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Heavenly
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Heavenly
Genres: World Music, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

Heavenly is an interesting concept gone wrong. Ladysmith Black Mambazo are South Africa's best-known gospel group, the singers who brought the mbube style of the country to the world via Paul Simon's Graceland. So it was n...  more »

      
   
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CD Details

All Artists: Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Title: Heavenly
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Shanachie
Release Date: 9/23/1997
Genres: World Music, Pop
Style: Africa
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Heavenly
UPCs: 016351649829, 3307516700224, 8427328900249

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Heavenly is an interesting concept gone wrong. Ladysmith Black Mambazo are South Africa's best-known gospel group, the singers who brought the mbube style of the country to the world via Paul Simon's Graceland. So it was not a bizarre idea to make a recording of well-known "gospel" songs with other American singers and musicians. It's all in the presentation, and the presentation here is pretty out there. Lou Rawls walks through Sam Cook's "Chain Gang." Dolly Parton leads them in a high-pitched, maudlin version of Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door." A cadre of tunes from the pop gospel pantheon like "Oh Happy Day" and "People Get Ready" get similar treatments. The opening track shows what great singers they are, but the rest of the album hardly showcases this talent. Get one of their "Best of" albums instead. --Louis Gibson

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CD Reviews

Zulu & acapella songs great...instrumentals a snorefest!
jovaldo | 05/20/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)

"When I heard that LBM was doing an album with instrumental backing...I didn't quite know what to think. This fantastic group is world-renowned for the symphony they can create with their voices, so why go instrumental? I do, however, encourage musical exploration...so I figured I'd give it a try. What a mistake this album was! Besides 4 or 5 songs (including "Yitho Umlilo Ovuthayo," "Sohlabelelu Hosana," & "Jesus Is My Leader") this album is total bore. Hearing this fantastically talented group do Bob Dylan, Curtis Mayfield, & Billy Joel covers backed by pedestrian instrumental arrangements is extremely disappointing. If you want to explore the magical experience of South African zulu singers, then get another one of their albums...try the Greatest Hits, or just about anything else but this one.I love LBM, but this album is just a disappointment (especially after seeing them in concert!) Spend your money elsewhere!"
Different from what I expected
Kevin L. Nenstiel | Kearney, Nebraska | 02/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is, of course, Ladysmith Black Mambazo's first album with instrumental backing, unless you count the harmonizing they did on _Graceland._ Which I don't, since it was never their song or album. Still, the effect is transforming -- it takes the responsibility of maintaining musical continuity from the basses, who are plentiful in number, and places it on the instruments, allowing the voices to focus exclusively on the melody. For sheer inventiveness while not straying from the origins, their rendition of "River of Dreams" simply can't be beat. My girlfriend thinks it's better than the original, and I really can't bring myself to disagree."