Posted in Playlists, South African Music, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? Soul Dance!

Soul Dance
Soul Dance
SOUL DANCE [South Africa 1968] Expanded, feat Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Flames

This mix is based on an album released in 1968, in South Africa only. The first 16 tracks of this mix are the original album in their original order; the next 16 are songs with a similar vibe.

Track List

1. Soul Finger – The Bar-Kays
2. Soul Man – Sam & Dave
3. Shake – Otis Redding
4. Respect – Aretha Franklin
5. It’s Wonderful – The Young Rascals
6. Funky Broadway – Wilson Pickett
7. Mr Soul – Buffalo Springfield
8. Tramp – Otis Redding & Carla Thomas
9. In The Midnight Hour – Wilson Pickett
10. I Can’t Turn You Loose – Otis Redding
11. Baby I Love You – Aretha Franklin
12. Hip Hug-Her – Booker T & The MG’s
13. Knock On Wood – Eddie Floyd
14. A Girl Like You – The Young Rascals
15. Stag-O-Lee – Wilson Pickett
16. What’d I Say – Ray Charles
17. Time Is Tight – Booker T & The MG’s
18. Having A Party – Sam Cooke
19. Sweet Soul Music – Arthur Conley
20. Dance To The Music – Sly & The Family Stone
21. Show Me – Joe Tex
22. Hold On I’m Coming – The Flames
23. Love Man – Otis Redding
24. I’m A Midnight Mover – The Invaders
25. Restless – The Flames
26. I Say A Little Prayer – Aretha Franklin
27. Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
28. Land Of 1000 Dances – The Dream Merchants
29. I’ve Never Found A Girl – Eddie Floyd
30. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Una Valli & The Flames
31. Just One Look – Doris Troy
32. Suikerbossie – The Peanut Butter Conspiracy

More info at: Discogs

Posted in Music Research, My Favourite SA Songs, Reviews and Interviews, Sleeve Notes & Biographies, South African Music, Videos, What Am I Listening To?

Radio Rats – ZX Dan

Radio Rats – Into The Night We Slide
Radio Rats – ZX Dan
Radio Rats – ZX Dan

‘ZX Dan’, the album’s opening track, is a wonderful piece of new wave space-rock whose similar lyrical theme is a nod to David Bowie‘s 1972 smash hit, ‘Starman’. The song was also inspired by the 1977 Stephen Spielberg film ‘Close Encounters Of The 3rd Kind‘, and has a more polished production than the rest of the album, which is a closer reflection of the band’s raw live energy.

‘ZX Dan’ is still considered one of South Africa’s greatest pop rock songs of all time. In “The SA Rock Digest/Amuzine End Of The Century Big Vote” held at the end of 1999, ‘ZX Dan’ received the second most number of votes in the “All time favourite SA song” category, just behind Bright Blue’s classic, ‘Weeping’.

‘ZX Dan’ was released as a single (backed by ‘Rocking’) and it entered the Radio 5 (now 5FM) charts at number 15 on New Year’s Eve 1978. The song implores the listener to “turn up your radio, and play me that rock and roll”, and it seems that is exactly what the public did. The song scuttled up the charts until peaking at No. 2 on 28 January 1979, where it stayed for two weeks. It was kept off the cherished No. 1 spot by Michael Jackson.

The original album version of ‘ZX Dan’ featured a brilliant, lengthy play-out guitar solo by Jonathan Handley, but sadly this was edited on the single version, which later appeared on the ‘Best Of SA Pop Volume 2‘ CD.

All the songs on ‘Into The Night We Slide’ were generally written by Handley in the Wimpy Bar, The Palladium, and a café in Springs. The album contains references to some very weird and wonderful characters and places, based on his observations of life in this East Rand town. ‘Plague Cafe’ is about a real place on 3rd Street and ‘A Visit To The Cinema’ is a reference to the old movie house ‘The Palladium’.


My name is ZX Dan, I am a spaceman.
My galaxy is doomed, so I’ve moved to your moon.
So turn up your radio, and play me that rock and roll,
Stop feeling so blue – I’m coming down to you.

I’ve watched you on my screen, you’re sweet, sweet sixteen
I’ve monitored your mind, You’re just the loving kind…
So turn up your radio, and play me that rock and roll,
Stop feeling so blue – I’m coming down to you.

Meet me tonight at your window;
Dress warmly for absolute zero
And I’ll come down as quiet as the snow
And we’ll go for a glide in my U.F.O.

The whole of outer space, is tuned into the human race
From pole to frozen pole, your world transmits rock & roll
So turn up your radio, and play me that rock and roll,
Stop feeling so blue – I’m coming down to you.

Written by Jonathan Handley 12 April 1978

Die Lemme – ZX Dan feat Radio Rats, released 10 October 2013

Radio Rats Family Tree
Radio Rats Family Tree | Brian Currin, November 2002


Posted in Music Research, Playlists, South African Music, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? Radio Youth!

Radio Youth
Radio Youth

A mix of South African Punk, Ska & New Wave tunes from 1978 to 1982.

RADIO YOUTH feat Radio Rats, Wild Youth, Asylum Kids, Flash Harry, National Wake, Peach, The News


1. Radio Youth – Wild Youth
2. Rock ‘n Roll – Illegal Gathering
3. Bokkie Bokkie – David Kramer
4. Schoolboy – Asylum Kids
5. South African In Paris – The Safari Suits
6. International News – National Wake
7. Nightmare – Peach
8. No Football – Flash Harry
9. Wot ‘Bout Me – Wild Youth
10. Law And Order – Radio Rats
11. Goddess – Corporal Punishment
12. Tudor Convertible – The News
13. School Kids – The Gents
14. Reaction Man – Gay Marines
15. Fight It With Your Mind – Asylum Kids
16. Rock ‘n Rolls Royce – Corporal Punishment
17. Button Your Lip – Illegal Gathering
18. Stuff Your Strut – The News
19. Pieces – The Safari Suits
20. A Lot Of Things – Peach
21. National Hero – Illegal Gathering
22. Station Road Rhythm – The News
23. Machines – Dog Detachment
24. No, No, No, No – Asylum Kids
25. Crazy Caroline – Radio Rats
26. Shock Time For Rock – The Popguns
27. Shame On You – Flash Harry
28. All Messed Up – Wild Youth
29. Why? – Dog
30. So Cold – Hotline
31. Iron Vest – Gay Marines

More about most of these bands can be found on The South African Rock Encyclopedia

Please also take a listen to:

OLD PUNK FOR NEW EARS [2005] feat The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Blondie, The Ramones, Peach, Buzzcocks

Punk Rock, as I know it, started in 1976 with the Sex Pistols and ended a couple of years later when everyone went New Wave. The so-called “Godfathers of Punk” were the late ’60s/early ’70s American bands, The Velvet Underground, the MC5, the New York Dolls (more glam, than punk though) and The Stooges with Iggy Pop. They in turn had been infused by the spirit of the ’60s ‘Garage Rock’ movement which said that anybody could make music, no matter how little talent or skill you had.
Read more

Brian Currin, February 2007

Posted in Music Research, Playlists, Videos, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? Eric Clapton!

Eric Clapton – Born Under A Bad Sign

I loved Eric Clapton’s Blues tribute album “From The Cradle” when it came out in 1994.

This recently released cover of Albert King’s “Born Under A Born Sign” was from those sessions, and features on a new box set compilation “The Complete Reprise Studio Albums Vol. 1“.

Clapton had previously covered this song with Cream on the Wheels Of Fire album in 1968.

Albert King – Born Under A Bad Sign
Cream – Born Under A Bad Sign


Eric Clapton – Roots & Branches on the Vagabond Jazz & Blues Show – Wednesday, 24 May 2017
ROCK LEGENDS: ERIC CLAPTON [1964 to 1986] feat Cream, The Yardbirds, John Mayall, Blind Faith
ROUGH GUIDES: ERIC CLAPTON feat Cream, Blind Faith, Robert Johnson, Leroy Carr, Bukka White
Posted in Cover Art, Playlists, South African Music, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? Hammerhead Hotel!

Everything we do is psychotic… – Nielen Mirror, 1985

Hammerhead Hotel | photo: Michael Currin

A mix of South African tunes, inspired by the title track off the Falling Mirror album.

Hammerhead Hotel

Track List

1. Bus Station – Fly Paper Jet
2. Hammerhead Hotel – Falling Mirror
3. Alison – Dolly Rockers
4. Getting Better – Scabby Annie
5. Shock Time For Rock – The Popguns
6. Morrison Hotel – Jack Hammer
7. Werewolf In The House – Falling Mirror
8. Kamikasi – McCully Workshop
9. Mucking About In The Dungeons All Day – Radio Rats
10. Monster From The Bog – Psycho Reptiles
11. Bellville Rock City – New World Inside
12. Psycho Bitch – Toxic Shame
13. Boxstar Kitty – Three Bored White Guys
14. Blue Eyed Devil – Th’ Damned Crows
15. Psycho-Babble – Lancaster Band
16. Britney Spears – Tweak
17. Babydoll Blues – The Ragdolls
18. Psycho – Them Tornados
19. Woo Hoo! – Fire Through The Window
20. Baby Girl You’re Gonna Burn! – Peachy Keen
21. Drakilla – The Psykotix
22. Surfin’ With The Goth Gang – Martin Rocka And The Sick Shop
23. Krokodil – Retro Dizzy
24. Buccaneer – Moyawetu
25. Beethoven Is Dying – Koos Kombuis En Die Warmblankes
26. Only Yesterday – Sharkbrother
27. Boomtown Hotel – Valiant Swart
28. Kitchener – Piet Botha
29. Praha Paradise (2007 version) – Ernestine Deane feat Tim Parr
30. Die Gipsy In Jou Oë – Anna Davel
31. Farewell To Gypsy – Bonekey

Posted in South African Music, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? The Invaders!

The Invaders - There's A Light There's A Way
The Invaders – There’s A Light There’s A Way


  1. There’s A Light There’s A Way
  2. Turn On The Sun
  3. Ocean Of Peace
  4. Astral III
  5. Astral II including excerpts from The Kinks’ You Really Got Me and Sly & The Family Stones’ I Want To Take You Higher
  6. Second Coming
  7. I Need You
  8. You Can’t Always Get What You Want (The Rolling Stones cover)

    Bonus tracks on 2010 CD re-issue
  9. Born On The Bayou
  10. Painter Man
The Invaders – There’s A Light There’s A Way


  • Joey Moses: lead guitar, vocals
  • Errol Gobey: rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Johnny Burke: bass
  • Dave Burke: drums
  • Spewy Pillay: organ
  • Lionel Petersen: vocals

Release information:

1971, MvN, MVC 3512
August 2010, Fresh Music, freshcd173

Pointing The Way
[sleeve notes from 2010 re-issue]

The rise of The Invaders to the pinnacle of South African pop and rock stardom can be traced directly to the 1961 Cliff Richard & The Shadows tour in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. After seeing the show twenty one year old John Burke confidently declared “I was born for show business and someday I’ll be famous like The Shadows” – these would be prophetic words. Armed with a battered guitar he formed his first group called The Astronauts, the first pop band in Uitenhage but after several live dates that band splintered. Undeterred John and guitarist Errol Gobey continued in various groups including an embryonic Invaders before settling on the classic line up of John Burke-bass; Joe Moses-lead guitar ; Errol Gobey – guitar and Dave Burke – drums in 1963.

Over the next 3 years The Invaders proceeded to play every ‘session’, ‘school hop’ dance party and talent competition available, often thrashing the opposition bands. Word of mouth about their energetic live performances and in 1967 they released their debut album “Two sides of The Invaders” which rapidly achieved gold status. In December of that year they released the “Shockwave” single (also available on the “Astral Daze 2” compilation) – a seminal, fuzz drenched guitar workout that seemed to pre-empt the coming psychedelic revolution. This track climbed the South African charts peaking at No.10 and earning them a gold disc – “the “Shockwave” single and album was a huge success” recounts Gobey, “we toured the whole country and according to the media The Invaders were South Africa’s top band”. This success is confirmed by the band’s fan club which at it’s peak had over 50,000 members, rivalling that of The Beatles and Rolling Stones. Another two successful albums, “One more time” and “New image” were released before the band embarked on a European tour. Hassled by red tape and permit problems but inspired by the rock explosion in the countries that they played in, the band returned to South Africa with a new vision and direction for the next album.

Now joined by vocalist Lionel Petersen and organist Rodger Pillay they entered the studio to record “There’s a light, there’s a way”. Gone were the guitar driven pop instrumentals and light pop tunes of previous years and in it’s place was a more contemporary sound, incorporating elements of funk, prog rock and psychedelic soul. “Turn on the sun”, with it’s layered vocal harmonies manages to bridge the divide between early ’70s soul and pop whilst the funky “Ocean of peace” wouldn’t be out of place on a Rare Earth album; awash with swirling Hammond and driving guitar work the pastoral “Astral III” is the perfect counterfoil to the Grand Funk-like “Astral II”. With a nod to The Kinks’ “You really got me” the stomping riff of “I need you’ is the platform for Joe’s searing guitar solo. Tackling a Stones classic like “You can’t always get what you want” is a daunting task for any band but The Invaders ‘soulify’ the tunes with soaring vocals, funky piano/organ lines and some jazzy flute making it one of the best covers in rock history. The original album is boosted by the inclusion of two bonus tracks; a raw version of Creedence’s “Born on the bayou” and an earlier psych tune “Painter Man”.

With the long overdue release of “There’s a light, there’s a way”, The Invaders rightfully take their place alongside other shining lights in the rock firmament like Freedoms Children, Otis Waygood, Hawk, Suck and Abstract Truth.

Benjy Mudie
May 2010


Posted in Charts, Cover Art, South African Music, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? Pop Shop Gold!

64 Number One Hits from 1972 to 1983.

POP SHOP GOLD [South Africa 1984] feat Nazareth, Suzi Quatro, Kool & The Gang, Diana Ross, Kiss

Track List

1. Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
2. I Love Rock ‘n Roll – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
3. The Peacemaker – Albert Hammond
4. Place In Your Heart – Nazareth
5. Kiss You All Over – Exile
6. She’s In Love With You – Suzi Quatro
7. Dancing In The City – Marshall Hain
8. Drop The Pilot – Joan Armatrading
9. Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk – Dr Hook
10. You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet – Bachman-Turner Overdrive
11. I Was Made For Loving You – Kiss
12. Urgent – Foreigner
13. Every Breath You Take – The Police
14. It’s A Heartache – Bonnie Tyler
15. Free Me – Uriah Heep
16. Shaddup Your Face – The Joe Dolce Music Theatre
17. Down Under – Men At Work
18. Get Down On It – Kool & The Gang
19. Upside Down – Diana Ross
20. Just An Illusion – Imagination
21. Sun Of Jamaica – Goombay Dance Band
22. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
23. I Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash
24. I Don’t Wanna Dance – Eddy Grant
25. Rise – Herb Alpert
26. Never Never Never – Shirley Bassey
27. When Will I See You Again – The Three Degrees
28. Daddy Cool – Boney M
29. Devil Woman – Cliff Richard
30. Loving Arms – Dobie Gray
31. Lucille – Kenny Rogers
32. Words – F R David

POP SHOP GOLD Vol 2 [South Africa 1985] feat Blondie, Toto, Bee Gees, ABBA, Bonnie Tyler, Smokie

Track List

1. Total Eclipse Of The Heart – Bonnie Tyler
2. Rosanna – Toto
3. Can You Feel It – The Jacksons
4. We Kill The World (Don’t Kill The World) – Boney M
5. Shaddup Your Face – The Joe Dolce Music Theatre
6. Man On The Moon – Ballyhoo
7. So You Win Again – Copperfield
8. If You Think You Know How To Love Me – Smokie
9. Run To Me – Bee Gees
10. Le Freak – Chic
11. Jeans On – David Dundas
12. Mississippi – Pussycat
13. My Daddy Was A Rock ‘n Roll Man – Johnny Gibson
14. She’s A Woman – Neil Herbert
15. Boy Oh Boy – Racey
16. Rock Your Baby – George McCrae
17. Jealous Guy – Roxy Music
18. Mad World – Tears For Fears
19. Living On The Ceiling – Blancmange
20. Down Under – Men At Work
21. Safety Dance – Men Without Hats
22. Dancing In The City – Marshall Hain
23. Barbados – Typically Tropical
24. Heart of Glass – Blondie
25. Queen Of Hearts – Juice Newton
26. Lost In France – Bonnie Tyler
27. Waterloo – ABBA
28. Don’t Cry For Me Argentina – Julie Covington
29. Rapper’s Delight – Sugarhill Gang
30. Solitaire – Andy Williams
31. I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) – Margaret Singana
32. Barracuda – Heart

A list of Number Ones on the South African Charts is available at SA Singles Charts.

Posted in Cover Art, Music Research, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? Flash Fearless!

Flash Fearless versus The Zorg Women Parts 5 & 6
Flash Fearless versus The Zorg Women Parts 5 & 6
FLASH FEARLESS versus THE ZORG WOMEN Parts 5 & 6 [1975] A nostalgic musical of the 24th Century

I bought this album in December 1975, at Hillbrow Record Centre in Johannesburg, on a sale and immediately fell in love with its tongue-in-cheek humour and superstar line-up. I remember receiving a 12-page comic with an issue of NME and not with the album itself. It has a full comic-strip of the story of Flash Fearless and also contains almost all the lyrics.

FLASH FEARLESS versus THE ZORG WOMEN Parts 5 & 6 Comic
FLASH FEARLESS versus THE ZORG WOMEN Parts 5 & 6 Comic

“To The Chop” is my favourite track. Its based on the old Danny And The Juniors track “At The Hop”, and manages to fit a piano solo, a guitar solo, a couple of sax breaks and a bass solo into 2 minutes and 40 seconds!

I eventually bought the CD re-issue in February 2002.


  1. Trapped – Elkie Brooks [4.18]
  2. I’m Flash – Alice Cooper [3.11]
  3. Country Cooking – Jim Dandy [5.05]
  4. What’s Happening – James Dewar [6.37]
  5. Space Pirates – Alice Cooper [3.13]
  6. Sacrifice – Elkie Brooks [3.55]
  7. To The Chop – John Entwistle [2.40]
  8. Supersnatch – Frankie Miller [3.24] not on UK album
  9. Georgia Syncopator – Maddy Prior [2.54] not on US album
  10. Blast Off – Jim Dandy [4.34]
  11. Trapped (reprise) – Eddie Jobson [1.22]

Release information:

USA: Chrysalis CHR 1072, February 1975
UK: Chrysalis CHR 1081, May 1975
CD: RPM, RPM 147, January 1995


Album recorded at the Chrysalis Studio, London between 1st October and 31st December 1974.


  • Steve Hammond [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11]
  • Dave Pierce [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ,7, 9, 11]
  • Bonnie Pierce [2, 10]
  • Rick Jones [3, 4, 8]
  • Terence Hillyer [6]


  • John Entwistle: Bass, synthesized bass [on all tracks except 11]
  • Mick Grabham: Guitar [1, 8]
  • Carmine Appice: Drums [1, 8]
  • Nicky Hopkins: Piano, clavinet [1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10]
  • Mike Deacon: Piano [1, 8]
  • Graham Deakin: Percussion [1, 4, 6, 9]
  • Thunderthighs: Backing vocals [1, 6]
  • Robert A. Johnson: Guitar [2, 6, 7, 9, 10]
  • Johnny Weider: Guitar [2, 6, 9]
  • Bill Bruford: Drums [2, 4, 6, 9]
  • Kenny Jones: Drums [3, 5, 7, 10]
  • Justin Hayward: Electric and acoustic guitars [3, 5]
  • Jim Frank: Mouth harp (harmonica) [3]
  • Eddie Jobson: Strings, violin, synthesizer [4, 9, 11]
  • Keith Moon: Long John Silver (speech) [5], Timpani [8]
  • Steve Pettican: Slide guitar [5]
  • Chick Churchill: Organ [6]
  • Howie Casey: Sax [7]
  • Leslie Duncan, Doreen Chanter & Jill Mackintosh: Backing vocals [7, 10]
  • Kirk Duncan: Piano [9]
  • Kay Garner: Backing vocals [10]

All brass parts arranged by Howie Casey and played by the Boss Brass.

All tracks arranged and produced by John Allcock.

Posted in Charts

13 August 1982

40 Years Ago This Week!

SA Singles Charts

1111Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk –Dr. Hook
227I Like… –John Ireland
3144Eye of the Tiger –Survivor
4313Mickey –Toni Basil
5417I Love Rock ‘n Roll –Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
6512Just an Illusion –Imagination
778Have I Told You Lately That I Love You –Geraldine
8135Rosanna –Toto
9106The Other Woman –Ray Parker Jr.
1069Just How High –Mike Eager
11114Heat of the Moment –Asia
12124I Won’t Let You Down –Ph.D.
13810Try Jah Love –Third World
1497A Bunch of Thyme –Foster & Allen
15New1Physical –Olivia Newton-John

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