Listen to Semi-Colon's "Slim Fit Maggie"
Listen to the Strangers' "Love Rock"
Get the 20-track compilation here.
It's true: You can't judge a CD by the lack of a cover. This is one of the greatest things I've ever found; although, truth be told, it was handed to me with a very, very strong recommendation.
So, I returned this weekend to Blessing Udeagu in Corona, Queens. The younger woman who was working there last time wasn't there; instead, there were two women, older than the first, hunkered down over a computer where they were gossiping about a mutual friend or acquaintance: "How can she put all of her life like that on Facebook?"
When they saw me come in, one of the women asked me: "Have you been here before?" I said that I had, last weekend, in fact. "Did you buy music?" I nodded my head. "Did you like it?" Very much so, I let her know in uncertain terms. "My daughter told me about you!" she explained.
After establishing that, indeed, I was the guy who was there last weekend, the shop keep rose from the computer and came over to where I was standing by the CD rack and began pulling things off the shelf. "You need this one," she said, handing me the sleeveless CD you see above. I asked what it was. "Nigerian pop," she explained, "from the 70s." My heart began to race as she took the CD to the computer and popped it in. I nearly collapsed when I heard the first song.
"Uh, this is great--I definitely need this!" I blurted out. She smiled and popped the CD back out of the computer.
I'm not sure how to classify this music--it doesn't sound like highlife--other than, simply, "pop." It's incredible. For those who know something about Nigerian pop, I've provided a track list below.
1. Fuel For Love, Wrinkards Experience
2. Be My Own, Founder 15
3. I've Been Loving You, The Wings
4. Nobody Fails, Ofege
5. Still Searching, Bongos Ikwe
6. Love Rock, Strangers
7. Slim Fit Maggie, Semi Colon
8. Nobody Called Me, Strangers
9. It's Gonna Be A Good Day, Blo
10. Money To Burn, Wrinkards Experience
11. She's My Choice, Sweet Breeze
12. Whizzy Ilabo, Ofege
13. Sitting On The Beach, Bongod Ikwe
14. Come Back Love, Tony Grey
15. Kissing You So Hard, The Wings
16. She's A Dropout The Apostles
17. Palmwine Tapper, Sweet Breeze
18. Dancing Time, The Funkees
19. Give The Beggar A Chance, Joni Maastrup
20. To Whom It May Concern, Tunji Oyelana