This is an excellent compilation of Ladysmith Black Mambazo's early material and an ideal place for beginners to start exploring the remarkable magic of the project. Ladysmith is a ten-man a cappella group that sings in a style generically known as "mbube." The group's sound is utterly unique, however, combining the choral music of the Christian church with Zulu rhythmic and harmonic traditions.
Ladysmith was formed in 1974 by lead singer Joseph Shabalala but remained largely unknown in the West until its participation on Paul Simon's GRACELAND in 1987. Some of Ladysmith's best material, however, was recorded before this time and can be found on the group's 20-odd South African releases. CLASSIC TRACKS gathers 14 of the finest cuts from these early releases, each one a gem showcasing Ladysmith's lilting arrangements, dense rhythmic interplay, and deep, rich harmonies. A cornerstone of any world music collection.