King Sunny Ade

Classics, Vol. 4: Mo Ti Mo/Destiny

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There's something very wonderful and energizing about early King Sunny Ade, and that's what you get on Mo Ti Mo, the first half of this pairing. From 1975, in the early days of the African Beats -- before he even became King -- it offers a gloriously rough and percussive exploration of juju, especially on the title cut (which also appears on The Best of King Sunny Ade). Destiny, from 1988 -- the dates come from online research, rather than any information in the CD booklet -- has different ideas about the music. Coming after a first grab at global stardom had failed, it's music made for his Nigerian home audience, but certainly not from his most creative period. That said, it's not bad, just not fired with the greatest imagination; at times he and the band sound like they're simply going through the motions.

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