“Top Shungu Hits” by Various Artists - album review

features in: (B-list) Album Chart of 1981(B-list) Album Chart of the 1980s

TJR says

Shungu means “spirit” or “guts” in Shona – there’s plenty of that here in the music of these Zimbabweans. This fabulous obscuro has been well and truly rescued from under the floorboards by Matt Temple at Electric Jive who has this to say:

In the early 1980s, soon after Zimbabwe’s independence and the floushing of the local music scene, it wasn’t easy to get hold of vinyl from Zimbabwe. You had to know someone who was going and ask them. In these times I was fortunate to get hold of the early Thomas Mapfumo LPs as well as LPs from Devera Ngwena and Flavian Nyathi and some of the Zimbabwe Hits compilations. The tracks being shared today come from a cassette I copied from a friend at the time and was simply entitled Top Shungu Hits. It includes hit parade songs from Speed Limit, Sugar Lump, Devera Ngwena and The Storm.

Jonah Moyo’s Devera Ngwena will be no strangers to lovers of Zimbabwe’s electrifying rhythms of the 80s and 90s (their classic signature tune “Devera Ngwena Zhimozhi” is featured on this compy), but some of the others on here are smaller than dust particles in the here and now of the World’s 21st century musical spectrum. Who were New Storm I wonder? Most likely they were one of the many groups eking some sort of existence on the hotel circuit which, by all accounts, showcased many hot new acts at that time. In the second half of the 70s, singer/guitarist Jonah Sithole led a group called The Storm, perhaps there is a relationship with this group? I fear that’s as far as my investigation trail is likely to reach, but you just never know, maybe someone from Harare will get in touch one of these years and put me right. Most likely they had three number ones in Botswana and were massive in Burkina Faso and I’m just an ignorant sod : – )

Anyway, the good news is you can download your own free copy from Electric Jive (via logo above). How good are they?

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:40] 6.9.png Speed Limit - Tsomba Ndimwava (?) Africana
A2 [03:51] 7.6.png Speed Limit - Mangwana Mangwana (?) Africana
A3 [03:45] 7.2.png Speed Limit - Hodi Hodi (?) Africana
A4 [03:02] 6.7.png Speed Limit - Kugare Tange Nhamo (?) Africana
A5 [03:09] 5.8.png Sugar Lump - Limbikani (?) Africana
A6 [03:19] 6.1.png Sugar Lump - Chisikana Chezera Rangu (?) Africana
B1 [03:33] 7.8.png Devera Ngwena Jazz Band - Mwana Wenyu (?) Africana
B2 [03:21] 9.1.png Devera Ngwena Jazz Band - Devera Ngwena Zhimozhi (?) Africana
B3 [03:03] 4.5.png Devera Ngwena Jazz Band - Tashaya Zvokuita (?) Pop
B4 [02:53] 5.2.png Devera Ngwena Jazz Band - Kumadye Nyama (?) Africana
B5 [03:12] 8.0.png New Storm - Zarura Musio (?) Africana
B6 [03:23] 5.0.png New Storm - Ishe Ndivdze (?) Pop
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