Long Walk to Freedom

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
The sound of this long-running South African choir is so familiar to listeners the world over that it borders on the cliché, and the trepidation accompanying Long Walk to Freedom is only heightened by the raft of guest stars trumpeted on the disc's cover. But unlike other veterans who have employed this tactic, Joseph Shabalala and his ethereal choir don't lose control over the album. For starters, it's something of a greatest-hits disc, with significant songs such as "Hello My Baby," "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes," and "Inkanyezi Nezazi" (a.k.a. the ketchup-commercial song) remade with new guest stars. And many of these collaborations are exciting; for example, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
The sound of this long-running South African choir is so familiar to listeners the world over that it borders on the cliché, and the trepidation accompanying Long Walk to Freedom is only heightened by the raft of guest stars trumpeted on the disc's cover. But unlike other veterans who have employed this tactic, Joseph Shabalala and his ethereal choir don't lose control over the album. For starters, it's something of a greatest-hits disc, with significant songs such as "Hello My Baby," "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes," and "Inkanyezi Nezazi" (a.k.a. the ketchup-commercial song) remade with new guest stars. And many of these collaborations are exciting; for example, the Pygmy vocalese of Zap Mama darting and out of the Xhosa and Zulu soft-shoe of the choir is a magical African encounter. Sarah McLachlan harmonizes on "Homeless" without stealing the spotlight from her hosts, a predictably graceful move on her part. "Mbube," better known in these parts as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," nods to its South African roots as well as its rock 'n' roll lineage in Ladysmith's version with Taj Mahal's vocals and guitar. Other voices on board include Melissa Etheridge, Emmylou Harris, and Natalie Merchant. Not every guest artist is as familiar -- South African stars also make appearances with Ladysmith. "Shosholoza" is a true Safropop summit, featuring jazz legend Hugh Masakela, singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela, and kwaito vocalist Thandiswa (of Bongo Maffin). You'd expect something great from this crew, and it's a classic, all right -- like the indomitable voices behind it.
All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
It was a collaboration with a famous American pop star that broke Ladysmith Black Mambazo as an international act in the mid-'80s, and on Long Walk to Freedom they enact a variation on the theme -- only in this case, the project is under their control and the American guests are an eclectic assortment of rock, folk, and pop musicians, who are also joined by pioneering Afro-European chanteuses Zap Mama and a veritable chorus of South African colleagues including Lucky Dube, Hugh Masakela, Thandiswa, and others. You're getting nervous now, and you're right: this is one of those projects that could easily go either way, and in fact it goes both ways. Natalie Merchant brings absolutely nothing of substance or consequence to "Rain Rain Beautiful Rain," nor does Sarah McLachlan contribute much to the group's rather desultory remake of "Homeless." The new version of "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" features Melissa Etheridge and Joe McBride, and is underwhelming until the end of the a cappella intro, at which point the band kicks in -- only it's not a band, it's Ladysmith singing all the instrumental parts, and it's electrifying. The Afro-pop summit meeting that is "Shosholoza" works nicely as well. But the album's best tracks are those on which the group sings by itself: "Nomathemba," the opening track, is one of the album's best, and leader Joseph Shabalala's solo "Thula Thula" ends the program on a very strong note. The disc adds a generous program of CD-ROM tracks including music videos for "Raise Your Spirit Higher" from their previous album and "Long Walk to Freedom." Imperfect, but recommended.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/24/2006
  • Label: Heads Up
  • UPC: 053361310929
  • Catalog Number: 3109

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Nomathemba (4:14)
  2. 2 Hello My Baby - Zap Mama (4:57)
  3. 3 Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes - Joe McBride (5:46)
  4. 4 Homeless - Sarah McLachlan (4:15)
  5. 5 Rain Rain Beautiful Rain - Natalie Merchant (3:05)
  6. 6 How Long (5:14)
  7. 7 Mbube (4:02)
  8. 8 Amazing Grace/Nearer My God to Thee (3:32)
  9. 9 Nkosi Sikelel 'Iafrica (2:29)
  10. 10 Inkanyezi Nezazi (Star and the Wiseman) (5:06)
  11. 11 Shosholoza - Bhekumuzi Luthuli (4:53)
  12. 12 Long Walk to Freedom (Halala South Africa) (5:18)
  13. 13 Thula Thula (4:23)
  14. 14 Bonus Material: Videos, Artist Profile
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ladysmith Black Mambazo Primary Artist
Lucky Dube Track Performer
Marie Daulne Vocals
Joseph Shabalala Leader, Musical Direction, Group Member
Abednego Mazibuko Group Member
Albert Mazibuko Group Member
Russel Mthembu Group Member
Vusi Mahlasela Track Performer
Sibongiseni Lucas Shabalala Group Member
Thulani Shabalala Group Member
Msizi Innocent Shabalala Group Member
Bhekumuzi Luthuli Track Performer
Technical Credits
Paul Simon Arranger, Composer
Charlie Skarbek Arranger
David Cole Engineer
James K. Lloyd Engineer
Dave Love Executive Producer, Talent Coordinator
David Luke Engineer
Buddy Miller Engineer
Lloyd Ross Engineer
Joseph Shabalala Arranger, Composer, Producer, Musical Director
Martin Walters Producer, Engineer, Mastering
Todd Vos Engineer
Solomon Linda Composer
Enoch Sontonga Composer
Traditional Composer
Mitch Goldstein Management, Talent Coordinator
Adam Hunt Creative Coordinator, Tour Manager
Doug Beal Engineer
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