Manu Dibango

Soul Makossa

Composed by Manu Dibango

Song Review by

French-speaking Manu Dibango described his music as "Afro-quelque": Afro-something. Born in Africa, the sax player/pianist's most famous recording, "Soul Makossa," first garnered stateside attention as a French import, becoming a staple of Harlem dance clubs. Born February 10, 1934, in Cameroon, Africa, Dibango relocated to Europe in 1949, making his recording debut in Belgium in 1952. Eight years later, he switched from jazz to African music. Becoming a favorite in discotheques, the sleek "Soul Makossa" was picked up by Atlantic Records, going to number 21 R&B and number 35 pop in the summer of 1973. Kool and the Gang patterned "Jungle Boogie" and their two gold singles "Funky Stuff" and "Hollywood Swinging" after "Soul Makossa." The track was also included on the excellent Atlantic two-record set Black Gold. Dibango's other charting single was "Dangwa" during the fall. The Soul Makossa LP went to number 11 R&B and number 79 pop while his 1974 LP Makossa Man peaked at number 27 R&B. In recent times, "Soul Makossa" was rediscovered by the hip-hop/rap generation.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Soul Makossa 1972 Musidisc
No Image 1978 Unidisc
No Image 1981 View Video
Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind!, Vol. 12 1991
Various Artists
Rhino 4:30
The Disco Years, Vol. 3: Boogie Fever 1992
Various Artists
Rhino 4:30
30 Years of African Music 1994
Various Artists
Sonodisc 4:25
Wakafrika 1994 CMI Records 5:41
Rock Instrumental Classics, Vols. 1-5 1995
Various Artists
Rhino/Warner Bros. 4:31
African Voices [Narada] 1996
Various Artists
Manteca 4:24
Everybody Dance: Remixed Dance Classics 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 6:02
Mas Ritmo Latino 1999
Various Artists
Arcade Music 5:34
Megaworld 2000
Various Artists
Wagram Records 2:54
Anthology 2000 Eagle Records 4:24
The Very Best of Manu Dibango: AfroSoulJazz 2000 Manteca 4:24
Mega Africa 2001
Various Artists
Wagram Records 2:50
The Very Best of Africa [Nascente] 2002
Various Artists
Nascente / Import 4:21
Cafe Solaire: Ethno Moods & Deep Cool, Vol. 1 2002
Various Artists
Soulstar 4:22
Disco Nights [Ubiquity] 2003
Various Artists
Unidisc
Africadelic: The Best Of Manu Dibango 2003 Mercury / Universal 4:27
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Ex Works
Beginner's Guide to World Music, Vol. 2 2004
Various Artists
Nascente 4:23
Sunnyside Cafe Series: Cafe Mundo/An Electro World Experience 2004
Various Artists
Sunnyside 4:27
Afrobeat Sessions 2004
Various Artists
Sessions Records 4:21
Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion [Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Shout! Factory / Shout! Factory/My Music/TJL 4:27
Ronnie Scott's Forty Five 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 4:26
Essential Afrobeat 2005
Various Artists
Family Recordings 4:06
20th Century Masters - African Pop 2005
Various Artists
Universal International
Soul Makossa [DVD] 2005 Immortal
The Very Best of African Soul 2006 Polydor / PolyGram / Universal 4:26
Essential Recordings 2006 Manteca 4:25
Disco Fever: I Love The Nightlife [#2] 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:26
20th Century Masters 2007 Universal Distribution 6:06
Disco Fever, Vol. 1-4 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:26
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:25
The Very Best of West Africa 2007
Various Artists
Nascente 4:22
African Fever 2008
Various Artists
Wagram Records
No Image 2008 Global Mix
Old School Jams, Vol. 8 2009
Various Artists
SPG 4:25
Honky Tonk: Charlie Gillett's Radio Picks 2009
Various Artists
Ace 4:27
Makossa Man: The Very Best of Manu Dibango 2009 Nascente 4:22
A Complete Introduction to Disco 2010
Various Artists
Universal 4:26
Free Africa 2010
Various Artists
Le Son du Maquis 4:21
We Love the Nightlife 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:26
We Love the Nightlife: Good Times 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:26
French Riviera Cafe, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Def Jam / Island / Network / Universal 6:26
No Image
Various Artists
Price Stern Sloan/Putnam 4:23
blue highlight denotes editor's pick