Friday, 6 April 2012

Thomas Mapfumo - more early singles from the Lion of Zimbabwe

A very special treat today. We return to the very popular sounds of pre-(and just post-) independence Zimbabwe to listen to some early and rare singles from the Lion of Zimbabwe, Thomas Mapfumo and his various backing bands during this time. A number of his early singles were compiled onto three highly recommended albums: Hokoyo!, Gwindingwe Rine Shumba (both recently reissued by Water records on CD) and the Chimurenga Singles (now out of print). The five singles being shared today are from this same period - a time when the style was being defined by Mapfumo and his guitarist Jonah Sithole. For a comprehensive overview of Thomas Mapfumo I suggest the following article at Zambuko. This details Mapfumo's career progression from rock music in a number of early combos to his time with the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band and then with the Acid Band, the Pied Pipers, Black Spirits and Blacks Unlimited.

Thomas Mapfumo and the Acid Band

Afro Soul AS1055
A. Pamuromo Chete (Mapfumo) - Thomas Mapfumo and the Acid Band
B. Njiva (Gweshe) - Thomas Mapfumo and the Acid Band (lead vocal Albert Gweshe)
The first "chimurenga single" where Thomas Mapfumo responds directly to the then white ruler Ian Smith's declaration that Zimbabwe will never be ruled by Africans. His response - Pamuromo Chete - "this is just mere talk".

Afro Soul AS1058
Pasi Pani Nhamo (Mapfumo) - Thomas Mapfumo and the Pied Pipers
Dindingwe (Mapfumo) - Thomas Mapfumo and the Pied Pipers
Mapfumo played for a while with the afro-rock outfit the Pied Pipers who were later famous for their reggae infused "You Can't Stop the Revolution". A later version of Dindingwe appears on the Hokoyo LP.

Afro Soul AS1088
A. Matiregerera Mambo (Mapfumo) - Thomas Mapfumo
B. Zvandiviringa (Mapfumo) - Thomas Mapfumo
Both tracks were compiled to the Hokoyo LP.

Afro Soul AS1104
A. Nyarai (Mapfumo) - Thomas Mapfumo and Blacks Unlimited
B. Nyati (Mapfumo) - Thomas Mapfumo and Blacks Unlimited<
Nyarai appears on the Chimurenga singles album.

Afro Soul AS1110
A. Rita (Mapfumo) - Thomas Mapfumo and Blacks Unlimited
B. Chitima Cherusununguku (Mapfumo) - Thomas Mapfumo and Blacks Unlimited
These tracks appear on the Gwindingwe Rine Shumba LP which is for me the most complete and satisfying album of Mapfumo's long career.


A strictly work in progress Thomas Mapfumo singles discography
AS 103 Mutoridodo/Hodi
AS 104 Alikulila/Mazhlamini
AS 105 Ngoma Yarira/Murembo
AS 1031 Ndiwudze Kwakainda Vamwe / Yarira
AS 1039 Pfumo Rinobva Mudziva / Vanopenga
AS 1055 Pamuromo Chete / Njiva
AS 1056 Ndoziva Ripi Zano / Imbwa Yangu
AS 1057 Chaminuka / Shungu Dzinondibaya
AS 1058 Pasi Pane Nhamo / Dindingwe
AS 1063 Chaive Chinyakare / Chiiko Chinotinetsa
AS 1075 Zai Ona Zai Ona / Sebenza Utshona
AS 1078 Tonga Nyaya Dzino Netsa / Teererai Mitemo
AS 1082 Ndobuda Pachena / Wa Zvione Ra
AS 1088 Zvandiviringa / Matiregerera Mambo
AS 1094 Kwa Gutu / Tamba Wakachenjere
AS 1102 Handidadirwe / Mugara Ndega
AS 1104 Nyarai / Nyati
AS 1108 Madhebhura / Monday Zuva Guru
AS 1109 Shumba / Hwahwa
AS 1110 Rita / Chitima Cherusununguko
AS 1111 Musandizonde / Joyce
AS 1113 Tsuvuuramuromo / Chiwayawaya
AS 1114 Pidigori / Ruva Rangu
AS 1117 Makandiwa/Chii Chato Go-o
AS 1119 Nhamo Yapera / Zambuko
AS 1122 Kure Kwemeso Part 1 / Kure Kwemeso Part 2


  1. It's wonderful that Thomas has not been forgotten, and that EJ continues its awesome musical adventure!

  2. This is Mr Music- Zimbabwe, the giant who put every Zimbabwean musician on the map. He will go down as the greatest Zimbabwean musician, all yardsticks are measured against his music.

  3. "Zvandiviringa" is a great song--thanks a lot.

  4. Thanks. I invite you to visit mi blog:

  5. links are dead. a re-up would be great!

  6. Plz re-up - highly appreciated!!!

  7. please re upload this!! dying to hear these singles! thanks so much

  8. thanks matt! what an incredible blog, really appreciate all your work!!


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