Saturday night: South African discopop hits

A review we found – probably just rewriting the Press release – said this focused on the period of fluctuation between the popularity of mbaqanga and the rise of bubblegum pop, with the sounds of disco, pop, boogie, and fusion.

We don’t know about that. What we do know is that if you think early Madonna means a good night out, this is for you. While the aforementioned Margino covers Holiday, it’s all pretty much the same – big and simple four beats to the bar and lots of synth and hand clapping.

Highlight is Brenda and The Big Dudes with No No No Senor, a song so very annoying you can only enjoy it and it would have got everyone on the dance floor as Brenda (or maybe a dude) repeats “NoNoNoNoNo Senor” over and over, the same kind of forced-to-like-it as Oops Upside Your Head or being forced to do a dance that involved rowing a boat. You’re young, you’ve had a couple of shots from the bottle of Southern Comfort. You sneaked it because it looks just like lager, what else you going to do?

Brenda and The Big Dudes also have Love Action on here, a less annoying track but with a nice synth line, “Love action / satisfaction guaranteed” they promise. Brenda sounds a bit like Madonna.

Black Five’s Ea Kgiba Ngoale is a high energy song which, like a couple of songs on here, has a bass line that sounds familiar; the funky Ambiguously The Same from Soundburger is also familiar. The cover of Holiday is pretty good, the melody kept the same, but the bass and beat fattened up. Subtlety was clearly not desirable in South Africa back in the early 80s.

One for old school disco fans who think nuance was a backing singer for Baccara.

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