Soul Makossa

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"Soul Makossa[1]"
Single by Manu Dibango
from the album Soul Makossa LP
Released1972
Format7", 12"
GenreJazz-funk
Proto-disco
Afrofunk
Afrobeat
Length4:30 (original album version)
LabelFiesta Records (France)
Atlantic Records (United States)
London Records (UK and Canada)
BorderBlaster (Europe)
Writer(s)Manu Dibango
Manu Dibango singles chronology
"Soul Makossa"
(1972)
"Pêpê Soup"
(1973)
 
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"Soul Makossa[1]"
Single by Manu Dibango
from the album Soul Makossa LP
Released1972
Format7", 12"
GenreJazz-funk
Proto-disco
Afrofunk
Afrobeat
Length4:30 (original album version)
LabelFiesta Records (France)
Atlantic Records (United States)
London Records (UK and Canada)
BorderBlaster (Europe)
Writer(s)Manu Dibango
Manu Dibango singles chronology
"Soul Makossa"
(1972)
"Pêpê Soup"
(1973)

"Soul Makossa" is a 1972 single by Cameroonian makossa saxophonist Manu Dibango. It is often cited as one of the first disco records.[2] In 1972 David Mancuso found a copy in a Brooklyn West Indian record store and often played it at his Loft parties.[3] The response was so positive that the few copies of "Soul Makossa" in New York City were quickly bought up.[3] The song was subsequently played heavily by Frankie Crocker, who DJed at WBLS, then New York's most popular black radio station.[3] Since the original was then unfindable, at least 23 groups quickly released cover versions to capitalize on the demand for the record.[3] Atlantic eventually licensed the song from the French record label Fiesta.[3] Their release of it peaked at number 35 on the Billboard chart in 1973; in 1999 Dave Marsh wrote that it was "the only African record by an African" to crack the top 40.[4] At one point there were nine different versions of the song in the Billboard chart.[5] It became "a massive hit" internationally as well.[5]

The song is probably best known for the chanted vocal refrain "ma-mako, ma-ma-sa, mako-mako ssa", which was adapted and used in songs by many prominent artists.

"Soul Makossa" was originally recorded as a B-side for "Mouvement Ewondo", a song about Cameroon's team of association football.[5] Manu Dibango later recorded a new version for his 1994 album Wakafrika.

A second version of the song, called "Soul Makossa 2.0", was recorded in France by Manu Dibango and Wayne Beckford for a release in 2011, as the first single of Dibango's album Past Present Future.

Contents

The refrain and its adaptations

The song's refrain consists of the phrase "ma-mako, ma-ma-sa, mako-mako ssa", which is a play in the word "Makossa", Dibango's main music genre. After the popularization of the song, the phrase was adapted and used in several popular songs,[6][7][8] including:

Track listing

US 7" single

  1. "Soul Makossa" — 4:30
  2. "Lily" — 3:02

Charts

1973

ChartPeak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[9]#35
US Billboard R&B Charts[9]#21

Personnel

References

External links