Search - Harry Belafonte :: Calypso

Harry Belafonte
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

When Harry Belafonte released Calypso, with its memorable songs "Day-O", "I Do Adore Her", and "Jamaica Farewell" sung in his personable, warm voice, it quickly became a bestseller. Like any good folk music, the songs are ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Harry Belafonte
Title: Calypso
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: RCA
Release Date: 4/28/1992
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Traditional Folk, Caribbean & Cuba, Calypso, Oldies, Vocal Pop, Classic Vocalists, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 078635380125, 078635380149, 8430761104570

When Harry Belafonte released Calypso, with its memorable songs "Day-O", "I Do Adore Her", and "Jamaica Farewell" sung in his personable, warm voice, it quickly became a bestseller. Like any good folk music, the songs are accessible, yet they also bear the exotic lure of the Caribbean. From the songs of hard work, such as "Day-O" and "Hosanna," to the sly good humor of "Man Smart (Woman Smarter)" and "The Jackass Song," Belafonte's voice helped bring the richness of Caribbean culture to the North American consciousness. While a couple of the songs here are featured in arrangements that may sound a bit corny to modern ears, most sound delightfully fresh and have definitely stood the test of time. --Jeff Grubb

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CD Reviews

A Classic
Catherine Page | Seattle, WA United States | 05/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ever get asked that question about what 5 CDs would you bring with you if you just happened to be stranded on a desert island? Calypso would certainly be on my list, and not just because the sound would go with my new living enviroment, but because the songs are timeless, catchy, soft and soothing, and I never get tired of them. I first discovered Calypso when I was 13, and I gained a sudden fasination with my parents extensive vinyl collection. One warm summer night while they were out, I put on Calypso and began to dance around the house to the happy and wistful tunes. Very, very rarely do I listen to an album all the way through, and even more rarely do I enjoy every single song on an album. Calypso, along with Sarah M's "Fumbling Towards XTC" are the only albums I can listen to all the way through and never want to hit the fast track forward button on my CD player. I am endlessly glad to have gotten myself the CD version, and I'm sure it would be a salvation to me on that desert island. The tranquil "Jamacian Farewell" and "How I do adore her" for those quiet and homesick moments, "Day-O" or it's sequal song, "Star-O," for singing along to playfully when the days starts of it ends, and many other songs to dance to. "Man Smart" and "Will His Love Be Like His Rum" will make you laugh and want to sing and dance. "Dolly Dawn" and "Hosanna" are terrific, but my favorite is the lyrical and poignant "Brown Skin Girl." Belafonte's voice is smooth, sweet and dark as molasses, and the songs are all wonderful for any age. This is one of the best CDs ever cut, and I sincerely recommend it to any one of any age. On my desert island, the palm trees will be swaying right along with me as I enjoy this awesome CD."
True quality will always win out over marketing hype
poyzin | Fenton, MO USA | 05/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have an 11 year old daughter and an 8 year old daughter. When I first played Calypso for them they gave me the usual grief but soon I heard them starting to sing along. They now know ALL the words to ALL the songs. My oldest is wanting the $50 three CD collection for her birthday. Sure beats Back Street Boys, Vitamin C and bad rap."
One Of Belafonte's Best !!!
Armando M. Mesa | Chandler, AZ | 08/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I own this Belafonte title on an original pressing from 1956 on vinyl in mono (no, not the disease, but the opposite playback sound reproduction of stereo---stereo sound was barely catching on in the late 50's)...Did I buy this back in '56? Nope. I'm from generation X. However, with my eclectic taste and nostalgic streak for music, I first heard Day-O as a young kid when I saw the movie Beetle Juice.Also, my dad used to sing Jamaican Farewell when I was growing up (I never knew what the name of the song was). I always thought the song was titled Kingston Town---or , the Girl From Kingston Town all those years. I've already digressed too much...

Calypso is beautiful and timeless as any Jamaican island itself ! Some will think Calypso will contain the typical metallic and melodious sound produced by those instruments created from oil refinery steel drums. Not in the least. This is not tourist Calypso music either. It is music with a strong Carribean influence and with it's roots firmly planted in the West Indies.Then, Mr. Belafonte took it a step further and made these songs American pop accessible and even worldwide accessible with (back then in the 50's) some modern or contemporary musical ingredients. The last track Man Smart (Woman Smarter), there is quite a bit of South American and Latin cha-cha rhythms due to Belafonte's own personal travels through the region and into Mexico.There is also a strong sense of spirituality in some tracks such as Hosanna about hard labor and praising God.Day O and Star O are based on traditional labor songs of the people in Trinidad loading boatloads of bananas. Also, listen carefully to the lyrics of the last few songs. Some deal with clever lyrics about infidelity and American soldiers who fathered biracial children with local girls. Racy ? By 1950's standards maybe...but the lyrics are cleverly(sometimes tongue-in-cheek humor) and,yes, beautifully written.

Calypso is surely a masterpiece with warm vocals by Belafonte and enchanting music that will continue to stand the test of time !"