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

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Senegal (Rough Guide/Southbund)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Senegal (Rough Guide/Southbund)

When the Rough Guide series started there were some rather uneven, not so say dodgy, collections released but -- perhaps as the series gained traction and licensing became easier and more... > Read more

Various Artists: Rhythms del Mundo, Revival (Ape)

Various Artists: Rhythms del Mundo, Revival (Ape)

After the Buena Vista Social Club alerted the planet to great old, and largely forgotten, musicians in Cuba – and of course the beguiling rhythms of that small island – it was open... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Garth Brooks: Gunslinger (Sony)

Garth Brooks: Gunslinger (Sony)

When Garth Brooks emerged in the Nineties and professed as much love for rock bands like Kansas and Kiss as the country legends he invited immediate derision from critics who looked for... > Read more

ARETHA FRANKLIN, THE QUEEN OF SOUL: Oh, how the mighty have risen

ARETHA FRANKLIN, THE QUEEN OF SOUL: Oh, how the mighty have risen

When American critic Dave Marsh complied his The Heart of Rock and Soul in the early 90s -- a free-swinging personal recount of the “1001 greatest singles ever made” from doo-wop... > Read more