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Warner Brothers Collection

The Warner Brothers Collection covers the first three albums Ladysmith Black Mambazo recorded for the American major label in the wake of their mass exposure on Paul Simon‘s Graceland. There’s nothing from the 1994 children’s album Gift of the Tortoise, nor (naturally) is there anything from the group’s smaller-scale recordings, which in the U.S. are covered by albums and compilations on Shanachie. But, given the title, you wouldn’t expect that in the first place. Instead, this is a valuable look at some of Ladysmith‘s most accessible (if not quite rootsiest) material, with full English translations of all the lyrics. The Warner Brothers Collection also includes two tracks with Paul Simon (“Homeless” and “Amazing Grace”) and a collaboration with gospel’s Winans (“Leaning on the Everlasting Arm”). All in all, it’s an effective distillation for the casual fan.