Love him or hate him, this list would not be complete without a Bles Bridges song. He was a huge star amonst the Afrikaans portion of the South African population and well known amongst the English speakers as well. His success was perhaps due in part to him singing in both languages.
Born in Viljoensdrift in the Free State, (with the name Lawrence John Gabriel Bridges), he began his professional career in the early 80s and by the time he died in 2000 (in a motor accident) he had shifted 2.5 million records and had outsold Frank Sinatra at Sun City.
‘I Am The Eagle You’re The Wind’ was one of his biggest hits. The song has soaring orchestration over which Bles, strong (almost operatic) voice floats in this uplifting pop song. It is the style of song that had a lot of popularity in the country and echoes of this can be heard in later Afrikaans songs by artists such as Juanita du Plessis, Kurt Darren and Die Campbells.
There used to be a joke that if you played Bles Bridges records backwards you got poitjiekos recipes, but Bles knew the recipe for success. You can’t really argue that an artist that shifted as many records as he did does not deserve to be on this list.
Where to find it:
Bles Bridges Se Grootste Treffers – Net Vir Jou (1994) Vat 5 Musiek, CDVAT6260