31 March 2009

Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro-Rock & Fuzz Funk In 1970s Nigeria

African 1970's rock. That's it, that's all.

Africa, easy. Rock means prominent electric guitar and the 70's component sits a bit in the ambition of the tracks, a few are over 5 minutes long. The 'funk' is there too, wouldn't it make more sense to mention it if it was missing? E.g. "Warning: Nigerian funkless music". Anyway, pretty far out stuff compared to comtemporary western popmusic.

This is a sister release of Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds and Nigerian Blues 1970 - 6. Excellent booklet: context, pictures and info on songs. Difference: the rock CD has 15 tracks on 1 CD vs. the Highlife CD with 26 on 2.
Soundway, 2008

Nigeria Rock Special
(108 MB)
Part 1
Part 2

Joe Tex - Get Way Back

"The 1950s Recordings". That's starting in 1955, after winning a talent show in the Apollo theater, aged 22, and ending in 1960 with a few later recordings. And that's the music from before Joe Tex became famous.

There's nothing wrong with this CD: good music, the usual insightful context in the booklet, pictures of record labels and some pictures of a young and baby-faced Joe Tex. What is wrong is how interesting this is. In other words, I think the problem's with the audience.

You're a Joe Tex fan, we all are. Listening to the music by the man before he got his breakthrough can be interesting but it's not quite as enjoyable as his later work. Not in the least because some songs are in someone else's style, like Little Richard and the Coasters, or a failed copy of a different song, like Pneumonia for Fever (regardless of Joe's claims to be the writer of Fever). There's plenty of 'original' Joe Tex too but not the 'real' Joe Tex sound, despite his voice being recognizable. And finally, the 1950's didn't know soul yet, so you'll find Joe doing mostly R&B. But, you can be the kind of fan who wants everything by his idol and then you could do a lot worse than getting this CD.

If you were to study the way the recording industry operated in the 50's, this would be a useful document. It contains a story of failed attempts at 'making it' and is thus more relevant than a story of success because it's shows various different approaches used in the industry. Say, 'Greatest Hits From Motown' tells you what success is, this CD tells you what's tried to achieve it.

Again, the fault's not with this CD. You just may have other stuff you rather listen to. Give it a try of course if you're only a little curious, chances are you might find something you like among the 27 tracks. It's Joe Tex, after all. If you're new to Joe, search this blog for more entertaining stuff.
Ace 2008

Joe Tex - Get Way Back