Thomas Mapfumo – The Singles Collection 1977-1986
After a diversion to celebrate the life of Cesaria Evora I’m back to my Lucky Thirteen series. (When I say my I mean, of course shamelessly stolen from Joe Boyd. And talking of Joe Boyd, is everyone else out there astonished by the fact that Joe Boyd has not been awarded a gong of any description for his services to British music? I know that he is an American but if George Bush and Ronald Reagan are worthy of an award …
Enough lobbying, on to Thomas Mapfumo. As trailed last week, thirteen steps from my Machanic Manyeruke CD is Thomas Mapfumo – The Singles Collection 1977-1986. It is hard to find now but is still available online new and used.
The track I have chosen to post is Pachinyakare which is probably the best one to post on Christmas Eve as the news is filled with stories of bombs are being set off round the world killing hundreds of people and maiming many more. Pachinyakare is “A folk song that vividly describes life in the “golden years” of the past when people lived in peace, without numerous problems being encountered in today’s life like disease, shortage of food, pollution etc.”
Have a peaceful Christmas and lets all hope for golden years.
Thomas Mapfumo – Pachinyakare
Machanic Manyeruke and the Puritans
Fingers fumbling forward firteen (sic) brings us to Machanic Manyeruke and the Puritans with their eponymous album release in Zimbabwe in 1986 and in the UK on the Cooking Vinyl label in 1989. This CD got quite a bit of airplay at the time of release in the usual places because of its bright, vibrant sound. What is usual about the music is that it is Christian gospel music, sung in the shona language – though Wikipedia informs us that Gospel music is a major genre in Zimbabwe.
The track that I am posting is Zvandaiva Mutadzi Zvangu (I used to be a sinner). The album liner notes tell us that: “This song explains how Peter the disciple heard the voice of Jesus calling him for his service and he followed. A song which touches Machanic’s heart so much.” Other songs on the album are When the saints go marching in, I am happy, Jonah and the Whale, God is good etc.
I am not a Christian, indeed I am not religious at all, but I find that this album, like so much good spiritually inspired art, is joyous and genuinely uplifting.
Postscript: On finishing this post, I learnt that this is the first Zimbabwean track that I have posted. I almost cannot believe it. If the Lucky Thirteens don’t throw up a Thomas Mapfumo or Oliver Mtukudzi track soon I’ll have to temporarily terminate the Thirteen theme.
Machanic Manyeruke and the Puritans – Zvandaiva Mutadzi Zvangu