Manu Dibango

Soul Makossa

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
No Image 1981 View Video
No Image 1985 Accord
Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind!, Vol. 12 1991
Various Artists
Rhino 4:30
Soul Makossa [Unidisc] 1992 Unidisc 6:08
The Disco Years, Vol. 3: Boogie Fever 1992
Various Artists
Rhino 4:30
30 Years of African Music 1994
Various Artists
Sonodisc 4:25
Rock Instrumental Classics, Vol. 4: Soul 1994
Various Artists
Rhino 4:31
Wakafrika 1994 Giant 5:40
Crooklyn, Vol. 2 1995
Original Soundtrack
MCA 4:25
Rock Instrumental Classics, Vols. 1-5 1995
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Bros. 4:31
African Voices [Narada] 1996
Various Artists
Narada 0:00
Everybody Dance: Remixed Dance Classics 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 6:02
Mas Ritmo Latino 1999
Various Artists
Arcade Music 5:34
The Loft 1999 Nuphonic 4:30
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
Africadelic: The Best Of Manu Dibango 2003 Mercury / Universal 6:06
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 Communications 4:27
Afrobeat Sessions 2004
Various Artists
Sessions Records 4:21
50 ans de Chansons a l'Olympia, Vol. 1 2004
Various Artists
MCA / Universal / Universal Distribution 4:46
Essential Afrobeat 2005
Various Artists
Family Recordings 4:06
Soul Makossa [DVD] 2005 Immortal
The Very Best of African Soul 2006 PolyGram / Universal
Essential Recordings 2006 Manteca 4:25
20th Century Masters 2007 Universal Distribution 6:06
Putumayo Presents: World Hits 2007
Various Artists
Putumayo 4:11
Old School Jams, Vol. 8 2009
Various Artists
SPG 4:25
Honky Tonk: Charlie Gillett's Radio Picks 2009
Various Artists
Ace 4:27
A Complete Introduction to Disco 2010
Various Artists
Universal 4:26
We Love the Nightlife 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 4:26
Crooklyn, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Geffen 4:30
French Riviera Cafe, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Def Jam / Island / Network / Universal 6:26