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Grazing in the Grass: The Best of Hugh Masekela


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 23, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00005QGB1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,329 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Grazing In The Grass
2. Vasco Da Gama (The Sailor Man)
3. Khauleza
4. Ziph'inkomo
5. Mama
6. Chileshe
7. Market Place
8. Don't Go Lose It Baby
9. Strawberries
10. Thanayi
11. African Secret Society
12. Ha Le Se Le Li Khanna
13. Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)
14. Stimela (Coal Train)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

In 1968, a little-known South African-born trumpeter and flugelhornist named Hugh Masakela released an instrumental single called "Grazing in the Grass." Its catchy, percussive rhythms and jazzy horn lines made it an international hit, and turned Masakela into an overnight star. This compilation contains 14 of Masakela's most celebrated tracks recorded from the '60s to the '90s. These "greatest hits" show how Masakela ingeniously blends a fiery, post-bop trumpet style with African-American R&B and African rhythms, and long before the term "world music" came into vogue. Included on this collection is the Cuban cha-cha laced "Vasco Da Gama," the melancholy Miriam Makeba classic, "Strawberries," and the anti-apartheid anthem, "Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)." Hugh Masakela has been, and will continue to be, an importance force in the world of music. --Eugene Holley Jr.

Customer Reviews

Thank you Mr. Masekela!
Gregory Peterson
If you accept that fact this isn't a best of album you'll find it to be a really good album.
Ryan McReallyawesome
What a cool sensation this record is!
R. Penola

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Payne on November 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
A misleadingly titled collection, but one that turns out to be a very, very nice surprise even so. Eight of the 14 tunes here appear to be recently recorded studio tracks that (to my knowledge) were never previously released: Caiphus Semenya's excellent "Ha Le Se Le Li Khanna" (originally from 1967's THE EMANCIPATION OF HUGH MASEKELA), the title track and only real "hit" here, "Grazing In The Grass" (originally from 1968's PROMISE OF A FUTURE), "Market Place," "African Secret Society" and "Stimela (Coal Train)" (all three originally from 1974's I AM NOT AFRAID), "Vasco Da Gama (The Sailor Man)" (originally from 1976's COLONIAL MAN), "Don't Go Lose It Baby" (from 1984's TECHNO BUSH) and "Bring Him Back Home" (originally from 1986's superb TOMORROW). These new recordings are all exceedingly well done by Masekela and his seven-piece African band, updating much of the joyful exuberance of the originals. The remaining six songs come from the trumpeter/vocalist's recent releases: "Mama," from 1998's unmemorable NOTES OF LIFE; "Khauleza," "Chileshe" and "Strawberries" from 1999's BLACK TO THE FUTURE; and "Thanayi" and Caiphus Semenya's lovely "Ziph' inkomo" from 2000's invigorating SIXTY. This collection, good as it is, is not a real "best of" set. Where's "U, Dwi" or "Soweto Blues"? How about "Bo Masekela," "Languta," "Uptownship" or even "She Been" and "Makonko"? But, all quibbles aside, it has the great feel of one of Hugh Masekela's better outings - celebrating his catchy songmanship, rather than his too-little featured trumpet. And after four decades of hits and misses and some great music that never fails to please year after year, it's about time that Hugh Masekela gets his due.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Milo Miles on October 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Deflating a very promising line-up of vintage Masekela material, six of the tunes here are recent remakes, including "Vasco de Gama," "Market Place," "African Secret Society," "Don't Go Lose It Baby," "Stimela" and (an especially crusty gesture) the title track. They're not bad, and Masekela's liner notes are frank and informative, but still ....
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By T. S. on May 4, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This cd is titled "Grazing in the grass: The best of Hugh Maskela. okay, now I would like to know why the other to songs that were release right after grazing in the grass are not on the cd? "Riot" came out on 45rpm right afterwards and the next song that was played on 45rpm was "Puffin on down the track" Where are these songs? Why aren't they on this cd? I will admit "Grazing in the grass" is Hugh Masekela's most successful commercial success, most of his work isn't commercial, and if you're not a fan you probably haven't heard any of his other music. Anytime you title something "Greatest", or the best of,
well..... at least include all of those songs or most of them on the cd. Maybe this is the recording co. or a representative from the company's personal best of. I'll give this cd 4 stars, only because Grazing in the grass is on it, and that song is one of the best instumentals tunes that has been recorded.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Ambrose on January 25, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very high audio quality, beautiful lush production, emotional and wide-ranging tour-de-force for Mr. Masekela. 30+
years ago, Hugh introduced millions, including myself, to a genre of music that didn't even have a name then, but later came to be known as "world music". His music combines the best of african percussion and melodies with western instruments-horns,keyboard,bass, and drums- and achieves a sysnthesis that is greater than the sum of it's parts. Moving vocals, emotional melodies with the highest levels of musicianship, and even danceable! Not to be missed for any fan of world music.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By AvidOldiesCollector TOP 100 REVIEWER on August 25, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I not only have to agree with everything said by the reviewer who gave this 2 stars, I have to go one worse and reduce it to 1 star. I'd go lower if I could.

This is not to be construed as a knock against the music of Hugh Masekela, nor even necessarily a condemnation of the songs in this compilation and their performances. BUT, this IS after all labeled as his "best" and given the fact he only had four charted Pop hit singles from 1967 to 1969, along with two others that scored only on the R&B charts, one in 1978 and the other in 1984, would it not reasonably be expected that a compilation so titled would at least include ALL of those? And in their original format?

For the Uni label he had four hits, his first being an instrumental version of The 5th Dimension's Up-Up And Away which reached # 47 R&B/# 71 Billboard Pop Hot 100 in early 1968 b/w Son Of Ice Bag. Then came his smash Grazing In The Grass which peaked at # 1 on both the Hot 100 and R&B charts that summer, spending four weeks at the top R&B position, as well as # 16 on the Adult Contemporary charts, b/w Bajabula Bonk (The Healing Song).

In October 1968 Puffin' On Down The Track would go to # 71 Hot 100 b/w Do Me So La So So, and early in 1969 Riot would peak at # 21 R&B and # 55 Hot 100 b/w Mace And Grenades. As that other reviewer points out, Grazing In The Grass is NOT the original, and the other three Uni sides are omitted, as are all the B-sides. This in a volume blaring "best of.
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