7 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A world-music landmark, this 1982 album is the career masterpiece of bandleader Sunny Ade, an actual member of Nigerian royalty who became one of the best-known African musicians of his generation. Four interlocking, gorgeously hypnotic electric guitars plus a pedal steel tightly interlace with a phalanx of soft-toned talking drums, combining traditional Yoruban percussion with sleek modern pop. Ade's "juju music" was a modernization of the West African highlife style, taking African guitar pop to new heights. Ade had pioneered the new style for years before this album came out, but the smooth, glossy polish of producer Martin Meissonier adds the perfect touch for this seductive wall of sound. Island Records label head Chris Blackwell groomed Ade for global stardom, planning to fill the gap left after reggae legend Bob Marley passed away in 1981. Although that plan proved overly ambitious, the strong promotional push behind this album helped bring "world music" to a much larger American audience, and Juju Music remains one of the seminal African pop albums of the 20th Century.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A world-music landmark, this 1982 album is the career masterpiece of bandleader Sunny Ade, an actual member of Nigerian royalty who became one of the best-known African musicians of his generation. Four interlocking, gorgeously hypnotic electric guitars plus a pedal steel tightly interlace with a phalanx of soft-toned talking drums, combining traditional Yoruban percussion with sleek modern pop. Ade's "juju music" was a modernization of the West African highlife style, taking African guitar pop to new heights. Ade had pioneered the new style for years before this album came out, but the smooth, glossy polish of producer Martin Meissonier adds the perfect touch for this seductive wall of sound. Island Records label head Chris Blackwell groomed Ade for global stardom, planning to fill the gap left after reggae legend Bob Marley passed away in 1981. Although that plan proved overly ambitious, the strong promotional push behind this album helped bring "world music" to a much larger American audience, and Juju Music remains one of the seminal African pop albums of the 20th Century.

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