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Cruel Crazy Beautiful World

Johnny CleggAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Price: $22.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 1999 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1990 $22.95  
Vinyl --  
Audio Cassette, 1990 --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. One Man One Vote 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Cruel Crazy Beautiful World 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Jericho 4:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Dela 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Moliva 4:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. It's An Illusion 4:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Bombs Away 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Woman Be My Country 4:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Rolling Ocean 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Warsaw 1941 4:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Vezandlebe 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Although born in the United Kingdom, Johnny Clegg has become one of South Africa’s most celebrated sons. As a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, anthropologist and musical activist, his infectious crossover music – a vibrant blend of Western pop and African Zulu rhythms – has not only broken down musical barriers in his adopted country but has made him an ... Read more in Amazon's Johnny Clegg Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 16, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1990
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Parlophone
  • ASIN: B00000DRAQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,014 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Helped Topple That Wall February 22, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Neglected in the US, Johnny Clegg is a huge star in Europe and is as precious as all those diamonds and gold mined in South Africa. Johnny would rather we focus on the music than his politics but the man's impact on the destruction of the apartheid state is indisputable - go to his web site to see picture of Johnny on stage accompanied by a dancing Nelson Mandela.... This is wonderful, joyful, powerful music and I must quote one of Clegg's lyrics to convey the music's impact. "When I feel the hidden power that lies inside your sound, like the ghost inside the atom that spins it round and round." The power his music unleashes is like the power in an atom and it's a great metaphor for what he's accomplished through his music. Once again, skillfull production by Hilton Rosenthal adds to the powerful delivery of Johnny's work.
I saw Johnny Clegg and Savuka 3 times in the early 90's. Fantastic musical performances from a man who danced Zulu style with all the athleticism of a... say Michael Jordon or John Elway! At one show in Boulder Colorado, the audience would not let the band leave, they did a staggering 5 encoures! After the show, I spotted Johnny walking to his car, I was on the street. I shouted "Hey Johnny" and he was humble enough to walk across about 50 yards to come over and have a word. This man is the real deal. Considering what was going on in South Africa when he made this recording, he's lucky to be alive. God Bless Johnny Clegg, his music is definitely a divine gift.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest African albums of all time August 1, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This album simply rocks on every level - the songwriting, the backing vocals and instruments, Johnny Clegg's absolutely fabulous interpretations. And a big bonus - the CD actually sounds good, unlike the poor production and mastering that too often hides the brilliance of African musical artists. Whereas Paul Simon's attempt to meld African and Western styles was well-intentioned but lacking in authenticity, Johnny Clegg is the real deal. He paid his dues in every conceivable way. And as the only white guy to "get it right" and join the ranks of Fela, Rogie, Prince Nico, Manu Dibango, Olatunje, Mahotella Queens, Black Mambazo, Rochereau, Sonny Ade, Salif Keita, Miriam Makeba and Youssou N'Dour as true continental superstars, it's surprising how little respect he seems to get in his homeland. Any second-rate US musician is well-known in SA (at least in the mid-Rand and up-country where I anecdotally polled) and pulls thousands into the stadiums, but you get embarrassed sideward glances if you bring up Johnny Clegg's name in white or mixed areas. The black Africans tend to give him more credit, but if the world were fair and music were apolitical, this album (and Savuka in general) would be an unqualified epiphany.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy, Beautiful Album August 6, 2002
Format:Audio CD
It's pretty hard to pick a best album by Johnny, because all of his output is so strong, but if I had to pick one, this would be it. Johnny's eclectic mix of `a little rock, a little reggae, and a little jazz' with his trademark African music presages the whole World Beat phenomena by at least a decade. His music is irresistibly catchy and will make you want to dance. Upbeat, hopeful but world weary and wise, Johnny's lyrics reflect his South African upbringing. It is appropriate that he should have seen both the end of the Berlin Wall and Apartheid. A giant awakens indeed. Johnny writes highly political songs, slice of life narratives and superb love songs. In fact, his finest love song is found here with the excellent `Dela' sample lyrics: `A blind bird sings inside the cage that is my heart, the image of your face comes to me when I'm alone in the dark, if I could give a shape to this ache that I have for you, if I could find the voice that says the words that capture you, I think I know...'. Every song on this album kills (including the infectious bonus track, `Vezandlebe') but worthy of special note are the title track, One (Hu)Man One Vote', and Warsaw 1945, the later will bring tears to your eyes. Johnny Clegg may well be the finest musician of our time; it's a pity that he has been largely ignored in the US. I recommend all his albums; they all rate five stars.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite album of all time! July 22, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This was the first album that blew me away on first listen. From the opening tribal chanting of "One (Hu) Man, One Vote" I knew I was in for a musical journey my ears have never heard before. This album perfectly encapsulates the era of its time (the cautious optimism of 1989-1990 when communist regimes were falling in Europe and apartheid was heading in that direction), but manages to relate to current events as well, nearly 15 years later.

The song "Jericho" could very well describe the conditions at Guantanamo Bay, the recent Abu Ghraib prison scandal, and the wall being built in Israel: "standing at the gates/this is Jericho/and the walls reach up to the stars/and outside we were singing psalms/such a strange, strange place/for we are the prisoners of the prisoners we have taken/and the prophets' dreams are now forsaken."

In "One (Hu) Man, One Vote", Johnny sings, "the west is sleeping in a fragile freedom/forgotten is the price that was paid/ten thousand years of marching through a veil of tears/to break a few links in these chains/these things come to us by way of much pain/don't let us slip back into the dark."

Its not all politics, though. His catchy, danceable love song, "Dela" is guaranteed to get your feet and body moving. It was featured in the film "George of the Jungle" and remains one of the best love songs I've ever heard.

My personal favorite song is "Woman Be My Country", for its beautiful melody and lyrics, sweetened by a saxophone. This song is for anyone who feels like a stranger in his own country, an ex-patriot who disagrees with his government as it relates to the world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Album From An Artist Who Never Achieved The North American...
Johnny Clegg is one of those unfairly overlooked artists who should be household names but aren't. Clegg has had some success in Europe and North America but his talents are such... Read more
Published on September 6, 2011 by Mark Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Cruel Crazy beautiful music
Great compilation of Johnny Clegg songs that are almost as fun to listen to as he and his band are to watch. Read more
Published on May 1, 2011 by Handyman
4.0 out of 5 stars If you've never heard of them...
Many of my favorite artists were ones that a friend or coworker turned me on to. 20+ years ago an expatriate friend from South Africa introduced me to this album. I was hooked. Read more
Published on November 13, 2010 by David P. Siegel
4.0 out of 5 stars Catchy
The CD was a very good CD, although some of it gets slightly repetitive. The songs are very catchy, guaranteed to be stuck in your head ;) They have good messages and lifts... Read more
Published on October 20, 2009 by Emma R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Clegg ever
I wore out my first copy and had to replace it. Absolutely love the album.
Published on September 1, 2007 by Kara Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
I had this cassette several years ago and wore it out. When the weather got hot this year, I remembered how much I missed listening to this "summer music". Read more
Published on July 20, 2005 by darkempress999
5.0 out of 5 stars Cruel Crazy Beautiful World is Johnny Clegg's best.
Funky, fun and imbued with all the passion of South Africa just prior to the end of apartheid, this album deals with love, hate, parenthood, freedom, marriage and war always with a... Read more
Published on July 6, 2005 by Lash Sweeney
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best Johnny Clegg Album
Johnny Clegg is a man caught between two worlds. On one hand, his music is so infectious that you can't help but get caught up in the sheer joy of Savuka's masterly blend of Zulu... Read more
Published on November 3, 2003 by Tim Brough
5.0 out of 5 stars Infectious
I, like many, stumbled onto Johnny Clegg & Savuka! In a bar in San Francisco of all places. This CD came on the sound system and stopped my conversation! Read more
Published on September 6, 2003 by Damian P. Gadal
5.0 out of 5 stars GET OFF YOUR FEET!
You cannot sit still while listening to Johnny Clegg and Savuka. You can't help but get up and dance. This is a great album. Read more
Published on July 30, 2003 by E.J. Mullen
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