admiration: "What he could do and make you feel with his voice was extraordinary. We were very proud to have played a role in getting him to a wider global audience. Discovering this tape in our library was a real delight. This album shows him at his peak; it's a wonderful record."

The April 1990 tape that forms "Chain of Light" was discovered during an archival relocation in 2021. Khan's longtime international manager, Rashid Ahmed-Din, emphasized the significance of this period in Khan's career: "1990 was a key point; it marked the beginning of his crossover into a Western audience. These tracks express his desire to experiment beyond traditional sounds."

Although Khan tragically passed away in 1997 at the age of 48, his legacy continues to inspire new generations of fans. His music averages six million monthly listeners on Spotify, and his YouTube videos have accumulated over one billion views.

Michael Brook aptly sums up the album's significance: "These songs are transformative and transcendent, crossing languages and cultures. The voice has returned."

"Chain of Light" is available for pre-order in CD, standard LP, and limited edition LP formats. As the release date approaches, fans eagerly anticipate experiencing the magic of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's unparalleled voice once again.

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