Johnny Clegg & Savuka – Cruel, Crazy Beautiful World (1989)

FrontCover1 When South Africa was still suffering under the apartheid system in the 1980s, Johnny Clegg & Savuka was the last thing apartheid supporters wanted in a pop group. Their lyrics were often vehemently anti-apartheid, and apartheid supporters hated the fact that a half-black, half-white outfit out of South Africa was integrated and proud of it. Released in the U.S. at the end of the 1980s, Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World is among the many rewarding albums the band has recorded. Sting and the Police are a definite influence on Clegg & Savuka, who have absorbed everything from various African pop styles to Western pop, funk, rock, and reggae. The lyrics are consistently substantial and frequently sociopolitical — “Bombs Away” addresses the violence of the apartheid regime, while “Warsaw 1943” reflects on the horrors Eastern Europe experienced at the hands of both communists and fascists during World War II. Clegg and company enjoyed a passionate following at the time, and this fine CD proves that it was well deserved. (by Alex Henderson)

Derek De Beer (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Johnny Clegg (vocals, guitar, concertina, umhuphe mouth bow)
Mandisa Dlanga (vocals)
Keith Hutchinson (keyboards, saxophone, background vocals)
Solly Letwaba (bass, background vocals)
Steve Mavuso (keyboards, background vocals)
Dudu Zulu (percussion, dance)
Alex Acuña (percussion)
John Baxter (background vocals)
Benn Clatworthy (saxophone)
Tom Regis (keyboards)
Hilton Rosenthal (keyboards, background vocals)
Howard Shear (trumpet)
Bobby Summerfield (keyboards,drum programming, electronic percussion)
Roy Wigan (trumpet)


01. One (Hu)’ Man One Vote (Clegg/Summerfield) 4.44
02. Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World (Clegg) 4.25
03. Jericho (Clegg) 4.17
04. Dela (I Know Why the Dog Howls at the Moon) (Clegg)
05. Moliva (Clegg)
06. It’s an Illusion (Clegg)
07. Bombs Away (Clegg)
08. Woman Be My Country (Clegg)
09. Rolling Ocean (Clegg/Mavuso)
10. Warsaw 1943 (I Never Betrayed The Revolution) (Clegg)
11. Vezandlebe (Clegg) 4.04