1987's SHAKA ZULU was released in the wake of Ladysmith Black Mambazo's appearance on Paul Simon's GRACELAND album, which had brought the group a certain amount of attention in the United States. Ladysmith had already been recording and performing since the early '70s in their native South Africa, and SHAKA ZULU perfectly represented the unique blend of traditional Zulu music and Christian choral sounds they'd been perfecting throughout the course of their career. Still, SHAKA ZULU was a refinement of the group's distinct style: with Paul Simon in the producer's chair, and a Warner Brothers budget, Ladysmith made their most polished and beautifully crafted record up to that point. Also, the fact that many of the songs were in English further heightened their international appeal, which was already riding high on the success of GRACELAND. Overall, this is a very fine record, and one of Ladysmith's commercial high points.