VVAA Album: Highlife Time - Nigerian and Ghanaian Sounds From The 60's and early 70's
"IT'S HIGHLIFE TIME!
Highlife, dance music played mostly in Ghana and Nigeria, represents one of the century's first fusions of African roots and western music, and before 1970 it ruled dancefloors across much of West Africa. The story of West African big-band Highlife is the story of West African independence itself. From its early roots in church music, old African song forms, sea shanties and military brass bands to the orchestra podiums of the slickest nightclubs and concert halls of Lagos and Accra, Highlife has charted the growing confidence of a proud and gifted people casting off the shackles of empire: a people ready to live the High Life. Accra's E.T.Mensah was the pioneer, but Lagos was not far behind, with superstars such as Roy Chicago, Rex Lawson and Dr. Victor Olaiya performing to packed dancefloors where, unusually for West Africa, ethnicity didn't matter -- Igbo people danced with Hausas, and Efik guys with Yoruba women. West Africa was prosperous, there was work for all -- and for several glorious years, Highlife was the soundtrack for the good times. In 1967 the tragic Biafran War wrought three years of misery in eastern Nigeria, but soon after Highlife came to the rescue, the 70s music of legends such as Stephen Osita Osadebe helping to heal the scars as only music can.
In our collection you'll find all of these Highlife stars and more, from the most celebrated to the obscure one-hit wonders.
Not content with just churning out material available from European and American catalogues, Vampisoul journeyed to Lagos, scoured the record crates, dusted off the forgotten mastertapes and started afresh. As the radio DJs used to say back then: "People, Highlife is King! Long live Highlife!"
Available on 2CD and 2LP formats, both with complete and informative essay by African music authority John Armstrong. "