1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Engelbert Humperdinck”

Home Isn’t Home Anymore – Alan Garrity

Home Isn’t Home Anymore – Alan Garrity

Home Isn’t Home Anymore – Alan Garrity

‘Home Isn’t Home Anymore’ was Alan Garrity’s 3rd song to make the Springbok Top 20. He had seen ‘Put Your Hand In The Hand’, his first top 20 hit, go to number 1, and then his second hit, ‘I Need Someone’, spent 33 weeks in the charts and that was an all time record for weeks in the top 20 (a few other songs broke this record but did so by adding weeks from time spent in positions 21 – 30 once the charts were extended to a top 30).

So ‘Home Isn’t Home Anymore’ had a lot to live up to. Sadly for Alan Garrity, it would not fare as well as its predecessors, but still spent a very respectable 16 weeks on the charts and peaked at 5.

In a way, one could say that Alan Garrity was the Engelbert Humperdinck of the South African music scene of the early 70’s as not only did he have an impressive chart record (as did Engelbert, his first 7 hits went top 5 in the UK and included 2 number 1’s) but Alan’s style was very similar – big songs with a grand orchestral sound underpinning a strong vocal that soars on the chorus. And this is what you get with ‘Home Isn’t Home Anymore’ which fits perfectly into this formula. It has the strings, the building chorus and the almost simple waltz like time to the rhythm.

It would have made a good song for the first dance at a wedding reception back then, except for the fact that the lyrics are about a love that has left with the man pining for the return of his (presumably) wife. Perhaps if one had a divorce reception, this may have been the track to have the first dance to.

Where to find it:
Yesterday’s Best Vol 2, 1995, Teal, MORCD536


She’s A Woman – Neil Herbert

She’s A Woman - Neil Herbert

She’s A Woman – Neil Herbert

It would be worrying if this song was entitled ‘He’s A Woman’, as that would have meant that Boy George would have recorded it and we would not be able to lay claim to this love song, which gently swings back and forth, a bit like lying in a hammock, enjoying a beautiful sunset and sipping on a cocktail.

The song was written by Eddie Storbeck and would spent 22 weeks in the Springbok top 20, spending 31 January 1975 at number 1. Neil Herbert had been in the band The Attraction (remember ‘Scooby Dooby Dum Dum Day’) and he brings a sort of Elvis-y croon to the verses, then soaring into a smooth Engelbert Humperdinck-ness on the choruses. Sadly, Neil is no longer with us, but there seem to be 2 versions of how he died. The Chilvers/Jaisukowicz book, ‘History Of Contemporary Music Of South Africa’ says he died in a plane crash in 1979 while someone on the Youtube video of the song says he was a family friend and took his own life because he could not cope with his arthritis.

‘She’s My Woman’ should not be confused with Alan Garrity’s ‘She’s My Woman’ which appeared on the scene in the August of 1975. It is possible that Garrity (who penned his own hit) enjoyed Herbert’s song so much that he wanted to lay claim to this woman that Herbert sang of with so much passion. Whether this is the case or not, you should take Herbert’s woman to heart and enjoy the song.

Where to find it
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 1 (1994) GMP, CDGMPD 40485 (CD)


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