King Sunny Adé

Gems From the Classic Years (1967-1976)

Adé put the international spotlight on Nigeria’s juju music with his international debut Juju Music in 1982. He was already a superstar in Nigeria and this music shows why. “Ori Mni Maje N’te” is an 18-minute jam featuring an extended steel-guitar solo. The instrument was borrowed from Nashville, but the execution is pure Africa and plays off Adé’s guitar work to set off incandescent sparks. On “Nibi Lekeleke Gbe Nfosho” the accent is on the interplay between bass, talking drum and Adé’s guitar, while “Isele Yi Leju” has a more laid-back, Caribbean groove, the music ebbing and flowing like a tropical breeze. “Dele Davis” rides a tight Bo Diddley groove, clocking in at a radio friendly three minutes, as does “John Ali,” a tune with a definite Hawaiian lilt.