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Juju Music


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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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$11.99
$8.57 $6.89
Vinyl
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$50.00 $10.97
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Ja Funmi 7:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Eje Nlo Gba Ara Mi 7:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Mo Beru Agba 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Sunny Ti De Ariya 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Ma Jaiye Oni 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. 365 Is My Number/ The Message 8:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Samba/ E Falaba Lewe 8:07$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Juju Music + Synchro System/Aura + Best of the Classic Years
Price for all three: $44.29

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1990
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fontana Island
  • ASIN: B000003QI0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,897 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Quite possibly the most beautiful and influential West African record ever released internationally, Juju Music remains a revelation. With a phalanx of electric guitars that functions like a percussion section, and talking drums that sound like a gossipy Greek chorus, Nigerian juju star King Sunny Ade and His African Beats, all 20 of them, proved that African music could be as complex, dramatic, and symphonic as any European ensemble. Some thanks must go to French producer Martin Meissonier, who took the basic elements of Ade's sound--unison guitars, Yoruban drumming, seamless song medleys, and self-reflexive lyrics--and added a diverse assortment of Jamaican production techniques to heighten, deepen, and psychedelicize a sound that, with Ade's deliciously sweet vocals and the haunting strains of Demala Adepoju's Hawaiian steel guitar, was plenty wild to begin with. A masterpiece. --Richard Gehr

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
22
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See all 25 customer reviews
Very mellow, low key, dance-able, basically all about the drums.
Herr Frog
The style is rooted in the complex call-and-response between the talking drums and the vocalists.
Pieter Uys
This is in high rotation in my music listening, and will be in yours.
Eric Pfeiffer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this disc to broaden my experience with African music, formerly limited to Ladysmith, Mahothella Queens, etc. Even after reading the other listener reviews, I had no idea what to expect. To say that I was amazed would be an understatement. This disc is a fascinating blend of African, Caribbean, and Hawaiian sounds. I love the talking drums (their change in pitch makes them conversational as well as percussive), the occasional steel guitar runs, and some other-wordly "electronic tonalities." Of course, the basic guitar and vocal sounds are great, too. Most important, the music is enjoyable, uplifting, intriguing, and strangely relaxing. I've listened to it repeatedly and find something new everytime.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By m_noland on August 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
"Juju Music" was Island Records head Chris Blackwell's attempt to make KSA into the new Bob Marley after the reggae superstar's death in 1981. Hired Martin Messonier, the Phil Spector of worldbeat, to produce, and bankrolled KSA's first tour of the US. Messionier was actually a good choice to produce: seemed comfortable with KSA's big line-up of three electric guitarists, four singers, four African drummers, a trap drummer, a bass player, and a pedal steel player. The resulting disk is a highly accessible classic: layers of guitar, vocals, and percussion, with intermittent interjections of what might be called "space pedal steel" [you read that right]. KSA and Messonier added a few synths in post-production. This disk nicely documents KSA's sound circa. 1980.
Because of its denseness, the music can just wash over the listener, or, alternatively, its polyrhythmic complexity rewards repeated "hard" listening. (Personally, for headache relief I prefer lying down on a bed and listening to this disk to Tylenol.) The Yoruba lyrics run the gamut from the spiritual to the bawdy. (Sorry, no singing in "Nigerian" or paeans to "Ja," though.)
The follow-up disk "Synchro System" has a similar sound; subsequent incarnations of the band added keyboards; Demala Adepoju was replaced by a less accomplished pedal steel player; and in general the sound became more percussive as KSA's sound evolved toward "fuji" and other, "harder," styles. KSA still tours the US on occasion and if you see him now, you will probably be treated to a tougher sound (as well as some remarkable dancers)!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 1999
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
All the other reviews are correct, including Amazon's. I was lucky enough to see Sunny Ade live about 12 years ago and remain spellbound to this day. If I take a CD to a party, I inevitably end up giving it to the host because they are so blown away by it. The reason I am at this site is because I need to order more CDs after giving my last away at a party this Memorial Day weekend.
Every so often I hear some of this music used in commercial ads for Hawaiian vacations, which cracks me up. If you are getting your first juju music or fist Sunny Ade, I recommend this album. It is all good, but this album in particular is immediately accessible, yet stands up over time.
It's a cool CD to play at a party because it doesn't intrude or dominate, yet people are constantly stopping in mid-sentence and exclaiming, "Whoa! What IS that?" Getting 20 musicians on stage, all playing lead, yet not having a muddy, cluttered sound is an accomplishment in itself. The minimalist lead guitars (all five or six or them) blend into this rich polyphonic tapestry, yet the sound remains light, even sparse.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Sunny Adé is the legenday King of Juju, a tough dance music that freely draws on the traditions of the Yoruba, Nigeria's largest tribe. The style is rooted in the complex call-and-response between the talking drums and the vocalists. Instruments on this album include electric, rhythm and steel guitars, bass drums, congas, bongos, shekere, maracas, keyboards and the famous talking drums. The imaginative production also includes reggae-style Dub effects. My favorite tracks include the catchy Ja Funmi, the polyrhythmic Sunny Ti De Ariya with its brilliant effects, the melodic and soulful Ma Jaiye Oni with its spectacular Hawaian steel guitar, and Samba/E Falabe Lewe where the steel guitar again comes to the fore. The most interesting thing about Juju is that it lends more importance to the drum and guitar than to the vocals while the melody develops in episodes, as opposed to the familiar verse-chorus format. Although the music is somewhat exotic, this album is accessible enough for the adventurous listener and will soon become a favorite if you give it a chance.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
5 guitatrs, 4 talking drums, more percussion, and a rhythm section. And all of these musicians knowing when to play and more importantly when not to play. It truly is astounding (listen to the sound clips, you wont believe that it is a 20 piece band). And then you realze the instuments are talking to each other, Talking drum to talking drum (they actually converse, you need not know about african percussion to feel the conversation), the guitars converse in a talking drum like fasion, drum to guitar exchanges too.
It really is beautiful, grand, but subtle. As complex as a symphony, yet as eazy as acoustic blues.
Thank you Mr. Chairman King Sunny Ade' for bringing your music to America; I've been loving this recording for close to 20 years now, and Im sure I will never tire of it.
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