Thursday, 11 September 2008

King Sunny Ade - Private Line (1978)

African music seems to be enjoying something of a resurgence in popularity lately. Interest and imaginations have been sparked as a number of young bands like the Dirty Projectors, Extra Golden, Yeasayer or Vampire Weekend have tried to introduce something of an 'African' guitar sound into their music, evoking the rhythms and sounds of highlife or afrobeat. Some fantastic compilations and reissues, and some great blogs, have also helped bring some beautiful, vintage music to listening ears and draw attention to the richness and diversity of this huge continent's recent musical history. So, from the deep and mystical sounding '60s and '70s afro-jazz of Ethiopia's Mulatu Astatke, or the wild, guitar workouts of Sir Victor Uwaifo, we get to catch a glimpse of the Africa that lies behind official representations of a continent and people in need of Europe's paternal presence, first in the name of the colonial civilising mission, then in the name of development.

Today's musical offering is from one of Africa's most popular musicians, The Minister of Enjoyment, King Sunny Ade. I picked up a battered copy of this wonderful example of juju music at a car boot sale.

It's a Nigerian pressing from the Sunny Alade label and I don't think this music has had any kind of European or American release, although the track 365 is my Number was rerecorded and shortened for one of Sunny Ade's Island releases. This really is beautiful music, with gorgeous recurring phrases and melodies that play around the intricate rhythms of the many percussion instruments, and some fantastic, understated guitar playing. Maybe I'm easily pleased, but this stuff just seems to put me in a good mood. We've not had much of a summer here in England, but this stuff has been providing me with plenty of musical sunshine.


365 Is My Number-Dial
Kale Sanwa Jowuro Lo
Omo Nigeria Ti Mbe Lehin Odi
Ajo Ki Dun Ki Odida Ma Rewo
Alhaji Kola Wole Olokodana

The zip is here or here. Enjoy the sunshine...


Emily said...

Cool article

Anonymous said...

thank you vey much.. i ve been looking for this album 4 years. it brings back memories of my childhood.

Anonymous said...



: )

Anonymous said...

hi. just purchased a worn copy of this myself. had to fight a bit to get it. a friendly fight, but still.
Soo glad to get it digitally too.
thanks a lot!!!!!

this is an underrated masterpiece, I think.

king sunny ade's top five album in no particular order:

"searching for my love"
"festac 77"
"in London"
"private line"
"juju music" (with the killer track,ja funmi)

Mr Tear said...

Yes I agree, this one's a bit of a classic and I'm really glad people are still finding it.

If you love the JuJu sound, make sure you check out Cheif Ebeneezer Obey's beautiful LP, 'What God Has Joined Together' which you can find here:

Anonymous said...

the digital links are broken, can someone reupload it please! :)

tek said...

yes please repost- i'm craving mid 70's KSA right now and there is a surprisingly limited amount of it available considering how much of it was recorded back then. thank you.