Joseph Shabalala's Ladysmith Black Mambazo, founded in 1960, is a
South African vocal group that specializes in the a-cappella harmonies called "mbube" (and its more refined version "isicathamiya") that originated in the golden mines of South Africa. The early albums focused on call-and-response structures, also derived from church songs: Umthombo Wamanzi (1982), released in the west in 1988 and their most religious work, Induku Zethu (1984), Ulwandle Oluncgwele (1985), which is possibly their best. Inala (1986) is an anthology of their hits revisited for the western market. The music became more accessible and less African on the trilogy produced by Paul Simon: Shaka Zulu (1987), Journey of Dreams (1988) and Two Worlds One Heart (1990), possibly the best of the three. They returned to their roots with the austere and purely vocal Liph' Iquiniso (1994) for seven voices, but the "western" trend continued with Thuthukani Ngoxolo (1996), Heavenly (1997), with a cast of American country and blues vocalists, and Raise Your Spirit Higher - Wenyukela (2003).
They re-recorded their classics on Long Walk To Freedom (2006).
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