Friday 25 February 2011

Can You Feel It?

So often mentioned as South Africa's greatest soul jazz band The Drive have never had a proper re-issue or taken their proper place in the ongoing unfolding and retelling of South Africa's musical past and future. Maybe our efforts here at Electric Jive can tip the balance in favour of The Drive. Certainly we can feel it!

The Drive (L-R): Bunny Luthuli, Temba (?), Tony Soali, Nelson Magwaza, Lucky Mbatha, Mavis Maseku, Stanley Sithole, Danny Sithole & Henry Sithole.(Photo © David Marks, Orlando, Soweto)

The band was started by Henry Sithole and Bunny Luthuli in 1971. As Matt over at Matsuli put it a few years back "The Drive represented an articulate black urban vision of a future at odds with Apartheid's engineers." Over the course of their six years of existence they travelled the length and breadth of Southern Africa playing festivals and what venues were still available. Their recorded output is to the best of our knowledge a total of eight LPs. There was a poorly remastered attempt at a reissue on a budget around ten years ago but it sunk into the budget racks.

Discography* (Updated July 2011)
- Slow Drive to Soweto (c1971, AYL 1009)
- The Sky's The Limit (1975, RCL 1201)
- Can You Feel It (1975, RCL 1202)
- Drive Live (1975, RCL 1203)
- Coming To The End of This (1976, RCL 1208)
- Zone 6 (1976, RCL 1215)
- A Tribute to Henry Sithole and Bunny Luthuli (1977, RCL 1216, recorded just two weeks prior to Henry and Bunny's fatal traffic accident)
- Lets Cool it (1980, BL271)

The Drive are probably best known for their track Way Back Fifties which appears unabridged on the LP we are sharing today. Enjoy the ride!

The Drive - Can You Feel It (1975, RCL 1202)
Way Back Fifties
Can You Feel It
Produced by David Thekwane
MF (new link as of 30 Dec 2014)


  1. excelente musica me encantan estos ritmos africanos, desde colombia muchisimas gracias por mantener estos ritmos vivos en estos blog les deseo muchisimas suerte y me gustaria descargar este album ok

  2. wher is the RS/MF links to share?

  3. Its and ye shall find!

  4. This is wonderful stuff. The extended length of the tracks and relaxed tempi really let the music breathe. Way Back Fifties is perfect for driving! Many thanks for this great share.

  5. Thanks for the share.I have another one for the discography,Coming To The End Of This RCL 1208
    Greentings Koos

  6. I am desperately looking for this and other recordings by The Drive for my radio show on TransAfrica Radio (DSTv Audio 172). If you have any of these albums and are willing to part with them or make copies available to me for my show please contact me.
    Etienne Shardlow (+27 82 805 3981)

    1. Hi Etienne

      So do I, since 1988. If u do get any, kindly consider sharing. If I do, will let u know likewise.

      My email:

  7. Etienne, there were some legit CD reissues of Drive songs a few years back. Unfortunately the original LPs have never been treated with the respect they deserve and have not seen the light of day in an proper release. You will need to spend big money on eBay to get hold of the originals. But if you hold on their LP Coming to the End of this is scheduled for shared at ej in the next 6 weeks.

  8. This is really amazing!! My mom's first husband is bunny luthuli. I knew he was a musician but I didn't really know much about him but this band is great, I never knew they were this succesful!

  9. unfortunetly, the links are dead.

  10. Sorry about that, I'll try and re-load asap. matt

  11. Here's new link....

  12. Matt

    May you please drop me the song called:To end of this:The Drive

    I have a lot of memories of this song.I have been looking for it for 20 years


  13. Would anyone be so kind to reup the link?

  14. Updated to a new Mediafire link - enjoy

  15. I recently came into possession of one of their LP records, "Drive Live". Would anyone be interested in this?

  16. wish i was born "Way Back Fifthies"

  17. A late shout out ... this stuff is so good, it has given me hours of listening pleasure. Love The Drive!

  18. ... and thanks again, really enjoying these posts


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