Happy 30th – Ladysmith Black Mambazo, JOURNEY OF DREAMS
30 years ago this month, Ladysmith Black Mambazo released the most high-profile album of their career up to that point…and since at that point they’d been around for more than four decades, that’s pretty impressive stuff.
In 1986, the profile of Ladysmith Black Mambazo was seemingly as high as it could possibly go in America, thanks to their participation on Paul Simon’s GRACELAND album. In 1987, however, it suddenly managed to go even higher as a result of the group being asked to take part in Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker film. You can well imagine, then, that the next album they released was in a position to capture the attention of more people than they’d ever captured before.
Co-produced by Joseph Shabalala, who wrote all of the material except the album-closing cover of “Amazing Grace,” and Russ Titelman, who – although he didn’t produce GRACELAND – came with built-in Paul Simon experience nonetheless (he produced HEARTS AND BONES), JOURNEY OF DREAMS gave Ladysmith Black Mambazo a chance to show the world at large what they were capable of doing when they had the spotlight all to themselves. In addition to the album, the band released an hour-long documentary with the same title, one that delved into the band’s 45-year career.
Yes, that’s right: if ever a group waited patiently for success to find its way to them, it’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
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