September 3, 2021

Zimbabwe Frontline – Various Artists
Earthworks, Virgin Records 1988

All Zimbabwean Music

01 – Thomas Mapfumo – Pidigori
02 – Four Brothers – Rudo imoto
03 – Jonah Moyo and Devera Ngwena – Ndatambura newe
04 – Zexie Manatsa and the Green Arrows – Muti usina zita
05 – Oliver Mutukudzi – Ndanga ndabaiwa
06 – Patrick Mkwamba and the Four Brothers – Emeriya usanyengedzwe
07 – Susan Mapfumo and the Black Salutarys – Dzvoko
08 – Robson Banda and the New Black Eagles – Nyimbo yakwasu
09 – Jonah Moyo and Devera Ngwena – Taxi driver
10 – Lovemore Majaivana – Kuleliyanizwe
11 – The Real Sounds – Non-aligned movement
12 – Master Chivero – Vapanduki


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  1. Ian Franey 5 September 2021 at 00:37 - Reply

    I have always enjoyed these old earthworks compilations. In many ways they got things rolling for enticing new ears to broaden their horizons and plumb new genres.

    • Moos 5 September 2021 at 07:46 - Reply

      You’re a good man Ian,
      always sharing your thoughts
      on our topics, we need
      more people like you ..

  2. Stefan 5 September 2021 at 13:38 - Reply

    I can only agree with Ian Franey. This compilation used to be a door opener in those days, when information about African music was sparse and also records and cassettes only popped up on very small scale. Since the arrival of the internet, discogs and music blogs too things have changed very much. You can nowadays just go to discogs, type the artists name into the search field and you get more information in many cases with one additional click and even the opportunity to buy an original record or cassette with only a few clicks more. But does that mean that compilations like this one featured here are worthless or even meaningless? I would say no!

    It is a historical document of the dispersion of African pop music to Western European audiences in the 1980s. And from my point of view it is one of Earthworks best compilations. It introduces us to a relatively wide range of local artists and pop music styles of the 1980s. It has the big boys, like Thomas Mapfumo or Oliver Mutukudzi, but also rising new stars like Susan Mapfumo & The Black Salutarys. Robson Banda & The New Black Eagles introduce us to Malawian migrant workers music in Zimbabwe. The CD featured by Moos here, has even three tracks more than the LP version (the LP has only 9 tracks), featuring even a bit more diversity from Zimbabwe’s pop music of the 1980s. The liner notes of the CD and LP are simply the same. But the CD version seem to have skipped the translation of the song lyrics as far as I can see. This compilation is also valuable as a point of reference to recapture what music and artists were hip in Zimbabwe in the 1980s. And the compilation is still accessible and affordable in terms of price. The only shortcoming of the compilation is the limited outreach in terms of information about the artists, their music styles, the live show places and the music industry in Zimbabwe in general. We knew only very little at best at that time.

    I still come back to my Earthworks LP once in a while. Thank you very much Moos for having posted the CD. Now I can also listen to the three additional tracks which are not part of the LP.

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