Picks and Pans Review: Sun City

updated 01/13/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/13/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Artists United Against Apartheid

Add this to the reasons why 1985 will go down as the year popular music discovered a social conscience. This album, organized by Little Steven Van Zandt, former guitarist for Bruce Springsteen, rallies all-star musicians to decry the racial policies of South Africa. Politics aside (royalties are being donated to the Africa Fund, a charitable trust set up in 1966 by the American Committee on Africa), the best deal would be to skip the LP and instead buy the funky call-and-response title-cut single, which is getting wide radio play. Despite the efforts of Gil Scott-Heron, Ray Barretto, Miles Davis, Bono, Afrika Bambaata, Daryl Hall and others, the rest of the album could be labeled Lemon Aid. Revolutionary Situation is an obvious knockoff of Paul Hardcastle's ode to Vietnam, 19. The jazz tracks, such as The Struggle Continues, are murky and clipped. While the various unions of pop stars and humanitarian causes have created some touching moments, they have yet to make beautiful music together. (Manhattan)

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