Africa She Too Can Cry
This classic album has now been released 4 times with 3 different track listings. It was first released in 1972 in South Africa by Hawk. It was then released in 1973 in Europe with a slightly different track list and credited to JoBurg Hawk. In 1998 (or thereabouts) an unofficial CD was released by the Never Never Land label in Japan with a different cover and track list. And in January 2004 Retrofresh released a CD of the European version with bonus tracks.
South Africa | Europe | Japan | Official CD | Singles
Original 1972 South African release
- Africa (Ornellas) [2.48]
- Dark Side Of The Moon (R Mackay) [2.54] Listen
- Predictions (Kahn/Ornellas) [5.15]
- The Rolling Of The Bones (R Mackay) [2.40] Listen
- Elegy For Eden (R Mackay) [2.34]
- War Talk (Kahn/Ornellas) [2.39]
- My Spear (R Mackay) [2.01]
- This Elephant Must Die (R Mackay) [3.00]
- The Return (Kahn) [2.41]
- White Bird Of Peace (Kahn/Ornellas) [3.28]
- Uvuyo (D Ornellas/M Kahn/R Mackay) [3.11]
listed as Jabula on inside sleeve
- Dave Ornellas: Vocals
- Mark "Spook" Kahn: Guitar
- Braam Malherbe: Drums
- Les "Jet" Goode: Bass
- Julian "Ipi" Laxton: Guitar
- Ivor Back: Drums
- Alfred "Ali" Lerfelo: African drums, vocals
- Billy "Knight" Mashigo: Percussion, vocals
- Audrey Motaung: Vocals, percussion
- Pete Kubheka: Vocals, percussion
1972, EMI Parlophone, PCSJ (D) 12087
'Predictions' is available on a Retrofresh compilation titled 'Astral Daze - Psychedelic South African Rock 1968-1972'. This CD features 18 classic, rare and obscure tracks (16 of which have never previously been released on official CDs before). This CD was compiled by Benjy Mudie and Brian Currin with major input from SA rock collector Tertius Louw.
Buy Hawk CDs from Fresh Music
The album cover was a gate-fold with the image actually sidewise. I've shown it here in the "wrong" position for better effect. Cover painting was by B. FunnÍll. The European album release has the same cover, but "Hawk" is replaced with "JoBurg Hawk".
Soest, the Netherlands
What is it that makes this album so special? To this reviewer Africa She Too Can Cry is a peerless South African rock album that still sounds as powerful today as it did when it was released back in 1972. It is the ultimate Afro-Rock album and I believe nothing else comes close.
Although this album has an extremely short total playing time, clocking it at just over 33 and a half minutes, the experience of listening to it all in one go, leaves the listener with a feeling of totally satisfied exhaustion. Only silence will do after hearing this record. The Doors' L.A. Woman is 15 minutes longer and Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother is a whopping 20 minutes longer than this, yet the record is absolutely full of superb music.
This album has everything going for it. Supplied in an arresting sleeve, with a full lyric sheet enclosed, it has 11 stunning songs, without a single weak spot in sight anywhere. The recorded sound is unmatched in any contemporary release and still stands proud as a model for a great sounding album to any generation.
Even when you become familiar with the record, you still feel at the end of every song "OK what's next? Oh yes the best track on the album". That's the only problem with Africa She Too Can Cry; every song is the standout masterpiece and the energy keeps you high during the entire listening time. Every song has a huge walloping goosebump moment when something awesome happens. Every track is the best track on the record! The songwriting and the arrangements are supreme.
The instrumentation is based around a telepathic rhythm trio consisting of drums, bass guitar and acoustic guitar. Sound familiar? That's why the Who's Pinball Wizard sounds so great. Nearly everywhere it sounds as if these three instruments are being played by a single brain. The accuracy and swing of this musical basis is a potent driving force that underpins the entire album magnificently. Surely this is one of the best rehearsed rock albums ever. And for a bass-player like myself, the album is a special treat. This is one of the few albums in my entire collection of which I could truly say that I can identify clearly every note that the bass played. The bass sounds phenomenal. But the other instruments also sound stunningly clear. The cymbals are recorded with all their brilliant ultra-high treble tones fully intact. And the voices are so clear you can hear the singers breathe.
The steam locomotive of a rhythm trio that powers Hawk, is further embellished by the unmistakable voice of Dave Ornellas, who sings as if he is possessed. He absolutely believes every word, and rants and raves about themes as diverse as poaching and pollution.
But that is not all. An incredible wash of colour is added by no less than four superb voices and an array of exciting percussion instruments. In fact the voices kick the album off with the enigmatic opening line "Once upon a time....there was a garden......". They are followed by a quiet folk-like intro of acoustic guitar and voice. But when the whole band kicks in, you just know nothing can go wrong in the next half hour.
So is that a recipe for a winning record? Surely yes? But Hawk went one step further still and added one of the most distinctive guitarists on the planet, Julian Laxton. With his patented Gibson/Spitfire/Hurricane sound he adds the weight to this ultimate afro-rock album. His guitar sound is given plenty of room in the mix and while the acoustic guitar is fairly dry and close up, sounding like it's right there in the room with you, the electric guitar sounds like it's somewhere in the stratosphere about to dive bomb the proceedings. Apart from devastating solo guitar work Julian Laxton also did the engineering for this milestone record. Lastly we shouldn't forget the contributions by several uncredited keyboard players. Big wide piano chords and morse-code organ add colour here and there.
So is there anything wrong with the album? Nope. Or perhaps we should say that there isn't a gentle ballad anywhere. But somehow you know when you start off, that you aren't going to be allowed to relax. This album is 33 and a half minutes of pure artistic energy. As the last notes die away you just sit there thinking "J.... what hit me?"
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