Consumer Guide Reviews:Duck Rock [Island, 1983]
McLaren knows how to record African music for Western ears, and the ebullient tunes he's collected here more than make up for his annoyance quotient. But the intrusions of the World's Famous Supreme Team, not to mention the featured vocalist, are annoying nevertheless. And when "Song for Chango," which has existed since "before Jesus Christ was born," gets credited like almost all the other compositions to Malc and producer Trevor Horn, I wish he'd thought to mention which specific Africans contributed to which specific tracks. Culture may be collective, but (in this culture) wealth ain't. B+
Fans [Island, 1984]
Paris [No!/Gee Street, 1995]
Subjects for Further Research [1980s]: I always preferred Fans to Duck Rock myself--rap-mbaqanga big deal, but Puccini-disco was a marriage this old reprobate was born to broker. Still, when I discovered that his mbaqanga rips ("Song for Chango," said to date to "before Jesus Christ was born," is credited like almost all the other compositions to Malc and Trevor Horn) had landed him on the U.N. register as a violator of the cultural boycott, my only regret was "Algernon's Simply Awfully Good at Algebra." That's the one good song as opposed to idea on 1989's Waltz Darling, which romanticized the rich just like he's always romanticized the poor whilst pumping the only message he's ever cared about--teen sexuality as liberation, especially for old reprobates.