ROB - Make It Fast, Make It Slow As the decade went on, the relative international success of Fela Kuti pushed many bands further away from the rock sound and nearer to the Afro-beat sound that Fela was pushing. This was a natural progression for certain artists, as Fela's sound owed much to the big-band Highlife of bands like Ghana's Uhuru Dance Band. The jazzier, more complex arrangements had been part of the repertoire of many of the dance bands throughout the sixties, and composers like Ebo Taylor and Osar Sulley formed their own styles which were anchored in their experience of playing in these big bands from the fifties, throughout the sixties, and into the seventies. ROB - Make It Fast, Make It Slow

As the decade went on, the heavier funk sound of America inevitably took to the dancefloors of Africa. Some bands like Matata in Kenya enjoyed reasonable successes with their version of funk. But there were literally thousands of these bands across Africa that cut one or two funk 45's or one track on an LP that were forgotten.

EBO TAYLOR Eventually, at the beginning of the eighties the record industry in Ghana collapsed. The military coup of 1981 had followed a period of economic decline in Ghana. The combination of rising prices of imported vinyl used to press records, as well as the proliferation of illegal pirate taping booths all over the country was beginning to put huge pressures on the manufacturing plants. As well as these strains, increasing technological advancements in foreign soul and disco music were making it extremely difficult for bands to keep sounding fresh against the imports. Ebo Taylor remembers, "There was a restriction put on the amount of vinyl that was allowed to be used for records and producers were squandering this precious resource on pressing Barry White records!" Many musicians left throughout the late seventies and early eighties to live and record overseas.


  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6