The Best Of (Remaster) Miriam Makeba
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- 1The Click Song02:30
- 2Willow Song (From Othello)02:45
- 5Into Yam02:40
- 6Sunrise, Sunset (From the Broadway Musical Fiddler On the Roof)02:40
- 8Iya Guduza02:08
- 9Little Boy03:22
- 11Langa More02:20
Info for The Best Of (Remaster)
Excellent compilation from the most important female vocalist to emerge out of South Africa. She originally came to prominence with the Manhattan Brothers before leaving to play with her own all-female group the Skylarks. In 1958 she took on the female lead in the self-styled Jazz opera ' King Kong' which electrified both black and white audiences with its rough township story and made a star of Miriam.At the height of her fame, however, Miriam left South Africa for America. There she quickly re-established her career but her outspoken views on apartheid and subsequent marriage to black activist Stokeley Carmichael greatly irritated the South African government who revoked her citizenship and right to return to her homeland. With the collapse of apartheid and the election of Nelson Mandela, however, Miriam Makeba returned to South Africa in 1990 and played her first concert there in 30 years in 1991.This is an essential selection from South Africa's most important female vocalist. It includes her most celebrated songs 'Pata Pata' and 'The Click Song'.
„Although this compilation is very good, the documentation is vague -- only a few dates are given for the 25 tracks, let alone original label info. What's for sure is that everything is from the mid-'50s to the mid-'70s. On many of the earlier cuts in the sequence, you can tell that the recordings almost certainly date from the 1950s and/or early '60s. As Makeba is not the sole singer on some of these, they presumably are drawn from her recordings as a member of groups, possibly all of them being from her stint in the Manhattan Brothers. (Really, it's true: more exact liner notes do help reviewers more effectively inform their readers!) Regardless, these earlier tracks are a nice blend of South African folk music with American jazz, pop, and even doo wop-influenced songwriting, arrangements, and harmonies. Makeba sounds at her best, though, on cuts that emphasize the indigenous South African elements, like 'Umquokozo' and 'Pata Pata'; the propulsive 'Kilimanjaro' is the best thing on the disc, really giving her a chance to hang loose and uninhibited. A few of the final songs on the CD, presumably dating from the 1970s, are not as exciting due to the slicker, more funkified production, though Makeba still sings well on those.“ (Richie Unterberger, AMG)
Died at the age of 76 on the 9th of November 2008 while on tour in Naples. In a career that spanned over 50 years. she began singing with the Manhattan Brothers, a traditional jazz, rag-time band that played to an exclusively black audience during the apartheid era in South Africa. She later formed the all female Skylarks. In 1959, she took the lead in the huge Broadway hit, King Kong, and received the chance to emigrate to the USA, when she was offered the star role in the anti-apartheid documentary 'Come Back Africa' in 1959 by independent filmmaker Lionel Rogosin.
Anti-Apartheid campaigning had always been a big part of Miriam's life and while in America she released an album with Harry Belafonte called 'An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba'. The album dealt with the problems black people suffered under apartheid. The album received a Grammy for 'Best folk recording'.
Because of her Anti-Apartheid campaigning, her South African passport and citizenship had been revoked by the South African Government. She had gained honorary citizenship in many countries after testifying against apartheid before the United Nations in 1963. She caused controversy in 1968 when she married political rights activist Stokely Carmichael, this resulted in all of her tours and record deals being cancelled in the USA. This resulted in her touring in Africa, Europe and South America from then on. She returned to South Africa in 1990 and since then made many film and TV appearances such as the film 'Sarafina!' and the documentary 'Amandla!'.
One of her most recent albums 'Homeland' was nominated for a Grammy. Her final tour was in support of an Italian writer Roberto Saviano in his campaign against the mafia-like organization Camorra. Mariam Suffered a heart attack after the gig and doctors were unable to revive her. She died standing for justice just like she had all of her life. Miriam helped bring African music to a global audience in the 1960s, and her music continues to play an important role in the growth of African music.
As well as Grammy nominations her lifetime achievements included many awards such as the 'Dag Hammarskjöld Peace Prize' in 1986, 'Otto Hahn Peace Medal' by the United Nations, and was voted 38th in the 100 Great South Africans in 2004.
This album contains no booklet.