One of the things I miss the most about music in the eighties was that almost anything could score, with a little luck.
Some kinds, of course, had a head start. South Africa was tres hip in the nineties – and for a brief spell, South Africa’s jumpy melange of pop styles got some airplay and mindshare in the west.
And one of the biggest sellers – to the extent that there was a big seller – was South Africa’s “Johnny Clegg and Savuka”.
Clegg – an Brit-Rhodesian whose mother’s parents were Polish/Lithuanian Jews – fronting a mixed-race group that pretty edgy stuff in apartheid-era South Africa – was a musical sponge, known as “The White Zulu” who mixed languages and genres like Emeril Legasse mixes spices:
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And while it was almost inevitable that the politics would beat you over the head – because politics were an inevitable part of South Africa’s situation at the time – it worked as often as not,and in any case, it was often great music…
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…so who cares anyway?
And sometimes being beaten over the head could be fun!
But more of that tomorrow…