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Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony
Various Artists
Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (29) - Disc #1

Forgive the cynicism, but it?s hard to believe that South Africa?s civil war was actually a successful one waged without a full-scale battle. Happy endings to tragic events seem to be the stuff of fairy tales rather than ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: ATO Records
Release Date: 2/4/2003
Album Type: Enhanced, Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 791022151022

Forgive the cynicism, but it?s hard to believe that South Africa?s civil war was actually a successful one waged without a full-scale battle. Happy endings to tragic events seem to be the stuff of fairy tales rather than real life. Perhaps it?s due to the fact that apartheid was a travesty that the colonialists couldn?t continue to live with. More likely, it?s the spirit of South Africa?s black people that made it happen. This 29-track soundtrack for the Sundance-winning documentary features a musical history of the movement, often highlighting powerful rallying cries of revolution. There?re songs from such well-known figures as Mariam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim, and South African star Vusi Mahlasela, as well as members of Pretoria Central Prison and chanting crowds from various town hall meetings. Unlike typical CDs, the singers, musicians, and performances are less important; it?s the premise that?s the key here, and this moving collection adeptly captures the South African people?s strength and resolve to win their battle for freedom. --Tad Hendrickson

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CD Reviews

An outstanding selection of historic recordings
Joe Sixpack -- | Middle America | 02/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"An excellent album. Although I have a fondness for 1950s-era South African "jive" music, I've never been that keen on the other, more modern pop styles. (Too much exposure, from living in Berkeley in the 1980s.) This disc, however, is a great collection which bridges these styles, including representative tunes from a wide variety of artists and eras. The album accompanies a highly-recommended documentary film, which explores the role of music in South Africa's anti-apartheid political movement... Folk tunes, the vast vocal choruses, the funky pop, and the old-fashioned, jazzy jive... It's all there, and the song selection and album pacing are both superior. A highly recommended sampler!"
Buy the CD, but be certain to see the film.
goddessofoboe | Minneapolis, Minnesota USA | 12/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"At a time in his life when most people are trying to figure out what is best for themselves, Lee Hirsch gave up everything to go to South Africa and begin documenting its music. Ten years later, the result of his efforst, "Amandla: Revolution in Four-Part Harmony," is a brilliant portrayal of the strength and courage of the resistance against Apartheid. Though some may find the notion romantic and unbelievable, rather than using bombs or guns to win the freedom and equality they longed for, they overcame their oppressors through song.
I was lucky enough to attend the Hollywood premiere of the documentary in February of 2003, and hear Mr. Hirsch describe the process of making the film. The thing that has stayed with me the most was shared by the executive producer, Sheila Nevins. She said that in her search to put score to scenes of horrific violence and oppression, she could find no "sad" music. All the music they heard was filled with hope, and most of all--joy. This, more than anything, represents the music on the soundtrack CD. While the soundtrack is extremely moving (Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica brought me near tears), I would urge a person unfamiliar with the names on the CD to first view the movie; the songs take on a life of their own once the stories behind them are told."
I saw the film...
Joe Sixpack -- | 10/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

" an International Human Rights film festival in Durban, South Africa, in July 2003, and was absolutely amazed. Seeing the film there, as opposed to America, was an incredible experience - more than half of the audience was familiar with the music, and my friend, sitting next to me, sang along with every song, under her breath. Afterwards I was lucky enough to meet and talk to Lee Hirsch, the director, about his experiences making the film. At the end of the presentation there was enough energy in the room for him to lead singing and dancing to Shona Malenge (a track which, unfortunately, did not make it on to the CD).
I bought the CD the following day and it hasn't left the vicinity of my CD player yet. You MUST hear this music. (Even better, see the film - to be released October '03)."