Friday, February 22, 2019
Kudos to the blog Music Republic for posting the great 1981 King Sunny Adé LP Check "E" (Sunny Alade Records SALPS 26). I've been inspired in turn, and I will be posting two more 1981 offerings from Sunny (he was very prolific - he released five albums in 1981 alone!)
Today's offering is Juju Music in the '80s (Sunny Alade SALPS 24), and in a few days I will post The Message (Sunny Alade SALPS 25).
These albums were released only in Nigeria, right before the monumental album Juju Music (Island ILPS 9712). That was Sunny's first international release, which put jùjú music on the map and launched his career as a world superstar. Unlike that album, which was tailored somewhat for global tastes (but still great), this one sticks to the Nigerian convention of long jams that fill each side of an LP record. Enjoy!
King Sunny Adé & his African Beats - Osupa Mi Tole / Bi Ko Seni Akii Gbon / Ibi Lero Siwa / Ota Ile Pada Lehin Mi
King Sunny Adé & his African Beats - Ara Nfu Mi / Oro Fi Sibe / T'Oluwa Ni O Se / Alhaji Abud U Amoo (Shola Motors)
Download Juju Music in the '80s as a zipped file here.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Thanks to Andreas Wetter for apprising me of this offer on EBay:
Yes, that's right: Someone is asking $850 dollars for the cassette version of the 1972 LP Master Guitarist Vol. 5 (African Songs LPAS 8014) by Nigeria's Sunny Adé & his Green Spot Band!
I have long been astounded at the sort of prices some African music fans are willing to pay for scratchy old vinyl from the Continent - and in this case, not even vinyl, but a no-doubt-inferior cassette version of same! It puts one to mind of the 17th Century tulip mania.
But you don't need $850 to listen to this recording. The blog Snap, Crackle & Pop posted it a few years back and you may have grabbed it then (the link to the file is now broken). And now I'm posting it again. You can have it for free!
What's doubly confusing is that the tracklist on Vintage doesn't even agree with that of Master Guitarist Vol. 5. In fact, the listings on the sleeve and record labels on Vintage don't agree either. But they are indisputably the same recording. In fact, I think Vintage is not even a "pirate" pressing - it was apparently officially licensed and legitimately issued.
If all you have heard of King Sunny Adé is his recordings from the '80s and later, Master Guitarist Vol. 5 may come as something of a revelation. The Green Spots were Adé's first band, founded in 1967 after he left Moses Olaiya's Federal Rhythm Dandies, and their sound is not as dense and "sophisticated" as that of the later African Beats. Sunny Adé's brilliant guitar work, of course, shines through loud and clear.
Here's Master Guitarist Vol. 5. I'm following the tracklisting from that pressing, and not that from the later Vintage King Sunny Adé. Enjoy!
Sunny Adé & his Green Spots Band - Late Dr. Nkrumah / Ka Ma Buni Lole / I. S. Adewale / Ololade Wilkey
Sunny Adé & his Green Spots Band - Sunny Special / Owo Ko Nife / Awon Ti Won Yo / Alhaja Bintu
Download Master Guitarist Vol. 5 as a zipped file here. I've included scans from Vintage King Sunny Adé also. The record sleeve scans of Master Guitarist Vol. 5 are from Snap, Crackle & Pop. Thanks!
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Jùjú music, so popular in the 1970s and '80s, seems to have gone into eclipse in southwestern Nigeria, the land of its birth. Even fújì, which took its place for a time, has mutated into something rather removed from its origins. In their places, in the popular music arena at least, are variations on international hip-hop, heavy on auto-tuned vocals and synth.
Styles may come and go, but King Sunny Adé, the best-known jùjú musician outside of Nigeria, still keeps up a busy worldwide touring schedule. It's hard to believe he just turned 70!
Juju-Apala Live (Fortune Records, 2000) captures the King at the top of his form in front of a live audience in Lagos. Maybe it's just me, but before his fellow Nigerians, Sunny and the African Beats seem a lot more relaxed and uninhibited than they've been in front of US audiences, at least at the concerts I've been to. I suspect this CD is a bootleg recording, as it wasn't released through KSA's usual outlets. Moreover, my copy was an unauthorized rip of the original release - a pirate of a bootleg!
What's really ear-opening in this CD is the extended workout on Track 4, "Juju-Apala," with Musiliu Haruna-Ishola, son of the legendary Haruna Ishola, who perfected modern àpàlà music in the '60s and '70s. Àpàlà, a very traditional form, is one of the foundations of jùjú, fújì and other Yoruba musical styles, and Musiliu is ably carrying on his father's work.
The past and the future meet in Juju-Apala Live!
King Sunny Adé - Talking Drum
King Sunny Adé - Oro Ope Ko Ni Kase
King Sunny Adé - O Ya, O Ya Mi Bo
King Sunny Adé - Juju-Apala
Download Juju-Apala Live as a zipped file, complete with album artwork, here.