One of my photos

1994 – Adouma

March 6th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

1994 was when ‘britpop’ really started kicking off. Blur released the Parklife album and a few singles from it, Oasis released their debut album, Definitely Maybe, along with a few singles from that, Suede released Dog Man Star and Pulp started getting some attention with His n Hers. Echobelly had their debut album, while other bands like Supergrass, Elastica and Sleeper were putting out singles before getting an album out.

All of that passed me by a bit because I was getting more into world music. I had the Parklife album, but the rest of it didn’t impact me much.Having expanded my horizons beyond Europe I had been getting the odd African CD but this was the year I got more serious about it, and the year I discovered Angelique Kidjo. It was a good year to get the bug because releases in 1994 included Angelique Kidjo’s breakthrough album Aye, Baaba Maal’s Firin’ in Fouta, Youssou N’Dour’s breakthrough album The Guide (Wommat), and Wakafrika by Manu Dibango. The wife didn’t really have the same enthusiasm, despite being African herself, but I did get her to appreciate Angelique Kidjo.

I was also starting to get into North African music, mainly Algerian, via some cheap compilations where nearly every artist was called Cheb something. It was Cheb Khaed who stood out for me – they don’t call him the king of Rai for nothing! – and I managed to get the Mrs. into him as well.

In return I was enjoying some of her music like TLC’s CrazySexyCool album, En Vogue’s collaboration with Salt-n-Pepa, and Sheryl Crow’s All I Wanna Do. Sheryl Crow’s song might have been a good one to sum up the year for me actually. At the end of the year we went to LA to see in the New Year and could not get that song out of our heads while we were driving around, even if we didn’t actually watch the sun coming up over Santa Monica Boulevard.

As a big favour, I didn’t inflict my other purchases on her too much. It would have been pushing it to get her to enjoy Megadeth’s Youthanasia, Pantera’s Far Beyond Driven. MC Solaar’s Prose Combat, Yes’s Talk, or Pink Floyd’s Division Bell. Even die-hard Yes fans were lukewarm about Talk. I was just happy to see new material under the Yes name after all that AWBH and Union stuff, even if they didn’t end up with the perfect line-up for this album. I thought it was not too bad – and unfortunately not available on Spotify.

In October I went to see Pink Floyd on their Division Bell tour. I took my little sister with me, even though she was considerably pregnant at the time. It was at Earl’s Court, a few nights after the show that was cancelled because some seating collapsed. It didn’t bother us because we were up in the proper balcony. As usual it was a spectacular show. Concert trips were getting less frequent because of the difference in our tastes and because Bernie had moved to New Zealand with her Kiwi husband, so this was a rare treat for me.

Of course the singles charts for this year were clogged up with Wet, Wet, Wet for most of the year but I was more interested in albums and foreign music anyway, however I did enjoy the Jamiroquai and Portishead albums – and the singles off them, and Jay’s videos. And hat.

To sum up the year for me I chose a track from Angelique Kidjo’s album called Adouma. It is a lively and exhuberant song that turned up on a Santana’s Shaman album many years later. He had covered a Rachid Taha track on Supernatural but had changed the title and lyrics so it was in Spanish. With Adouma he kept the title and African lyrics. Why mess with perfection? It was just a shame he didn’t have Angelique sing it on the album, given that most other tracks featured guest singers. Carlos later made guest appearances on some of her albums and she did appear on stage with him during a London concert that I was at to perform Adouma, but that was years later and I will probably mention it if I reach 2003.


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