In 1986 he ditched Lumumba and released his first solo hit, ‘Gorilla Man’. Opening with an audacious 20-second intro, the song tells the story of a man preying on women in downtown Johannesburg. It highlights Condry’s winning formula of lyrics that touch on everyday South African issues and places (without drawing the attention of apartheid censors). Musically the song draws obvious influence from Piano Fantasia’s 1985 Euro-disco hit ‘Song for Denise’.
Also included on this new anthology is another song from the same album, the politically charged ‘Confusion (Ma Afrika)’, as well as ‘Phola Baby’ from his 1988 album Pick Six – a call to men to “stop pushing your woman around … what kind of man are you?” – and ‘Everybody Party’ from 1989’s Magic Man, a straight-up party song with no political or social intimations, other than as a brief escape from the harsh reality of the time, one that still resonates today.
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