1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “3rd Ear Music”

Master Jack – David Marks

Hidden Years - David Marks

Hidden Years – David Marks

Sometimes it’s better to have someone else sing the songs you write and when you listen to David Marks working his way through this classic tune that he penned you can’t help yearing for the flowery pop of the Four Jacks and the beautiful voice of Jill (Glenys Lynne). However, there is something strange, strange and alluring about this version which can be found on David Marks’ album ‘The Hidden Year’.

He slows the song down, dismisses that lovely plucked guitar work and replaces it with a lush orchestration and electric guitar. It must also be said that Marks does not have the best singing voice (but better than some that have committed their voice to vinyl – Anneline Kriel springing immediately to mind) and he puts emphasis on words in what I would regard as strange, strange places.

Despite all this, Marks’ version is interesting as it gives one an insight into perhaps how the song originally sounded in his mind and its not often you get to hear this where the artist who had a hit with a song is not the one who wrote it. And here we get the idea that this song was about the beauty of the world around us, not only from the lyrics, but from the way Marks sings and arranges this version. There is a sense of a person in a beautiful landscape, with a wide sky full of stars above them, slowly swirling round to take it all in. There is a depth to this version that Four Jacks and A Jill’s one never had. Both are great tracks to listen to, Four Jacks for those frivolous moments when you don’t feel like deeper feelings, but just want to be happy, and Marks’ version for when you want to sit back and contemplate life, the universe and everything.

Where to find it:
David Marks – The Hidden Years – Songs from 1964 to 1994, 3rd Ear Music, 3eM CD 003

The Leopard (Ingwe) – Nyanga

Inside The Night – Nyanga

Inside The Night – Nyanga

Nyanga was a group formed by Paul Clingman and featured Aaron Friedman, Martin Mitchell and George Spenser . Their album ‘Inside The Night’ was produced by Emil Zogbhy and was released in 1977. It was largely ignored at the time, but in 1983, The Leopard (Ingwe) crept into the Radio 702 charts, staying a week at number 20 before disappearing into oblivion again.

This bouncy, reggae-tinged song should have had some more exposure. At first I thought it was perhaps the last few lines that hint at a little bit of political awareness that made the government-run radio stations shy away from it, but then realised that the copy of the album I have was ex-SABC stock and the track has a little arrow next to it to indicate that it’s the one to play. This is in contrast to some other ex-SABC albums I have which have ‘avoid’ next to some songs.

Very little of the music that has the 3rd Ear Music stamp on it made it anywhere near the mainstream. Nyanga’s ‘success’ on the 702 charts while having that mark, makes it an exception to that rule and quite possibly the greatest achievement of anything from the 3rd Ear stable.

Released 1977, hit in 1983.

Where to find it:

Inside The Night – Nyanga (1977), Heads, HEDL 5598 (Out of print vinyl)

Lyrics:

Ingwe iqubile – the leopard is crouching

Buck by the water senses touching air
You’re in the world – not one of them knows where

Circle of fire night has you in control
Streamers of blood in the water hole

Ingwe iqubile
Speed is with you, surprise your other friend
Behind the wind begins another’s end
Ingwe iqubile

Dark is the grass of the sun between the leaves
toward the hooves the thread of drying weaves

Circle of fire night has you in control
Streamers of blood in the water hole

Ingwe iqubile
Young or the old or the ignorant of luck
Last light of day sees the leopard choose  his buck
Ingwe iqubile

Flanks in the sand – eyes turn into a cloud
Dissolving in the bronze wind – disavowed

Ingwe iqubile
Letter from home says we are free to choose
I read the papers I understand the news
Ingwe iqubile

Circle of fire night has you in control
Streamers of blood in the water hole

Ingwe iqubile

(Written by: Paul Clingman)

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