Steven Van Zandt Celebrates Release of Nelson Mandela With Vinyl Reissue

Steven Van Zandt - By Matt Johnson
Steven Van Zandt - By Matt Johnson


Steven Van Zandt celebrates the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from a South African prison with the announcement that his 1985 protest album, Sun City, will get a vinyl reissue.

Little Steven put together the album by Artists United Against Apartheid with producer Arthur Baker and journalist Danny Schechter to fight racial injustice in South Africa.

The late Nelson Mandela was a freedom fighter striving for equality. He wrongfully served 27 years in prison.

The album Sun City was originally put out on vinyl 35 years ago. Sun City joins five additional classic albums from Van Zandt making all of Little Steven’s records from his early career once again available on vinyl.

“It took courage for artists to make the leap from social concerns to political action for a cause that was virtually unknown at the time,” said Van Zandt. “Victories that clear cut are rare in the sphere of international liberation politics. Once in a lifetime if you’re lucky.”

Releasing March 13 via Wicked Cool/UMe, all albums will be available on both 180-gram black vinyl and as a special, limited edition version on 180-gram color swirl vinyl mirroring the psychedelic platters released in the box set. The color vinyl variants can be purchased exclusive at uDiscover. Pre-order your copy now:

Notably, Revolution will be making its individual US vinyl debut, having previously only seen vinyl release in Europe, while the 2LP Born Again Savage will be available individually on vinyl for the first time ever.

Van Zandt and Baker brought together Artists United Against Apartheid including: Bruce Springsteen, Miles Davis, Pete Townshend, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Ringo Starr, Zak Starkey, Darlene Love, Run DMC, U2, George Clinton, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Rubén Blades and Peter Gabriel.

“It’s been a blast going through the archives and finding all these hidden gems,” Van Zandt said. “In addition to demos in various stages of completion, there are entire songs I’d completely forgotten about, and we found some really early things pre-Jukes like Southside Johnny and the Kid (The Kid being me)!  I’m excited to have my stuff back on vinyl for the first time in decades.”

Other musicians on the record include: David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Bobby Womack, Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Melle Mel, The Fat Boys, Herbie Hancock, Jackson Browne, Peter Wolf, Bonnie Raitt, Hall and Oates, Jimmy Cliff, Big Youth, Peter Garrett, Ron Carter, Ray Barretto, Gil Scott-Heron, Nona Hendryx, Pat Benatar, Clarence Clemons, Stiv Bators, Doug Wimbish, and Joey Ramone.