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

SHIVKUMAR SHARMA INTERVIEWED (2012): Answering the master's call

SHIVKUMAR SHARMA INTERVIEWED (2012): Answering the master's call

Very few musicians could claim to have not only changed the musical direction and possibilities of their chosen instrument, but of also of having played a key role in how that instrument was... > Read more

FEMI KUTI INTERVIEWED AT WOMAD (2014): A voice in the wilderness

FEMI KUTI INTERVIEWED AT WOMAD (2014): A voice in the wilderness

Elsewhere has already published an in-depth interview with Femi Kuti but we also caught up with him at a press conference at the recent Womad where he performed. Politics was,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA INTERVIEWED (1988): The shape of things hip-hop and political to come?

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA INTERVIEWED (1988): The shape of things hip-hop and political to come?

He answers the phone exactly as you might expect - a booming, stentorian tone like some Old Testament prophet and commands: “Speak.” We speak . . . and the voice changes into the... > Read more

RICHARD MEIER'S GETTY CENTRE IN LOS ANGELES (1999): Architecture, art and anger

RICHARD MEIER'S GETTY CENTRE IN LOS ANGELES (1999): Architecture, art and anger

High in the hills overlooking Los Angeles, The Getty Centre offers a commanding view. “Yeah, on a clear day you can see smog forever,” says a droll Angelino as he stares into the... > Read more