Sunday 29 March 2015

Almon Memela: Broken Shoes (1976)

Finally, herewith another holy grail the Electric Jive team has long been searching for. As Siemon said in his earlier post on Almon Memela's Funky Africa:  "The album is tight and excellent, but we might reserve the title of “holy grail” for Memela’s even scarcer album Broken Shoes (1976, Highway Soul, HSL 2009)… or at least until we listen to it!"

In my view Siemon, you will not be disappointed by these two fifteen-minute tracks of musical chemistry from guitar wizard Almon Memela and the stalwarts of Soweto's Pelican Club house band.

Memela's musical journey was a rich and diverse one. His earlier recordings start off with maskandi, move through penny-whistle and swing (I will share some 78rpm recordings at a later date), take a delightful diversion via Soul in the late 60s - you can find the A.M. Stragglers recording here. In the 70s Memela's music branched out into jazz, bump, mbaqanga and funk, to reach the pinnacle shared here with you today. You can read more about Memela and browse a partial discopgraphy on Flatint here.

Thank you Manzo for making it possible to access this crisp and clean recording.
Download link here


  1. Wonderful stuff. Much appreciated.

  2. Just discovered Almon Memla through the recent UK South African compilation which features the track - The Things We Do In Soweto - so I am over the moon to discover this record, the music is incredible to say the least.

    The link to the Funky Africa post is obviously long dead and I have searched the net in case the rip was re-posted but to no avail - would it be possible to re-post a new link for Funky Africa as I just can't wait to hear it!

    Many thanks, I am pretty new to the Afrobeat/Afrofunk/Afrodisco sound and it is wonderful that blogs like yours are around to educate, delight and astound me!

  3. I think it bears mentioning that the bassline of "Broken Shoes" was directly lifted from the soul disco classic, "Do It Anyway You Wanna" by People's Choice. It came out one year earlier in 1975 on Philadelphia International Records. Other stuff on PIR was pressed in ZA so I am guessing this was no coincidence!

  4. Thanks for the comments good people. Paul - I have refreshed the links to Funky Africa - look for "download here" at the bottom of thatpost.

  5. Thanks Chris and Manzo! We finally get to here this classic! It doesn't disappoint! Thanks Chris, also for fixing the link to Funky Africa. Talksoon.


  7. Thank you for the abundance of great music!


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