glimpses of the African Rock n' Roll Years
December 30, 2008 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Clips from the BBC documentary, The African Rock n' Roll Years - Part 1 l Part 2 l Part 3 l Part 4 l Part 5 l Part 6 - a six-part series mixing interviews with key artists, concert footage and news archives, the series examines and explains the "styles that make up the continent's music, and the political and social pressures that led to their development." BBC documentary details. Found in YouTube member, Duncanzibar's, good collection of mostly African music videos.

Details of the full documentary:
"Episode 1: WEST AFRICA: Praise Singers and Superstars
This is the story of how the musical caste lost their monopoly, taken over by state intervention and a craze for Cuban music, which helped to create one of the most exciting music scenes in the world today. Featured artists include Youssou N'Dour, Baaba Maal, Salif Keita, Orchestra Baobab, Rokia Traore, Ali Farka Toure and Daara J.

Ep 2: SOUTH AFRICA: Rhythms of Resistance
South Africa's vibrant music scene developed in the apartheid era, when songs were used as a way of hitting back against repression. Featured artists include Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Thomas Mapfumo from Zimbabwe and newcomer Thandiswa.

Ep 3: COASTAL SOUNDS: Sierra Leone to Cameroon
This programme explores the effect of calypso on the 'palmwine' styles that developed in Sierra Leone and Nigeria. It tells how music from Sierra Leone and elsewhere affected the massively popular highlife dance styles of Ghana, and how palmwine music was also to influence the makossa dance scene in Cameroon. Featured artists include Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Osibisa, Alpha Blondy, Angelique Kidjo and Manu Dibango.

Ep 4: CENTRAL AFRICA: Congo Jive
Some of the most infectious dance music in Africa came from Kinshasa on the Congo river, as guitarists and band-leaders mixed local and Cuban influences to create the rumba and soukous styles that shook up dance floors across Africa and beyond. Featured artists include Franco, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Ray Lema, Pepe Kalle, Konono No 1 and Corneille.

Ep 5: LUSOPHONE AFRICA: The Lisbon Legacy
Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde were cut off from neighbouring states because the language of their colonisers was Portuguese and not French or English. The musicians developed distinctive styles; from the high-energy rhythms of Angola to the sad-edged blues and European-influenced ballads of the Cape Verde islands. Featured artists include Cesaria Evora, Manecas Costa, Mariza, Bonga and Mabulu.

Ep 6: NORTH AFRICA: Rai Rebels and Desert Blues
The programme follows the careers of rai stars like Khaled and the Arabic rocker Rachid Taha, and also the great female singers who have emerged from Islamic North Africa and from further east in Christian Ethiopia. Featured artists include Tinariwen, Khaled, Rachid Taha, Souad Massi, the musicians of Jajouka Amina and (from Ethiopia) Gigi and Aster Aweke."

Each clip is about 1/7th the length of the original series but still worth watching. Lots of music, examples, so one can seek out music by those musicians and very listenable music history.
posted by nickyskye (9 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks NickySkye! For some wonderful downloadable accompaniment and for future listening, check out DJ Frank's blog on his record-collecting adventures in Africa.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 8:57 AM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Suweet! Nice link, thanks foxy_hedgehog!
posted by nickyskye at 9:11 AM on December 30, 2008

Looks great—thanks, nickyskye!
posted by languagehat at 10:08 AM on December 30, 2008

Great links. If I'm not mistaken the opening clip is Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Reminds me of one of my favorite albums.
Graceland ( / metafilter)
posted by jckll at 10:35 AM on December 30, 2008

What great timing, I've been listening to Hallelujah Chicken Run Band all week without any historical/cultural perspective! Thank you...
posted by timshel at 11:13 AM on December 30, 2008

The World Passport podcast features a ton of African music, you might also enjoy.
posted by waxboy at 12:57 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is wonderful, nickyskye, thanks!
posted by amyms at 2:12 PM on December 30, 2008

Excellent, thanks.
posted by Wolof at 6:59 PM on December 30, 2008

This is simply splendid - you really made me MeFi week. Delicious!
posted by TomSophieIvy at 8:27 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

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