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Wendy Oldfield - The Collection

2009-06-18 16:43
The Collection
The Collection is, of course, a career-spanning retrospective of her solo years. Still performing and touring around the country, Oldfield put this collection together to sell at her shows and to clear the decks as she preps her next album. The former Sweatband lead singer has proved to be a musical chameleon over the years, having dabbled in rock, folk, reggae, dub, and world music with her most recent band Mondetta. Far from being a schizophrenic experience, these various personas are part of her musical legacy that has proved influential.

Probably her biggest hit is the eco-conscious "Acid Rain". I remember hearing it for the first time as a 10 year-old, having no idea such a thing as poisonous precipitation even existed, and thinking that, "Acid Rain keeps falling down/Burning holes into the ground" was the most catastrophic thing I'd ever heard. What's amazing to discover on re-hearing the song so many years later, is how fresh and vital it still sounds. Of course, its message is perhaps more relevant today than it ever was.

There are some other stunners here as well – particularly the dub drama of "Real", the acid trip of "Time" and the swooning majesty of "Don't Stop Believing". And two new tracks "Lilah" and "Burden" offer a clear indication that there's still much to look forward to from this grand dame.

One of South Africa's most enduring performers, Wendy Oldfield is a familiar voice to many. With her warm inviting tones, positive Earth Mother message and crossover appeal during much of the 80s and 90s, Oldfield is perhaps more familiar to you than you realise.


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