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Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World ()

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When South Africa was still suffering under the apartheid system in the 1980s, Johnny Clegg & Savuka was the last thing apartheid supporters wanted in a pop group. Their lyrics were often vehemently anti-apartheid, and apartheid supporters hated the fact that a half-black, half-white outfit out of South Africa was integrated and proud of it. Released in the U.S. at the end of the 1980s, Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World is among the many rewarding albums the band has recorded. Sting and the Police are a definite influence on Clegg & Savuka, who have absorbed everything from various African pop styles to Western pop, funk, rock, and reggae. The lyrics are consistently substantial and frequently sociopolitical -- "Bombs Away" addresses the violence of the apartheid regime, while "Warsaw 1943" reflects on the horrors Eastern Europe experienced at the hands of both communists and fascists during World War II. Clegg and company enjoyed a passionate following at the time, and this fine CD proves that it was well deserved. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi Hide synopsis

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Reviews of Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World

Overall customer rating: 5.000
Ukumbwa - Indigeny & Energetics

Apartheid era musical critique

This work is still applicable now....unluckily...even though most of us think that South Africa is free of the underpinnings of its own oppression. But it is not only applicable to Azania, but also to the United States of America. Both South Africa and the USAmerica have a common history based on European oppression of a land not of their own and a subjugation of an indigenous population through a process of "G-O-D"-supported geographical expansionism. Both settler-colonial states are still festering in their own myopia and Johnny Clegg and Savuka is a clarion wake-up call to them both. You may have to think deeper beyond the modernified propaganda of our current malaisey news-driven public-private discourse. Aaaaaaand - this is GOOD MUSIC. You will not be disappointed by their socio-political compassion or their still fresh and danceable rhythms. As the first racially integrated South African bands, they must be held in their correct historical and musical perspective. This band has done some serious work. We owe them a listen or maybe quite a few listens. I dare you to pop this in the CD player at the next party and see what happens. Play and share and play again "Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World" - what a challenging and wonderful musical mirror of our times.

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