Thursday, 16 May 2019

King Sunny Adé And His African Beats ‎– Juju Music (1982)

Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Island Records, Mango

A1.   Ja Funmi
A2.   Eje Nlo Gba Ara Mi
A3.   Mo Beru Agba
A4.   Sunny Ti De Ariya
B1.   Ma Jaiye Oni
B2.   365 Is My Number / The Message
B3.   Samba / E Falabe Lewe

Credits: Bass – Jelili Lawal Bongos – Adeyemi Adisa Congas – Shina Abiodun Drums – Mofes Acambi Guitar – Bob Ohiri, Segun Ilori Keyboards – Sunny Adé, Martin Meissonnier Lead Guitar, Vocals – Sunny Adé Maracas – Michael Babalola Rhythm Guitar – John Okeumeu Shekere – Gani Alashe Steel Guitar – Demola Adepoju Talking Drum – Rasaki Aladokun, Jimoh Gbadamosi, Alhaji Timmy Olaitan Vocals – Femi Owomoyela, Jacob Ajakaye, Mettew Olojede, Niyi Falaye, Segun Shokumbi, Tunde Demiola

After nearly 15 years as Nigeria's biggest musical draw and juju music's reigning monarch, King Sunny Ade went global in 1982 with a brief but fertile stint on the Mango label. The three albums that resulted -- Juju Music, Synchro System, and Aura -- gave Ade unprecedented exposure on the Western market and introduced a slew of music lovers to the sounds of Afro-pop. Juju Music was the first of Ade's Mango titles and remains the best of the lot. Over the course of seven extended cuts, King Sunny Ade & His African Beats lay down their trademark mix of talking drum-driven grooves, multi-guitar weaves, lilting vocal harmonies, and pedal steel accents; for this major-label debut, the band also chucks in some tasteful synthesizer bits and a few reggae-dub flourishes. Besides classic juju pop like "Ja Funmi" and "Ma Jaiye Oni," Ade and his 20-piece entourage serve up percussion breakdowns like "Sunny Ti de Ariya" and a heady blend of soul, dub, and synth noodlings on "365 Is My Number/The Message." Throughout, Ade deftly inserts Hawaiian slide guitar licks and Spanish-tinged lines reminiscent of Hendrix' "All Along the Watchtower." Juju Music should not only be the first-disc choice for Ade newcomers, but for the Afro-pop curious as well.
Stephen Cook / AllMusic

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