The good news: The Indestructible Beat of Soweto, Vol. 1 is now available at eMusic — I can promise you it is well worth the 12 credits.  A must for Afro-pop enthusiasts, at twelve tracks, this is a concise measure of the pulse of the regional radio and clubs of Soweto in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Aesthetically, the impact this compilation alone had on Paul Simon’s Graceland is inestimable.  And, hey, just think how many people are borrowing from Graceland now….

MP3: Nelcy Sedibe :: Holotelani
MP3: Udokotela Shange Namajaha :: Awungilobolele
Amazon: The Indestructible Beat of Soweto – Various Artists

+ Download this comp from via eMusic’s 25 free MP3 no risk trial offer

8 Responses to “The Indestructible Beat of Soweto :: Volume One”

  1. For some reason I was thinking of this record the other day. Someone had brought it into the office i was working in around the time it was released, and i was blown away by the haunting sound. Thanks for the post.

  2. a friend peeped me to this a few weeks ago and it has been on ever since. sobabamba is my jam

  3. Yes please. Thank you.

  4. Wow. A friend of mine had this many eons ago. Or should I say: a friend of mine from many eons ago had this…he may still. Great stuff. Thanks,

  5. Good god, I bought this on vinyl years ago based only on wanting to own that cover. I hoped the music on the record would further justify the purchase. It did, and over the years it has become one of my favorite records. I had no idea it had other fans. So good to see this featured on your bloog.


  6. I think you’re wrong about the impact of this particular compilation on Graceland. True, Indestructible Beat was released the 1985 (the year before Graceland came out) but we also need to remember that Paul Simon travelled to Johannesburg in February 1985 to record what became the first Graceland sessions. Paul Simon actually credits a Gallo Records compilation/bootleg/mix-tape entitled Gumboots: Accordion Jive Hits, Volume II as Graceland’s seminal influence. He claims that he was given this cassette (featuring the Boyoyo Boys) in 1984 and describes tracking down featured musicians and reworking material on it for Graceland. Given the success of Graceland in 1986, I would have thought Accordion Jive Hits would have become sought after compendium but, strangely enough, the mysterious compilation/bootleg/mix-tape doesn’t seem to be out there (and I have yet to hear the original versions of the tracks Paul Simon reworked). Anyone? So, I would say that Graceland had an impact on Indestructible Beat rather than the other way around. My guess is that curious listeners in 1986 who went looking for the raw materials that Paul Simon constructed Graceland with (and I’m sure there were a few of them) found Indestructible Beat first…

  7. I have loads of South African music, but this album is still THE ONE. Something about the way it’s sequenced is just magical. The rooster sounds at the end of the second track you have here (which was the first track on the album) really brings me back to that time of discovery.

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