“Radio Africa” by Latin Quarter (1985)

6 01 2010

This track is usually close at hand, as it has been since I first heard it. I adore the urgent, reggae groove and the spacious, melodic sound of it. That’s what attracted me to it initially, giving me a chance to absorb the words, which really opened my eyes. This is a perfect example of how music helped enlighten me.

I spent some time in the Middle East, and a friend there introduced me to this British band, Latin Quarter, and their album “Modern Times”. I think it’s pretty amazing, really: A curious American, while in the MidEast, first hears a British band with a latin name singing about Africa using a reggae style from Jamaica. How awesome is that?

If you have music in your heart, you have something to share with everyone on this planet.

Anyway, I didn’t really understand the lyrics when I first heard them, but I eventually looked up all the references out of curiosity (my major vice). And that little bit of effort taught me a lot about Africa, its people, and its history. And it made me realize that there’s so much more to learn.

“Mozambique and Mugabe
Still got Frelimo I hear them say
But “Exchange” means…
“Recession” means,
It all means “Harder to take”
Tanzania should be moving up a gear
Instead they’ve got to step on the brake.”

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One response

27 01 2010
smp.

Hi hi!
Stumbled across this blog looking for contemporary reggae…and thought I’d drop a comment!

Keep it up! Keep it eclectic!

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