KING SUNNY ADE — Juju Music

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KING SUNNY ADE - Juju Music cover
4.50 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1982

Tracklist

A1 Ja Funmi 7:07
A2 Eje Nlo Gba Ara Mi 7:17
A3 Mo Beru Agba 3:27
A4 Sunny Ti De Ariya 3:45
B1 Ma Jaiye Oni 5:06
B2 365 Is My Number / The Message 8:17
B3 Samba / E Falabe Lewe 8:06

Line-up/Musicians

– King Sunny Ade / guitar, vocals, keyboards
– Martin Meissonnier / keyboards
- Bob Ohiri / guitar
- Segun Llori / guitar
- Jelili Lawal / bass
- Demola Adepoju / steel guitar
- John Okeumeu / rhythm guitar
- Mofes Acambi / drums
- Shina Abiodun / congas
- Adeyemi Adisa / bongos
- Gani Alashe / shekere
- Michael Babalola / maracas
- Alhaji Timmy Olaitan / lead talking drums
- Rasaki Alakodun / second talking drums
- Jimoh Gbadamosi / third talking drums
- Tunde Demiola / vocals
- Mattew Olojede / vocals
- Femi Owomoyela / vocals
- Niyi Falaye / vocals
- Segun Shokumbi / vocals
- Jacob Ajakaye / vocals

About this release

Island Records – ILPS 9712 (UK)

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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KING SUNNY ADE JUJU MUSIC reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
In May 1981, when Bob Marley passed away, it left a huge void in a fast growing market for world beat music. Island records just missed signing Fela Kuti, so they decided to opt for long time Nigerian guitarist/singer King Sunny Ade instead. The early 80s was Ade’s era. Rock and RnB were on the wane with an aging baby boomer crowd and world beat was soaring in popularity due to increased exposure from big name rock stars like Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon. Ade’s early tours of the US and Europe were successful and his record sales were very high for an African artist. Fortunately Ade was far more than a trendy flavor of the month, his music was intricate and sensitive, and was based on centuries of Juju music tradition in Nigeria amongst his Yoruba people.

Describing the music of Sunny Ade is not easy. Despite sporting a huge 20 person ensemble, Ade’s music remains extremely delicate and light, like many intertwining silk threads that make a colorful tapestry. The five guitarists and eight percussionists interweave careful syncopated lines that keep the beat moving forward in a shifting kaleidoscope of small sounds. Along with this syncopated backdrop, Ade and his band add floating psychedelic melodies on the steel guitar, colorful synth accents, echoed guitar riffs and spaced out dubbing effects. In other words, Ade brings the richness of the Juju music tradition up to the modern age through very tasteful use of electronics. Tasteful is the key word here, because Ade never lets the electronic effects trample the delicacy of the original music. This is important because Ade’s deal with Island would end after a few more records because Sunny would not agree to westernize his music.

This record was very popular with the fast growing dub crowd in the early 80s. I’m surprised Ade’s Island records didn’t get a second life with the fans of retro electronica/grooves, this music deserves another rebirth. Juju music is designed to cast a spell, or Ogede, give this record a listen and I think you will find that easy to believe.

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