Mahmoud Ahmed Homepage


Mahmoud AhmedThis is an old fashioned fan-page, dedicated to one of the greatest voices of popmusic. Yes, he is right there with Otis Redding at the top of my list. Problem is the man is from Ethiopia. This means that he recorded the bulk of his music on vinyl, on cassette tapes and on CD's on a number of labels, with all information in Amharic characters, using the Ethiopian calendar (at this moment it's 2012 in Amsterdam, but 2004 in Ethiopia). Another problem for European fans is that he started his career with the Imperial Bodyguard Band of emperor Haile Selassie, released some of his best music on vinyl and cassettes during the Derg dictatorship with its censorship and its lack of recording facilities and was discovered by the outside world when democracy was restored, but most of the musicians had meanwhile taken refuge outside of Ethiopia.

I have been lucky enough to get some of these cassettes and albums, see the man perform and even spoke to him once. Therefore this homepage. To spread the word of this superstar with his awesome earthy voice that keeps improving with age, his dynamic stage presence and his songs that are deeply melancholic one time and funky the next.

Most of the time the name of this singer is written as Mahmoud Ahmed, but sometimes people transcribe the Amharic letters differently, more according to the pronunciation. Fact is that the h's in Mahmoud and in Ahmed are not pronounced.

On this pages you'll find a feeble attempt at a biography/discography. It is based on the cassettes I have in my possession, the Ethiopian discography of Peter Piper and a talk I had with Mahmoud Ahmed before one of his concerts for the Ethiopian community in Holland, in the conference hall of the Amsterdam Zoo at the end of 1991. It is partly an invitation to help me with additional information.

(Where titles in western alphabet were not present I tried to transcribe the amharic characters. Because it is not always clear whether years are in Ethiopian calendar or European calendar dates are probably not always correct. The discography is partly based on copied cassettes and compilation tapes. I tried to identify them by number or opening track, and occasionally I simply guessed for the year of release).