1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the category “Just Jinger”

Sugarman – Just Jinger

Greatest Hits - Just Jinger

Greatest Hits – Just Jinger

When Rodriguez walked out onto the stage in Cape Town back in 1998 to kick off his first ever SA tour, he thanked the audience for keeping him alive. And a large part of that thanks could have been directed towards Ard Mathews and Just Jinger as their cover version of the Rodriguez classic, ‘Sugarman’, was probably as important in bringing the Detroit musician to a new generation of fans as the army call up was to his first South African fans.

‘Cold Fact’, the Rodriguez album that contained ‘Sugarman’ had been around since the late 60’s early 70’s and seemed to live in the air we breathed back then. Nearly every white South African home had a copy of the album and everyone knew the song. It seemed only natural then for someone to cover it, but strangely it had to wait till the 90’s before Just Jinger plucked up the courage to take on such a revered song. And they did the right thing with their cover as it is as straight forward a cover of an original as one could get. Just about the only difference between the original and the JJ’s version is Ard’s grungey vocals compared to Rodriguez’s folky ones.

So what, you may ask, is the point of producing a cover that is pretty much the same as the original? Well, I think that the fact that Just Jinger didn’t deviate too far from the original shows their huge respect for the song and the singer as they didn’t want to mess too much with the original, seeing it as perfection in itself, so they could only imitate and not add to it. The second reason that this was an important cover was laid out in the first paragraph of this article. Just Jinger were becoming one of the biggest bands in the land and the fact that they tipped their hat to this classic song had their younger fans digging out their moms and dads CDs to check out the original.

At the time Just Jinger covered this track, there was hardly another cover of the track, let alone a cover of any other Rodriguez tracks out there (there were some and a list of pre-‘Searching For Sugarman’ covers can be found here: http://sugarman.org/coverversions.html). Just Jinger with their excellent and timely cover of the track helped keep Rodriguez alive and well and they did so reverentially, letting the song take the limelight. This would have to go down as one of the greatest covers of an international track by an SA band.

Where to find it:
Something For Now – Just Jinger (1998), Colossal Records, cdcll(sb)7020

Video:

Home – Just Jinger

Greatest Hits - Just Jinger

Greatest Hits – Just Jinger

Released around the time that Ard (sometimes Art) Matthews and his Just Jinger (now Jinjer) were busy relocating to the US, it is  interesting that they would record a song called ‘Home’ as it must have a soul searching time for Matthews as he made the decision to leave his home. And this perhaps reflects in the song itself which finds the band in a reflective mood.

But apparently its not about Ard/Art at all and his leaving SA. Its a tribute to Nelson Mandela and all he did for South Africa.

The sound is not as heavy or lively as some of their previous offerings. Featuring a mellow rock beat around which thoughtful guitars gather, the song feels somewhat intimate and the listener almost feels like they are an intruder eavesdropping on a private jam that the band are having. And that is probably the attraction of this nugget, the sense of being privy to something that the creators of are not aware is being leaked to the public.

‘Home’ has a poignant intensity to it. The band are so caught up in creating this beautiful sound and the lyrics seem to echo in the heartbeat of the music. There is a searching and a longing in the vocals that swirl through the song. For the singer, home is where the Ard is and I think every house should have a ‘Home’.

Where to find it:
Greatest Hits – Just Jinger (2001), BMG Records Africa ‎– CDCLL(CLM)7048

Video:

Baby Song – Just Jinger

Baby Song – Just Jinger

Just Jinger - All Comes Round

Just Jinger – All Comes Round

Just Jinger were one of the biggest bands in SA during the late 90’s, early 00’s. Known for dynamic live shows and grungy rock tunes, ‘Baby Song’ which appeared on their debut album ‘All Comes Round’ starts off a little at odds with what one would expect. There is a funky jazzy feel to the song as the bass sort of shimmies over gently brushed drums while the guitar plucks out an almost reggae beat. A piano plunks along with Art Matthew’s gentle vocals, and you are wondering if this is really a Just Jinger track.

But then the chorus comes and the guitar starts to roar, Art start to growl and soar while the drums pound in that sort of laid back grunge style one associated with the Jingers. Looking back, it is becomes quite clear why Just Jinger went on to become so big. This is was a very strong track to feature on a debut album.

Where to find it:
All Comes RoundJust Jinger, BMG (1997), CDBSP 7011

Like You Madly – Just Jinger

Like You Madly – Just Jinger (Spice up your Like Life!)

Just Jinger - All Comes Round

Just Jinger - All Comes Round

Just Jinger were one of the biggest bands in South Africa during the late 90’s and early 00’s. With their grungy rock, they sparked with the public from their first album ‘All Comes Round’ and went on to tour with bands such as Counting Crows, U2 and Def Leppard.

One of the tracks off ‘All Comes Round’ was the popular ‘Like You Madly’. The song starts with a quiet refrain set against a bare guitar, but quickly builds to the thundering, yet catchy chorus that is largely responsible for its popularity. Art Matthews’ vocals soar and growl while drums pound and guitars howl and yelp in that special way that grunge guitars do.

One could say that the band lack commitment, but that would only be a comment on the lyric ‘I like you madly,’ which suggests that the singer cannot bring himself to admitting actually loving the person, but then, I guess that is part of the appeal of the song. The band later relocated to the US and changed the spelling of its name to Just Jinjer, but we will always have this wonderful gem to remember the start of something great.

Where to find it:

All Comes Round – Just Jinger (1997), Colossal, CDBSP 7011
Something For Now – Just Jinger (1998), Colossal, CDCLL 7020
Greatest Hits – Just Jinger (2001), BMG, CDCLL(CLM)7048
Lyrics:

You look to me like something new
And I wish that I could talk to you
But you seem tied up
So I’ll leave you
To make your mind up
Is it me or you
chorus(x2)
I like you madly, like you madly
All the same
I want you to take my
mind to someplace new
Perhaps not now I’m
not meant for you
Perhaps in time you’ll find a way
That I can call you
and see you again
chorus(x2)
Are you scared to look inside?
Are you scared to read my mind?
Are you scared of what you’ll find?
Don’t be scared, ‘cos I’m alright
I’m alright
chorus(x2)

(written by Art Matthews)

Video:

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