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A HOT BOX OF HIGHLIFE DELIGHTS!

E.T. Mensah & The Tempos

"King of Highlife Anthology"

Cat.No: RETRO24CD
Label: RetroAfric
Format: 4CDs in hard-backed accordion wallet with 64-page booklet
Album release: March 6th, 2015



E.T. Mensah ‘The King of Highlife’ is a true legend of African music - the founding father of that most popular style of dance music, which spread like a bushfire across the African continent and beyond during the 1950s and 60s.


Highlife was the first Pan-African pop music and still survives as the basis for contemporary genres like Afrobeats, afropop, hiplife and is an essential ingredient of earlier forms including Congo rumba, soukous, mbalax and the original Afrobeat.


Emmanuel Tetteh Mensah was a multi-instrumentalist and band leader whose dance band Highlife re-Africanised American swing music, blending it with Caribbean melodies, Latin rhythms and indigenous elements from the musically rich culture of Ghana (then known as The Gold Coast).


Although he had started out on a musical career in the 1930s
, E.T. recorded his first 78rpm discs in 1952 and as he later claimed: “When my records came out in 1952 they vibrated into the ears of the listening public in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. It was from this period on that music fans throughout West Africa began to acclaim me as the King of Highlife.” That reputation carried right across the continent, being enjoyed by, and influencing, musicians as far apart as Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegambia, Congo and Kenya.

E.T, who sadly died in 1996, was the artist who inspired RetroAfric's mission to remaster and re-issue essential recordings by Africa's pioneers of popular music. The first collection, All For You (RETRO1), was released as a vinyl LP in 1986 and later an extended version came out on CD.

Highlife has never died, and this selection of timeless tracks from the mid-1950s to 1960s shows why it lives on, consistently inspiring new generations of musicians and listeners.

With the cooperation of the Mensah family and estate, RetroAfric are pleased to re-issue this set of 69 songs from the great man’s repertoire that are being released in a four-CD box set (RETRO24CD). These classic tracks, most of which have not been available for more than 50 years, have been digitally transferred at the British Library National Sound Archive and are now being released to synchronize with Ghana
Independence Day on March 6.

With specially commissioned artwork by Kofi Ankobra, a 64-page biography by Highlife expert John Collins and rarely seen period photographs, this Anthology is essential listening for all African music enthusiasts.


Tracklisting

Disc A

1. Kwame Nkrumah
2. Muntum
3. Ngele Waewae
4. Auntie B
5. Makoma
6. Yei Ngbewoh
7. Hweyie
8. Menye Wo Bowu
9. Akuafo Cocoa
10. Natsui
11. The Tree and The
Monkey
12. Onua
13. Owu Aye Me Adze
14. Mr Mouse
15. Nimpa Nawie
16. Akole Manuma Dibi
17. Club Girl
Total time: 48 mins

Disc B

1. Nothing But Manís Slave
2. Akpanga (Vulture)
3. Sanbra
4. Onua Pa
5. Shemi ni Oha
6. Korle Bu
7. Small Boy
8. Afi Fro Fro
9. Bus Conductor
10. Nkebo Baaya
11. Donkey Calypso
12. Tea Samba
13. Adainqua
14. All For You
15. St Peterís Calypso
16. Essie Nana
17. John B Calypso
Total time: 45 mins

Disc C

1.Munsuro
2. Odofo
3. Inflation Calypso
4. Nkatie
5. Assembon Tie Míansem 6. Wiadzi
7. Agriculture
8. Fom Fom
9. Sunday Mirror
10. Donít Mind Your Wife
11. Ahongyee
12. Mucho Mambo
13. Novimye
14. Loffoh Bibio
15. Bashia
16. Because of Money
17. School Girl Total time: 47 mins

Disc D

1. Day By Day
2. Calabar O
3. Comfort
4. Renkyebo
5. 205
6. Onipa
7. Gbaa Anokwale
8. Abele
9. Odo Angyina
10. Damfo Wo Eni Ewu
11. Kaa No Wa
12. Senorita
13. Daavi Loloto
14. 1914
15. Medzi Medzi
16. Ghana-Guinea-Mali
17. Mee Bei Obada 18. Ghana Freedom Total time: 54 mins

  •  
  • the most comprehensive collection of E.T. Mensah recordings ever undertaken.
  • newly mastered from the best available sources and
    includes tracks never before released digitally or on CD
  • features an illustrated 64-page biography written by Prof. John Collins, an acknowledged doyen of Ghanaian highlife music
  • released with the cooperation of the Mensah family and estate to celebrate Ghana Independence Day, March 6th.