Various: Nigeria 70; The Definitive Story of 1970's Funky Lagos (Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Sunny Ade and His African Beats: Ja Fun Mi
Various: Nigeria 70; The Definitive Story of 1970's Funky Lagos (Southbound)

Elsewhere has already drawn attention to excellent West African compilations such as Heavy Heavy Heavy which scooped up the pre-Afrobeat of Geraldo Pino from Sierra Leone, and the double-disc collections High Life Time (Nigerian and Ghanaian music of the Sixties and early Seventies)  and Lagos Baby (a wrap-up of Fela Anikulapo Kuti's early years, 1963-69).

Now comes this welcome reissue of a catch-all double set from 2001 which includes the name players out of Nigeria during this fertile period -- Fela with Africa 70, Tony Allen and his African Messengers, Gasper Lawal with the hit Kita Kita and King Sunny Ade with a seven minute instrumental version of the wonderful Ja Fun Mi which later turned up in another treatment on his his terrific ‘83 album Juju Music.

Then there are those lesser known characters who added breadth and depth to the scene : Monomono Tire (with the exceptionally gritty Loma Da Nigbehin, Tunji Oyelana, the funky-pop of Sir Victor Uwaifo and his Melody Maestroes, and The Quest by Afro Cult Foundation who take from what sounds like a New York jazz club in the late Fifties and bring it all home to steamy Lagos.

Nigerian musicians were often well travelled (London, the US) or tuned their ears to international trends, so the Lagos scene assimilated James Brown funk and British prog-rock, strange local takes on country music, bebop and the blues.

That makes this collection wayward but fun -- it isn't all Afrobeat -- and therefore a great overview of a period which has almost fallen out of the sightlines of most who think Nigeria = Fela and not much more.

As these and the other discs mentioned prove, it was the "more" that was the exciting bit. 


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

TARANAKI WOMAD 2014: The first acts announced

TARANAKI WOMAD 2014: The first acts announced

As their website says today, perhaps half joking, "only 155 days till WOMAD 2014". And we too are counting down to the annual multi-culti music, arts and what-have-you festival which... > Read more

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to African Roots Revival (Rough Guide)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to African Roots Revival (Rough Guide)

Of the dozen tracks on this useful collection, at least three bands -- Staff Benda Bilili, Bedouin Jerry Can Band and Konono No 1 -- should be reasonably familiar to Elsewhere readers. So... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Niue, South Pacific: Paradise with a smile

Niue, South Pacific: Paradise with a smile

As with most people, I neither want, nor expect, to be held up at Immigration. But on Niue – a charming, tiny tropical dot of elevated limestone in the Pacific about three hours from... > Read more

THE GREAT WALL by JULIA LOVELL: Built it and they'll believe it

THE GREAT WALL by JULIA LOVELL: Built it and they'll believe it

When Richard Nixon stood on a segment of China’s famous wall in 1972 he announced, “This is a great wall and it had to be built by great people” the anti-Communist American... > Read more