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Juju Music

King Sunny Ade

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Album Review

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.

Customer Reviews

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King Sunny Ade has been around in the world of music for only GOD knows when, and he is always getting better to the very best. Keep on keeping on BABA.

Biography

Born: September 20, 1946 in Oshogbo, Nigeria

Genre: World

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

King Sunny Ade is the undisputed king of juju music, the dance-inspiring hybrid of western pop and traditional African music with roots in the guitar tradition of Nigeria. Although he's yet to equal the success that he enjoyed with his early-'80s albums and American tours, Ade and his band, His African Beats, continue to weave an infectious blend of electric guitars, synthesizers and multi-layered percussion. Born to a family of Nigerian royalty, Ade left school to pursue a career in music. In the...
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Juju Music, King Sunny Ade
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