Mahotella Queens – Abelusi

• “Abelusi” set to a picture of the housing album cover.

7.5 “Great Africana from South Africa”

From their album “Ezesimanje” (Hit Special ‎IAL-3034) released in 1982.

This is another sourced from a Mahotella Queens LP download – always a joy – from the amazing Electric Jive blog.

On this set, produced by legendary guitarist Marks Mankwane, the Mahotella Queens are (L to R on the album cover): Beatrice Ngcobo, Maggie Khumalo, Emily Zwane (lead vocals), Hazel Zwane and Caroline Kapentar.

The core band line-up: Marks Mankwane (lead guitar); Mzwandile David (bass); Thamie Xongwana (keyboards) and Mike Stoffel (drums).

My two favourite tracks (“Bongani Mntanami” and “Malume”) are ineligible for thelastgreatrecord as they were already collected via compiles, but, not to worry, there is a 3rd great track on-board – “Abelusi” (“Shepherds”), penned by Caroline. I’m guessing this might be some sort of song of praise, and the great gospel-tinged vocals certainly do nothing to dispel this theory. Initial reservations about that dreaded early 80s yo-so-funky-bendy-bass are soon overcome as soon as the girls get going – the lead and the harmonies are glorious together, as I’ve long-since come to expect with brand Mahotella.

Download this album for free here.


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