Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Heat Dust & Dreams
Genres: World Music, Pop, Classic Rock
Listen to Samples
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Neglected pioneer of the real African/Western music fushion
Kevin Miller | Penshurst, Kent United Kingdom | 08/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Long before Paul Simon's justifiably acclaimed Graceland brought the talents of South Africa's black musicians to Western attention Johnny Clegg had conceived the idea of fusing black South African music traditions with western folk and pop music. Born in England but raised in South Africa he befriended Zulu migrant workers in his white Johannesburg suburb and learned their guitar techniques and their language. He went with his Zulu friends to migrant workers' hostels and watched and performed in their musical styles, risking arrest along the way. He studied Zulu at university and became a lecturer in Zulu cultural history before embarking full time in the ground-breaking multiracial groups Juluka and Savuka.Unlike Paul Simon, who grafted white middle class American lyrics on to black South African songs and rhythms, Clegg writes in both English and Zulu and fully integrates the two cultures.Heat, Dust and Dreams, released in the early 1990's, was his last recording with Savuka - his more western orientated group. The album was recorded in the USA and includes top American session musicians as well as his black and white South African group. The result was perhaps his most obviously commercial album. Despite this his image as a "world music" artist has always restricted airplay of his records to specialist stations and programmes and he has never received the wider acclaim his talents as a writer and performer have deserved.Look beyond the Zulu choruses and what you have here is gritty tough driving rock full of powerful themes laced with exquisite harmonies and choruses. The "Crossing" is a hauntingly beautiful song about the transition from life to death while "Tough Enough" shows that the concertina can be a powerful rock instrument in the right hands. As with all of Clegg's 17 or so albums this one is full of great tunes, lovely choruses, powerful guitars and drums and intelligent thoughtful lyrics.Over some 25 years or so producing unique music which straddles the musical traditions of both black South Africa and western pop and folk Clegg has shown himself to be one of the most creative and consistent artists in the world. He has never produced a bad album - this one is amongst the best."
Inevitable Consequence of Genius
The Orange Duke | Cupertino, Ca United States | 08/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Johnny Clegg has been marketing his unique blend of western and African music for many years now, though he is criminally ignored in the US, he is better known to European and African music fans. Johnny's mix of rock music with traditional Zulu singing was the inspiration for Paul Simon's critically acclaimed GRACELAND album and is somewhat similar to music made by South African ex-pat Dave Matthews. A peerless songwriter, Clegg is known both for his politically charged stompers (check out the poignant, pointed `Inevitable Consequence Of Progress', told from the perspective of a helicopter gunman hunting African tribesmen) and moving love songs (like `I Can Never Be (What You want To Be)'). He concentrates on the political here, and given his South African originals it's no surprise that he has a leftist, pro-democracy bent. South Africa has seen all to recently the ravages of the right, and doubtless only hard line racists will find conservatism's disingenuous lies appealing. Any Clegg album could just as easily be a greatest hits for a lesser artist, and every track is excellent, but special kudos go to the stomping, irresistible `These Days', the thoughtful "When The System Has Fallen' and the lively, ferocious `Foreign Nights'. Worth whatever you pay for it. As for his live shows, well, they have to be seen to be believed."
A MUST HAVE
mtevcm | NEW JERSEY | 07/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Johnny Clegg is overlooked in the U.S., and this album proves he is 100 times better than the majority of dreck on the airwaves today. This album succeeds on many levels...strong hooks, enchanting rhythyms, memorable melodies and lyrics...even the Zulu language parts of the songs blend so well with the English lyrics that you will start to phonetically sound them out and try to sing it...you can't stop dancing, singing and loving this album...older fans of Clegg's various bands will think this more commercial and slick...it is a little different than his Juluka band days, but great nonetheless! A must have in any collection."