Search - Prince Nico Mbarga :: Aki Special

Aki Special
Prince Nico Mbarga
Aki Special
Genres: World Music, Pop, R&B
 
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

"If you forget your mother, you have lost your life," croons Nigeria highlife star Nico Mbarga in one of African music's biggest hits, the classic 10-minute midtempo dance rave "Sweet Mother." Mbarga was the most successfu...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Prince Nico Mbarga
Title: Aki Special
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rounder Select
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: World Music, Pop, R&B
Styles: Africa, Reggae, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 011661154520

Synopsis

Amazon.com
"If you forget your mother, you have lost your life," croons Nigeria highlife star Nico Mbarga in one of African music's biggest hits, the classic 10-minute midtempo dance rave "Sweet Mother." Mbarga was the most successful translator of West African horn-driven rumba to a guitar band. Mbarga's Rocafil Jazz group may lack bop syncopation, but its six members nonetheless swing together with sweet, machinelike precision. Released originally in the late seventies, before juju and fuji became Nigeria's predominant styles, the tracks collected on Aki Special collectively mark one of the most fertile periods of African music--with tribal rhythms and proverb-studded vocals combined with Western pop harmonies to create ecstatic dance music for both the body and, as suggested by "Free Education in Nigeria," the body politic. --Richard Gehr
 

CD Reviews

Simply one of the 10 greatest classics of African albums
08/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is dense with exceptional tracks. This album for more than a decade defined African high-life. The "Sweet Mother" cut became virtually Africa's anthem across the entire continent in the 70's, and it's still fresh. The interplay of voices and slack-key guitar is Nico at the top of his form, and the songwriting is in the same stratosphere with Fela and Johnny Clegg in its directness and power. "Christiana", "Aki Special" and "Education" are each classics in their own right."
Sweet n' Happy
Dr. Abi B. | Venice, CA | 05/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am an american born in Cameroon when my parents were in Peace Corps. Prince Nico was the record we always used to play while we were preparing the house for a big party. We would dance around and arrange everything. I feel my African roots when I hear this music deep down. Lighthearted yet full of poignant meanings, this music will uplift your feet and your mind. If you like African music this is a must!"
The Greatest Tribute A Man Ever Gave To Mother
Emil Isume Mondoa | DE USA | 04/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The honest, heartfelt lyrics of 'Sweet Mother' were initially rejected by the larger Nigerian record companies that dismissed it as a nursery rhyme. Most music executives work on a formula and fail to notice outstanding contributions that fall outside their formula. Nursery rhymes are songs of love and comfort from mother to child. In this case, it was an adult child reciprocating all that sweet mother love. Undeterred, Nico Mbarga got his masterpiece recorded by a small startup. The result was the largest hit in Africa. Its sales record has never been beaten. Nico voices what a naturally emotionally inarticulate gender always wishes it could say to mother, and he says it to an infectious, open and joyful dance rythm. Almost 30 years from its release in the days of mile-high platform shoes, it still fills dance floors every time it is played.The other pieces on this album are hits in their own right, but enough could never be said about this true modern classic. Nico Mbarga died in a road accident in 1998, but he will live forever in the hearts of mothers everywhere."