|1. Grazing In The Grass|
|2. Vasco Da Gama (The Sailor Man)|
|7. Market Place|
|8. Don't Go Lose It Baby|
|11. African Secret Society|
|12. Ha Le Se Le Li Khanna|
|13. Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)|
|14. Stimela (Coal Train)|
This is not to be construed as a knock against the music of Hugh Masekela, nor even necessarily a condemnation of the songs in this compilation and their performances. BUT, this IS after all labelled as his "best" and given the fact he only had four charted pop hit singles from 1967 to 1969, along with two others that scored only on the R&B charts, one in 1978 and the other in 1984, would it not be expected that a compilation so titled would at least include ALL of those - and in their original format?
For the Uni label he had four hits, his first being an instrumental version of The 5th Dimension's Up Up And Away which reached # 47 R&B/# 71 pop in early 1968. Then came his smash Grazing In The Grass which peaked at # 1 on both the pop and R&B charts that summer. Later that year Puffin' On Down The Track would go to # 71 pop, and early in 1969 Riot would peak at # 21 R&B and # 55 pop. As that other reviewer points out, Grazing In The Grass is NOT the original, and the other three Uni sides are omitted.
After a long absence from the charts he would return in 1978 for the Horizon label with Skokiian, the # 3 pop hit for Ralph Marterie in 1954 which he would take to # 87 R&B. Six years later he would have his final hit with Don't Go Lose It Baby for the Jive Africa label which levelled off at # 67 R&B.
What is it with majors like Sony who think that all they have to do is crunch out stuff like this under misleading titles and that the gullible buying public will snatch it up, no questions asked. Maybe at one time. But no more.
If you like the musical styling of Hugh Masekela and don't really care one way or the other that these are not original renditions, or even representative of his best hits, then by all means go for it. As I said at the beginning, there is nothing wrong with the music in and of itself. But if you are expecting his "best" stay well clear.