viernes, 21 de agosto de 2015

Artists United Against Apartheid - Sun City (Official Video)

April 5 2014

It was the mid-1980's and helping Africa was "in". Bob Geldof's Band Aid project and Quincy Jones' USA For Africa had called attention to famine in the continent, and pretty soon everyone in the rock and pop scene had "conciencia social". Then came Little Steven Van Zandt, guitarist with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band (who would later play a major character in HBO's The Sopranos), who decided to use his art to help the struggle against South Africa's racist apartheid regime. This video and song are the result.

"We are rockers and rappers, united and strong. We're here to talk about South Africa. We don't like what's going on."

And what a lineup! Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Fat Boys, Peter Wolf, Bono, Lou Reed, Run DMC, David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks of The Temptations, Bonnie Raitt, Ruben Blades, Nona Hendryx, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Barretto, Joey Ramone, and many more. The LP also features contributions from Peter Gabriel and Gil Scott Heron. As a matter of fact, that was the first time I heard Heron.

"Sun City" is a very political song. Unlike USA for Africa's sappy "We Are The World", "Sun City"'s lyrics denounce and accuse. US foreign policy is not spared: "Constructive engagement is Ronald Reagan's plan / This quiet diplomacy is nothing but a joke". These are direct references to US president Reagan's policy of appeasing South Africa's government. You don't hear music this political in the hit parade anymore.

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