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Indestructible Beat of Soweto

The Indestructible Beat Of Soweto (Series)Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Price: $14.87 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Shanachie
  • ASIN: B000000DW2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,630 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Can You Pay Lobola For Me - Udokotela Shange Namajaha
2. Daughter In Law - Nelcy Sedibe
3. Fair Fight - Umahlathini Nabo
4. The Man In The Black Coat - Amaswazi Emvelo
5. The Stream Of Music - Mahlathini, Nezintombi, Zomgqashiyo & The Makgona Tsohle Band
6. We Will Get Them - Udokotela Shange Namajaha
7. Leave Him Alone - Moses Mchunu
8. Just Stop And Listen - Amaswazi Emvelo
9. We Are Waiting For You - Nganeziyamfisa No Khambalomvaleliso
10. I Have Made Up My Mind - Mahlathini Nezintombi Zomgoashiyo
11. Joyce No.2 - Johnson Mkhalali
12. Here Is The Money - Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Editorial Reviews


This is possibly one of the most important collections of South African music to be released off the continent. Before Paul Simon, Sting, and Peter Gabriel started their explorations and exploitations of African music, this stunning set of music was already out there showing the world how it was done in South Africa's townships. Now well-known names like Ladysmith Black Mambazo (before they did candy commercials) and the growling Mahlathini were given their first international hearing. But the real gems are the sounds we never got to hear on Graceland: the raw mandolin and fiddle of Moses Mchunu, the wonderful jive vocals of Amaswazi Emvelo, the loping swing in the voice of Nancy Sedibe, and the fat guitar grooves of Johnson Mkhalali and his band. The collection is a gem, a representation of what was happening on the radio and in the dance clubs of Soweto in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as mbaqanga swept through the country and took everyone with it. --Louis Gibson

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never get tired of this September 15, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Wow! This CD is 100% perfect. A collection of traditional folk songs from the Soweto area of Johannesburg, It is mesmorizing and totally dancable. Now, if only I could speak Zulu...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of The Greats of the 80s February 5, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Arguably one of the most monumental collection of world music ever recorded paints a sound scope of Soweto heritage so profoundly moving, it will make you weep. It soars and swirls and educates and dances within realms of diversity and poetry. The artists range in style and dialect, sketching a portrait of historic musical significance. Hearing such a tapestry, one could understand why Paul Simon explored [and Sting and Peter Gabriel exploited] his own pop aesthetic. At the risk of hyperbole mixed in for dramatic effect/affect, I will state that this album is a wonder to behold - an absolute must own for any human being who cares one iota about what music could/should/would be. Or what music is. My grade: A+
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inddestructible beat of soweto March 24, 2000
Format:Audio CD
A delightful collection of the soweto beat. Each track is as exciting as the previous. Beautiful vocals and harmonies, with the ever familar soweto guitar and percussion driving each track forward. A must for any collection. ENJOY.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore Phil Sutcliffe and his anachronistic judgements October 31, 1999
Format:Audio CD
The Indestructible Beat of Soweto still serves as the primer to any listener willing to move beyond the pop of Paul Simon or the commercialized and overly slick sounds of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The collection is by no means dated or reductively less visceral or enjoyable than when it was released. Radical is it? Hmm? Well, Mark Twain's use of American vernacular was radical. Chuck Berry's backbeat and guitar were radical. Elvis Presley's hip shake was radical. Today, we do not think of these men or their defining hallmarks as radical; instead, we think of them as classic. The Indestructible Beat of Soweto may not be radical anymore, but it is a classic and a wonderful starting point in discovering the lull and beauty of South African music.
To be blunt and primal: ignore that fool, Phil Sutcliffe, and his commentary. His opinion is insensitive, ungrounded, and ultimately, amateurish.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such great work, some people start at the top March 14, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I like this so much, I think American music, in comparison, suffers from a cult of professionalism which stifles anything that might be a breath of fresh air. I don't speak the language that these songs are sung in, but there was a translation in the CD liner. Selection 4, "The Man in the Black Coat," with the final line, "He demands all my money even when I hide it," as translated in the liner, actually has the word, "money" in English in the song, so the demand is perfectly clear, and the idea that "money" is being demanded in English might be one of the things which makes that song chilling. Another one of the songs struck me as being a perfect topic. The selection by Moses Mchunu is in the middle of the CD, after an instrumental track. When the introduction of the song "Qhwayilahle/Leave Him Alone" or "Ohwahilale" starts, I'm always thinking, Are they going to start singing the funny one yet? The voices sound serious as they do the first line, but an instrumental riff peps things up and the song takes off. The translation is "Just imagine you are the only one of your age group who is not married and your peers are jealous of your girlfriends." There are enough voices involved in the performance to picture what is going on as the group hashes this one out. You shouldn't have to understand what each word means to hear the humor of that song. All the music on this CD was recorded in 1981-84, and I started listening to it when it really was new, but it is so different from the rest of my music collection that hearing it is still a novelty. Some of it seems a bit rough, but it is not an intentional punk type effort to trash their listeners because their listeners think they have heard it all before. These people sing like they have found an audience who can enjoy it, and everybody is digging it so much they are beyond teasing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars are not enough October 5, 2001
Format:Audio CD
5 stars are not enough for this album. I've listened to it hundreds of times over the past decade, I'm sure. I've boughten it for people as a present. I can't imagine an album better representing its people, its country, its cultures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Hits of South African Pop January 7, 2007
Format:Audio CD
One of the first compilations of South African pop released in the US, this CD introduced a whole generation to the marvels of Afro-pop. It was also the first of the 'Indestructible Beat of Soweto' series, which went on to showcase the incredible diversity, vibrancy and raw emotion of South African pop. Even today, more than a decade later, this CD is still has an essential place in any collection of African music worthy of the name. Township, Jive, Mbaqanga. Whatever you call it, this stuff presents a snapeshot of the early music pop music scene amongst the Zulu, Swazi and Sotho. Naturally, Ladysmith Black Mambazo makes an appearance in this compilation, but so do a number of less familiar, but equally talented artists, such as Mahalathini Nezintombi Zomgoashiyo, Umahlathini Nabo, Amaswazi Emvelo, Johnson Mkhalali, and many others. It may seem a bit dated today, with many new artists, innovations and styles that have come and gone in South Africa since this CD first came out, but the 'Indestructible Beat of Soweto' series is still pretty essential. If your a fan of African music and don't own this, you should be ashamed of yourself. Go out an buy a copy now. And if you've just become interested in African music, perhaps after listening to Paul Simon's 'Graceland' (which introduced many western listeners to South African pop), then this is a great CD to start with.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying twice
I bought three copies of this album in 1985 at Tower Records on Columbus St. in SF and still have two of them. I hope the one I gave to a friend lives that long. Read more
Published 6 months ago by luerwulf
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it - you won't regret it
A perfect example of how music transcends borders and cultures! I don't understand a word of what is being sung but I find myself repeatedly listening to this album or humming... Read more
Published on June 30, 2009 by Sunil Kamath
5.0 out of 5 stars Prolific Praise is not enough.
Amazing. Brilliant. Charming. Dazzling. Edifying.

Fantastic. Grand. Heroic. Incredible. Jubilant. Kingly. Lovely. Magnificent. Noble. Outstanding. Peerless. Read more
Published on March 12, 2007 by Smokey B
5.0 out of 5 stars The Blues of South Africa
Are you looking to graduate from Graceland? Like many folks I became hooked on the sound of Soweto from Paul Simons great album Graceland. Read more
Published on October 18, 2006 by Boston Bluesman
5.0 out of 5 stars Africa Rocks Out=;-]
I have listened to this album since the 80's & it continues to be a true classic from its time in history. If you like upbeat danceable worldbeat music YOU WILL LOVE this music. Read more
Published on July 21, 2006 by Stephan P
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of its kind
I got this in the 80s in the wake of Simon's "Graceland." This is probably the best known collection of this kind in America. Read more
Published on May 2, 2003 by Andre M.
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