Album Review: Danger, by Lijadu Sisters

by ptinti

Beacon

In the first of a series of music reviews to come on Beacon, a review of Danger, the Lijadu Sisters’ 1976 afrobeat-reggae-waka-soul classic. Danger might just be the best album that, unless you came of age in 1970s Nigeria, you probably haven’t heard.

LAGOS, Nigeria — Identical twins Taiwo and Kehinde Lijadu comprise the Lijadu Sisters, a Nigerian duo that has dominated my playlist of late. Despite rising to prominence in the 1970s, the music of this oft-mentioned enigmatic duo remained frustratingly elusive for much of the last few decades. Until recently, if you wanted to listen to the Lijadu Sisters outside of Nigeria, you had to get your hands on the original vinyl pressings and cassette tapes released by the likes of Decca and Afrodisia. Good luck with that.

But in 2009 and 2010, Strut Records and Soundway Records (Nigeria 70 Vol. 1 and Soundway Records Presents The World Ends Afro Rock And Psychedelia In 1970s Nigeria) each released compilations that included a Lijadu track. On comps that boasted the likes of Fela Kuti, Tony Allen, Orlando Julius Ekemode and Kind Sunny Ade, the Lijadu Sisters stood out, all but guaranteeing that they were unlikely to remain an Afrobeat anecdote (they aren’t really Afrobeat, anyway).

In November 2011, Knitting Factory Records re-released the Lijadu Sisters’ 1976 classic, Danger, making their music widely available for the first time. Knitting Factory has since emptied out more of the Lijadu catalogue, re-releasing three more…

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