Tag Archives: Nigeria

[11] King Sunny Ade – Best of the Classic Years

21 Jun

This classic Juju recording is simply an all day long groove.

The Best of the Classic Years

The Best of the Classic Years












The layered percussion, the talking drums, the virtuoso steel guitar riffs all combine to have you bobbing your head and swaying your body for as long as these extended and upbeat jams are playing.

Moon categorizes this album as “World/Nigeria“, and this is consistent with how he describes the foreign recordings throughout, but this is Pop of the highest order. It is “poppy” in the sense that it is undeniably fun and accessible, as well as being “popular”, both in terms of sales and critical acclaim.

The rhythms are irresistible – hypnotic and uplifting – and evoke the heat and energy of a summer beach party as strongly as any Beach Boys record even if I don’t understand the melodic lyrics.

The fluid and technically impressive guitar work – by as many as four guitarists at a time – remind me of great rock instrumentalist like The Shadows or even Buddy Holly’s Crickets.

But it is the talking drums that anchor the rhythm and lead the tune, percussion and melody in one compact and compelling package.

The cheery, choral vocal harmonies are almost an afterthought across all of the syncopated tracks that make up the album.

In all, it feels like somebody found a way to capture effervescence on tape, to bottle fun . . .

There really is little more to say in this case. Here is an example of exactly what I was hoping to discover when I began my journey – an accomplished musician’s highly respected and massively enjoyable album that I was unaware of before cracking the spine on 1,000 Recordings.

Owned before blogging? No. (1 of 11. 9%)
Heard before blogging? No. (2 of 11. 18%)
Recommend?                 Yes. (7 of 11. 64%)

Next week:  Aerosmith – Toys In The Attic


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