After a long battle with COVID-19, Lebanese composer and lyricist, Elias Rahbani, passed away at the age of 82. His loss carries with it a great weight for the people of Lebanon, with many generations having grown up alongside Rahbani’s timeless music, having penned some of Lebanon’s classic musical pieces alongside such legends as Fairuz, Sabah, Melhem Barakat and Majida al-Roumi to name but a few.
Born in 1938, in Antelias, Lebanon, Rahbani found himself as the youngest sibling of a trio of incredibly talented musicians alongside his older brothers Mansour and Assi. After receiving his first musical training at the Lebanese Academy, Elias would go on to study at the Lebanese National Conservatory, followed by a 10-year private tutelage under pianist Michel Bourgeot and composer Bertrad Robillard.
Over the course of his extensive career, Elias Rahbani would produce a staggering amount of musical output, both as a solo artist and alongside his brothers, resulting in over 500 Oriental and 300 Occidental music pieces, 25 films scores and 30 television series including Habibati and The Night Player. He wrote over 10 classical piano pieces to accompany ballet performances, released 30 LPs and over 400 45” records, as well as scored over 3,000 commercials for cinema, TV and radio across 15 countries in Europe and the Middle East.
Even amongst the monolithic works of his older brothers, Rahbani stood out through his unique mix of the contemporary western music with classical Middle Eastern traditions and instrumentation, resulting in classic albums such as his two-part Mosaic Of The Orient (1972-1974), the jazz-tinged Festival (1978) and the bombastic Belly Dance Fever alongside his nephew Ziad Rahbani (an accomplished musicians in his own right).
In order to celebrate the life and accomplishments of one of Lebanon’s dearest musical treasures, our resident DJ George Comodino has compiled this extended mix, highlighting some of our favorite works from Elias Rahbani’s decades-long career.
Elias Rahbani & Ziad Rahbani - Hello
Elias Rahbani - Dance of Maria
Elias Rahbani & His Orchestra - From The Moon
Elias Rahbani - I Love You Lina
Elias Rahbani & Ziad Rahbani - I Think Of You
Elias Rahbani - Beat! Beat! Beat! (Nightclub Scene)
Elias Rahbani - Liza... Liza
Elias Rahbani - Paris Paris
Elias Rahbani - Oudi Ya Layali
Elias Rahbani - The Escape
Zerrin Zeren - Sensiz Duramam [composed by Elias Rahbani]
Ajda Pekkan - Sana Neler Edeceğim [composed by Elias Rahbani]
Олеандр - Валерий Ободзинский [composed by Elias Rahbani]
Elias Rahbani - Summer Love
Elias Rahbani - The First Meeting
Elias Rahbani - Sweet Eyes
Sabah - Wadi Shamseen [written & composed by Elias Rahbani]
Elias Rahbani & Ziad Rahbani - Don't Blame Me
Elias Rahbani & Ziad Rahbani - The Beautiful One
Elias Rahbani - Don't Forget Me