It’s supposed to be summer, but for the last few weeks, we hardly had a day without rain. And temperatures dropped down to as low as 13°. Not nice! So if I can’t have summer outside, I want to have it at least musically. Enter Amazulu!
Guessing only from looks and sounds of Amazulu, one would probably think the band must be from some Caribbean island, but actually, Amazulu was founded in London which is really not the sunniest place in the world (but I think some of the band members definitely had Caribbean roots!). Primarily founded as an all-female band with the exception of Nardo Bailey on drums, Amazulu was discovered by former Adam & The Ants-manager Falcon Stuart, who helped making the first single, Cairo, a modest success in the UK.
During 1984/1985, the band had various appearances on Top Of The Pops or comedy-show The Young Ones (“Amazulu!” “Oh, is that right? AmaGlaswegian!”), and finally landed their first success in the USA with the single Montego Bay in 1986, a cover of a 1970s hit. Later that year, Amazulu also released their self-titled debut album on Island Records, and scored another chart entry with Excitable.
After breaking up in 1987, three of the remaining band members (Anne-Marie Ruddock, Sharon Bailey and Lesley Beach) continued making music – to little success – as Amazulu II. But it was Clare Kenny who had the most notable success after Amazulu when she joined Coming Up Roses and became a popular session musician with acts like Sinead O’Connor or Shakespears Sister (for which she became also a tour member). Recently, Kenny has written various songs for the Indigo Girls, All Saints, Sugababes and Pussycat Dolls.
I remember that my sister really loved this band, and I have to admit that I grew to like that sound, too, although I’m not the biggest reggae/ska fan. But especially Montego Bay and Too Good To Be Forgotten still manage to bring some sunshine into my heart after all these years. Hope it works for you, too! 🙂
Video Bonus: Excitable