Caravan Of Love – Lovemasters
‘Caravan Of Love’ started life as a laid back soul song by Isley Jasper Isley which was strongly based on Christian beliefs. Their 1985 version made it to number 51 in the US. Roll on a year and The Housemartins (featuring a certain Norman Cook who would go on to become Fatboy Slim) recorded an a capella version of the song and this went to number 1 in the UK.
And to complete a sequence of years with this song being recorded, in 1987 a ‘local’ act called The Lovemasters covered the Isley Jasper Isely song and The Housemartins’ arrangement to bring us an a capella version which made it to number 9 on the Springbok top 30. The observant amongst you may have notice the inverted commas around the word local. This was because the backing tracks were imported from Germany and the lead vocal was performed by Gerald Priestly, a Brit who was living in SA at the time, but who appears to have moved back to the UK.
However, the song was assembled and produced in South Africa and it is as good as The Housemartin’s version with Priestly putting in a soulful vocal while The Mellotones (consisting of Alec Mazin, Daphne Murtagh and Leonard Bobrow) alongside Tom Mkhize provide gently backing vocals. Mkhize, who worked mainly with black artists in SA, also produced and arranged the album ‘Caravan Of Love’ which The Lovemasters released.
It was quite a journey that the song made to get to our charts, but we loved the caravan and the masters to the extent that the song spent a total of 17 weeks in the top 30.
Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 3 (1994) GSP, CDREDD 610