Various Artists

The History of Township Music

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Another installment of South African township music from the extensive resources that Wrasse has collected for publication. The album starts out with some marabi: first with a thrashing piano piece, and then with a piece for a full ensemble. After this romp of marabi, it displays some bits of very early mbube (including the very song "Mbube," which spawned "Wimoweh" and the "Lion Sleeps Tonight" in America 30 years later), and mbaqanga. From there, it slowly moves into the pennywhistle jive that was so popular around the second World War, and the vocal jazz that was so pre-eminent during the beginning and end of the war. Eventually, it moves into the jive and funk of the '60s and '70s, and then slightly into the '80s with the Soul Brothers and the Mahotella Queens. With all of the styles that have been embraced in South Africa, it's quite an endeavor to try to cover them all in a single album. Nonetheless, this isn't a bad shot at it. There are a number of albums covering each aspect of the scene over the decades, and this is a good choice among them. If nothing else, pick it up for the groaner-funk of Toitoi at the end of the album.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:45
2 3:08
3 2:43
4 2:24
5 2:24
6 2:35
7 2:38
8
2:35
9 2:51
10 2:33
11 2:55
12 2:20
13 2:36
14 2:36
15 2:26
16 2:37
17 2:25
18 2:28
19 2:24
20
2:16
21 2:30
22 2:08
23
2:36
24 3:05
25 3:21
26
3:06
27 3:44
28 3:39
blue highlight denotes track pick