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Ladysmith Black Mambazo - In Harmony: Live at the Royal Albert Hall

6 customer reviews

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo - In Harmony: Live at the Royal Albert Hall + Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Live! + Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Live at Montreux
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This 75 minute DVD islLive at Royal Albert Hall in England and features some of the band's most popular songs includi ng: Homeless (penned by Paul Simon) and Rain Beautiful Rain. Bonus footage includes a rare interview with lead s inger Joseph Shabalala

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After Ladysmith Black Mambazo gained initial fame with American audiences thanks to Paul Simon's 1985 Graceland album, the group achieved tremendous popularity in the international music scene. This 1999 production begins with a fascinating interview with the group's leader and songwriter, Joseph Shabalala. The articulate Shabalala shares the origins of the group's name, his personal calling, and his dream to share South Africa's musical canon with the world while conveying an immense sense of power and vision not often found in today's music. The live concert performance at London's Royal Albert Hall is a "best of" performance that showcases the group's wonderful a cappella harmonies and the genius of Shabalala's writing. The songs (in both English and Zulu) celebrate universal themes, like the misunderstandings between the younger and older generations in "Sisesiqhingini" (Stupid Stupid Stupid). "Phansi Emigodini" (Deep down in the mines) is especially masterful in its use of repetitive rhythms and vocal sound effects to re-create the sounds of picks and hammers at work in the mines. These potent effects create a hauntingly realistic atmosphere and add a deeper, universal level of meaning to the Zulu lyrics. Notable too is the unique "tiptoe dancing" that accompanies many of the songs. This expressive style of dance focuses primarily on the feet, but at times encompasses the entire body and lends a rich, visual aspect to Ladysmith Black Mambazo's powerful music. Following the encore (Graceland's "Homeless") is a short segment featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo on location in the parks and streets of Los Angeles. --Tami Horiuchi

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Special Features

  • Songs Include: Homeless (written by Paul Simon) & Rain Beautiful Rain

Product Details

  • Actors: Ladysmith Black Mambazo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: SHANACHIE
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 1999
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00001ZWB5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,482 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bruce P. Barten on February 23, 2003
Format: DVD
I used to be in a choir. Whenever the director wanted us to do more than just sing the notes, she would mention Ladysmith Black Mambazo, like these guys knew how to do what she wanted, and anyone who bought a CD at the time could hear the luscious sound of a large group simultaneously thinking the same thing on an emotional level that would strike home in people's souls. After Paul Simon used them on his "Graceland" album, it wasn't hard to hear what they sounded like. Most people might have a language problem on "Phansi Emigodini (Deep down in the mines)." Not being able to identify the meaning of words in an African language can be an obstacle to paying attention, but they sign what they are doing with their hands and feet. The DVD jacket calls it "tiptoe dancing," but it is so much more. The whole group is adept at waving their hands and feet around in the air, and the more you watch them, the more fun they let themselves have. Americans have gotten used to a lot of individual star performers, but these guys cavort like letting their souls loose is the most contagious behavior on the planet. Our kids must be learning stuff like this in school. It is hard to understand them, but do they care?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bernd Schmuecker on April 5, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Joseph Shabalala leads his band of singing Zulus on a joyous acapella romp through a collection of Ladysmith Black Mambazo's most noteworthy songs during a performance at London's Royal Albert Hall in April of 1999.

Before the concert begins, we are treated to a very informative interview with the soft-spoken but passionate Shabalala. He explains the group's name, his reasons for writing and singing his songs, and his dream to someday establish a music academy in his South African homeland where the indigenous musical traditions can be nurtured and passed on to succeeding generations.

During the concert, the group uses no musical instruments, but their singing is occasionally embellished with various sound effects, including foot-stomps, hand-claps and tongue-clicks. The men have gorgeous voices, and they harmonize beautifully together, singing mostly in their native Zulu language, but also occasionally in English.

While they are essentially anchored to their respective places on the stage by their floor-standing microphones, the men don't just remain still as they sing their songs; they step, kick up their feet, spin around, and slap their thighs - all in time to the music - adding considerable visual interest to what could otherwise be a somewhat boring performance.

Although their acapella singing stands up very well on its own, I did find myself longing for some instrumental accompaniment to add musical depth to a few of their songs. After the concert ends, there is a delightful bonus video of Ladysmith Black Mambazo performing on the streets of Los Angeles. The soundtrack for this video does include various instruments accompanying the vocals, and the combination is absolutely marvelous!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This music is beautiful. A work of art that compares to none. It's a wonderful experience for the entire family. You won't be disappointed.
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Ladysmith Black Mambazo - In Harmony: Live at the Royal Albert Hall
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