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

Cesaria Evora: Rogamar (RCA)

Cesaria Evora: Rogamar (RCA)

One of my London-based sons is just back from three weeks on the various Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa. I shall quote him: "loads of swimming, hiking and taking in the... > Read more

Etran Finatawa: The Sahara Sessions (Riverboat/Southbound)

Etran Finatawa: The Sahara Sessions (Riverboat/Southbound)

Since the emergence of desert blues from the sub-Sahara regions a decade ago through Etran Finatawa, Tinariwen and the often overlooked Malouma (a woman who really rocks), the genre has seen a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Cameron, Louisiana: The stink of shrimp and petroleum

Cameron, Louisiana: The stink of shrimp and petroleum

In 2005 smalltown Cameron in southwest Louisiana was washed away by Hurricane Rita and I suppose battered to hell again by Hurricane Katrina. It seemed tragic and . . . Well, let me tell you my... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . PETE BURNS: What's on the a-gender?

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . PETE BURNS: What's on the a-gender?

A lifetime and career trajectory from beautiful young New Wave pop-boy star to a very alarming botoxed older woman is not what most people would chart for themselves. But welcome to the world... > Read more