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World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor?

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Editors’ Notes

William Onyeabor is something of a mystery. Here’s what we do know: between the mid-‘70s and mid-‘80s, he released a string of albums that married the best of American funk with Nigerian pop, using a small army of now-vintage synthesizers to do it. Rediscovered by crate-diggers, his ticky-tacky songs sound prescient—and quite relevant—today, frequently straying into the 10-minute range and showing their African roots in their tendency to build intensity through repetition. Start with “Atomic Bomb” and “Fantastic Man” for a wildly funky ride.

Customer Reviews

The Bigfoot of goofy musicians

I became obsessed with William Onyeabor in the mid '80s, while serving in the Peace Corps in Cameroon. IMHO, his magnum opus is "When the Going is Smooth and Good." I have it only on a dusty cassette made from a scratchy LP. Luaka Bop, can you dig this up and put it on iTunes? Only then can I die happy.

Why are these kinda songs still play able?

I mean the title is grey but i can still preview it?..

Love first song, can't wait for more!

Great smooth energy.


Born: Lagos, Nigeria

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '10s

William Onyeabor is an iconic figure in the history of Nigerian pop music. He is considered the father of Nigerian electro Afro-funk. His biography has been shrouded in mystery due to his own refusal to discuss it or his music since becoming a born-again Christian in the middle of the 1980s and retiring to pursue a career as a businessman running his own flour mill. What we do know is that he was born in Lagos, Nigeria in the 1950s. His musical education began early on the piano and organ. In the...
Full Bio
World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor?, William Onyeabor
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Customer Ratings