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Music Reviews

R.E.M. give a monster performance

“I don’t want to be Iggy Pop,” barks Michael Stipe on ‘I took your name’, the song that opens the first South African concert of R.E.M.’s world tour.

But – even decked out in a dark suit, white shirt and red tie – he’s not fooling anybody.

Behind him, the band grinds relentlessly on, all wailing guitars and pummelled drums, giving a potent song the powerhouse treatment it deserves.

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Music Reviews

U2 get explosive

“Time won’t take the boy out of this man,” declares Bono on ‘City of Blinding Lights’, one of the numerous highlights on U2’s stellar new album. And he might just be right.

With its jangling guitars and keyboard melodies from 1983’s ‘War’ album, the song burns with the rampant energy of boys hungry for success. But, the passion and vintage sounds battle it out with the finesse and skill you get from a group of fortysomething men who’ve enjoyed that success for near on two decades.

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Music Reviews

‘The Cure’ demands to be heard

Press play, and within seconds Robert Smith is wailing “I can’t find myself” while a sole guitar strums in the background.

“Oh, grow up,” you might think. This is no way for a millionaire rock star in his mid-forties to behave. But Smith sounds so passionate that you actually believe his moment of crisis as the jagged music rises to match his pained, increasingly distraught vocals.

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Music Reviews

U2 relive the difficult years

“We’re going away to dream it all up again,” Bono declared. Speaking at U2’s last concert of the 1980s the band’s lead singer was not just responding to the critical backlash that had greeted their latest album, ‘Rattle and Hum’. He had unwittingly set the tone for the group’s output of the next ten years.

A difficult decade for the Irish foursome, documented here on their second ‘Best Of’ compilation, the 1990s were marked by musical experimentation as the band continually sought to find a new voice.

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Music

The Rodriguez story… so far

Rodriguez is an unlikely icon. He is 60 years old, has only recorded 25 songs and has not released any new material in the past 30 years. Yet, his music has influenced and affected scores of South Africans growing up during the past 3 decades. Even as they were ignored by international audiences, songs like ‘Sugarman’ and ‘I Wonder’ have become part of the country’s musical heritage.

This unlikely icon was born Sixto Diaz Rodriguez on 10 July 1942 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Pronounced ‘Seez-toe’, he was given the name by his working class Mexican parents as he was their sixth child.