From the liner notes: " In short, this beautifully performed and superbly recorded album is a fitting musical excellence from Ghana's longest-lived group. It's therefore not surprising that Nana Ampadu is the most brilliant musician and wonderful lyricist who works in a standard and modern format using traditional rhythms and innovations to give the best to his large audience. Nana Ampadu is always together with his people. The people with Africa Feeling."
Well, I could hardly put it any better than it is expressed on the back of this Makossa Records International pressing of the 1981 lp "Agatha".
A joyful and deliciously polyrhythmic slice of Cote de Ivoire highlife, the 'single' version of Agatha came out in 1979. In the decade prior and the ones following, Nana has recorded at least "400" songs as singles and over "70" albums. From the Nana Ampadu website: ( http://www.nanakwameampadu.com/mylife.htm ) ...These styles are based on 'yaa amponsah', heard in its purest form on the band's hit single "Agatha" , and embrace other less-well-known regional styles such as odonson, a street rhythm performed by percussionists and singers, and osode, a music sung by Ghanaian fisherman in the west of the country. Ampadu's lyrics, almost invariably sung in one of the Ghanaian languages rather than English, are steeped in street and tribal lore, sometimes including coded criticisms of government policies and personalities."
Personally, I can say that since a friend loaned me this lp a few years ago, I have gotten a lot of joy from listening to and DJing these songs. I've always found this genre of West African music to be almost a guaranteed 'uplift' to my mood in any situation, and I think that this album is a splendid example of the best of the form. Even better, it has only four long cuts, which allows me to wallow in the permutations of the groove within each of the songs to an orgasmic degree.
The availability of this music seems sketchy; there is a cd repackage (minus the original art) that is possibly out of print, and three of the four tracks pop up on several other Nana Ampadu CDs, with the exception being "Akwantifi Wuo", which seems to not be found on CD at all. Being fond of the original package and song list, and not having heard back from Nana's website, I'm going to go ahead and pass this lovely record along.
I've placed a mockup of the full lp cover here, and since my version of the cover art is merely a color copy made for me by the owner of the record, I've re-typed the wonderful and extensive liner notes on the back of the record, as my original copy is very hard to read. The text is just as charming as can be. "Thank God you've had this beautiful Album." Well, thank you, Nana Ampadu I and the band!