Long before the term world music was a twinkle in anyone's ear, there was Osibisa -- a Ghanaian name meaning "criss-cross rhythms exploding with happiness" (a big phrase for a small word). But the mix of musicians from Ghana, Britain, and the Caribbean exploded on the English scene, scoring a massive hit with the catchy, danceable "Sunshine Day" and opening ears to their mix of highlife, prog rock, and reggae -- prior to them the only mix of African music and rock had come with an obscure collaboration of Steve Winwood with some West African artists. But Osibisa crossed over in a big way, not only finding the charts, but also the more open student audience with songs like "Celebration" and "Make Everybody Happy." It was sunshine music in a dank climate. However, in the fickle musical world, their popularity faded after a few years, down to a core audience that kept them going. The band continued to expand their musical horizons, however, as pieces like "Ayiko Bia" and "Ke Le Le" show. While they might seem more like a historical footnote than a mighty force, they were where so much of it started, and this collection, even if too much of it is live rather than the definitive original studio recordings, does them and their polyrhythms and melodies ample justice. ~ Chris Nickson
40844NCelebration - The Best of Osibisa (CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/10/36/752211103628.jpg?v=414.9914.38USDOutOfStockAim RecordsCDWorld-MusicOsibisa2009-01-07
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