Thinking About Mustafa
Thanks to the comment of an anonymous reader, I found this page by a "Ya Mustafa" fanatic in Switzerland, Messioun.
I now have another CD to track down. Think About Mustapha is a 1994 French album that features nine covers of the song, including (in the words of a reviewer):
"- two silly rock N roll (described in the APC website as psychedelic surf!) or punk rock interpretions by Greg Garrigues and Jean Touitou himself.
"- two versions close to the original single (but less kitsh, perhaps) by Jonathan Richman and french pop-rai star Rachid Taha.
"- a semi acoustic minimalist performance (very hard to describe, in fact) by Pascal Comelade.
"- a slow dark dub track by Solo (with two bonus beats at the end of the CD). Perhaps the most hard to recognize version and the weakest track of this compilation.
"- at last, the best (of course), a beautiful, 10 minutes long version by Skopelitis and Laswell (with others musicians that are not listed in the CD sleeve). This is the most serious interpretation of Mustapha, more close to the traditionnal melody than to the sixties hit. It is fascinating to hear what BL and NS can do with just a nice pop song : a beautiful, ambient jewel, certainly the best moment of this CD."
Bill Laswell resurfaces at an opportune time for me, since his work with Gnawa musicians back in the 1990s was absolutely key.
Additionally, this "chase the covers" game has become a legendary form of sport for UT-Austin graduate students in ethnomusicology. The journey made by a melody and chorus through the winding back alleys of lounge-singer repertoires and throwaway pop singles can be absolutely stunning and yield high-quality grist for the mill of global-culture analysis through music. If you don't believe me, see the terrific example of Steven Feld (1996), "Pygmy POP. A Genealogy of Schizophonic Mimesis," Yearbook for Traditional Music 28:1-35.