“This anthology of South African artists” (Poet/ Davi) is “an essential sampler of modern African styling, a revelation and a joy” (Poet/ Davi). It “surprised everyone by becoming a best-seller” (Poet/ Davi) and becoming “one of the most important collections of South African music to be released off the continent” (Gibson). It also “paved the way for Paul Simon’s Graceland” (Poet/ Davi) and was the “winner of The Village Voice’s Jazz and Pop Poll for Best Record of 1987” (Poet/ Davi)
“Before Paul Simon, Sting, and Peter Gabriel started their explorations and exploitations of African music, this stunning set of music was already out there showing the world how it was done in South Africa’s townships. Now well-known names like Ladysmith Black Mambazo (before they did candy commercials) and the growling Mahlathini were given their first international hearing. But the real gems are the sounds we never got to hear on Graceland: the raw mandolin and fiddle of Moses Mchunu, the wonderful jive vocals of Amaswazi Emvelo, the loping swing in the voice of Nancy Sedibe, and the fat guitar grooves of Johnson Mkhalali and his band. The collection is a gem, a representation of what was happening on the radio and in the dance clubs of Soweto in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as mbaqanga swept through the country and took everyone with it” (Gibson).