1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Sweat Band”

Coming Home – Wendy Oldfield

The Best Of - Wendy Oldfield

The Best Of – Wendy Oldfield

After the demise of The Sweatband (remember their hit, ‘This Boy’), charismatic lead singer, Wendy Oldfield (no relation to Mike as far as I know) struck out on her own, firstly with an album called ‘Beautiful World’ (in 1991) and while it is a good album, it does suffer a little from being a product of its time, sounding like a lot of the popular music of the late 80’s early 90’s akin to Lisa Stansfield and the like.

However, roll on a few years to 1999 and along came ‘On A Pale Blue Dot’. With the opening track, ‘Coming Home’, Wendy sounds like a different artist. Gone is the rock pop of The Sweatband, gone is the house/dance music sound of ‘Beautiful World’. This has been replaced by a sleek and seductive sound of a matured musician. There is a prowling cat like feel to the song as it lures you into an exotic web of pleasure and mystique. There is a funky guitar which threads a feline route through a jazzy and laid back drum beat that drags you by the collar, like a sexy woman in a film, pulling a seductee to a place of hidden pleasures.

But before you can get too carried away by the music, your attention is grabbed by a voice that is slightly breathless, completely alluring and downright sultry. You are now completely hooked and give yourself over to this underworld of pleasure. There is a slight Middle Eastern feel to the track which has one conjuring up images of dimly lit cafés complete with belly dancers, oil lamps and a heady fog of mystery and intrigue. Then, just as you are comfortable with the hypnotic repetition of ‘Coming home/I’m coming home’, the song suddenly bursts into a heavier rock track and Oldfield’s vocals move from the seductive to raunchy rock.

‘Coming Home’ marked the maturing a of a remarkable local talent and producing some of her finest material. It is possibly one of the sexiest songs to come out of South Africa.

Where to find it:
The Best Of – Wendy Oldfield (2007) Universal, STIFPCD042


Acid Rain – Wendy Oldfield

Acid Rain – Wendy Oldfield

Acid Rain – Wendy Oldfield

Acid rain is not good for the planet. According to Wikipedia, ‘Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it has elevated levels of hydrogen ions (low pH). It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals and infrastructure.’ But you can’t always rely on what you read on Wikipedia now can you. Because if your acid rain of choice happens to be this little masterpiece by Wendy ‘she of Sweatband fame’ Oldfield it won’t be as destructive. In fact it is designed to counteract the effects of the rain Wikipedia refers to.

Appearing on her 1999 album, ‘On A Pale Blue Dot’, this ‘Acid Rain’ has a haunting quality to it that is somewhat apocalyptic. It drags emptiness and desertion in its wake as it ploughs a lone furrow across a descimated landscape. The echo-ey music wraps a cold hand around Wendy’s troubled vocals while a heartbeat beep runs through the song like a delicious Chinese drip torture.

And this is all strangely beautiful. It has a pulse that thobs to a sultry rhythm. It burrows itself into your mind, causing your complete surrender to the dark landscape it conjures up. This is quite different to the Sweatband stuff. It’s not rocky and poppy. It’s serious and seductive. The end of the world never sounded so good.

Where to find it:
On A Pale Blue Dot – Wendy Oldfield (1999), Scorpio, SMSPCD819


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