Monday, February 4, 2013

One Hit Wonders # 8 - Manu Dibango

Our latest One Hit Wonder Comes to us from Emmanuel N'Djoke Dibango, known professionally as Manu Dibango. A native of Doualla, Cameroon, He was born December 12, 1933 and is a still-active and highly respected saxophonist and vibraphone player. He was a member of the seminal Congolese rumba group African Jazz and as a solo artist developed a musical style fusing funk, jazz and traditional Cameroonian music. Dibango has worked with many highly regarded artists including The Fania All Stars, Ladysmith Black Mambao, Sly And Robbie, Fela Kuti and Herbie Hancock. His wonderful one hit is "Soul Makossa", in which the word "makossa" means "dance" in his native language. Released in 1972, 'Soul Makossa" is cited by many as the original disco record. It was discovered in a West Indian record store in Brooklyn by deejay David Mancuso who started playing it at his loft parties. This resulted in the last few copies available in New York being quickly bought up, Quickly rendering the song practically unfindable. The demand became so great that many bands recorded cover versions due to the fact that the original was so hard to find. Atlantic Records eventually licensed the original from the French record label Fiesta. It peaked at #21 on the Billboard RnB charts and at #35 on Billboard's Top 100. At one point there were nine different versions of the song on the charts at the same time. The song was also successful internationally. "Soul Makossa" has influenced a number of other artist's works sch as Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Starting Something", Rihanna's "Don't Stop The Music" and The Fugees' "Cowboys". Featured here is a live performance of the song by Dibango from 1973. Enjoy.

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