• New LP (180g) + Download Code AADE05£25.99
    Out of stock
  • 1. Best Woman
  • 2. Vi Deka
  • 3. Maimouna Cherie
  • 4. Wa Do Verité Ton Noumi

EXTREMELY LIMITED RELEASE – ONCE IT’S GONE, IT’S GONE!! 

In early 1978, Vincent Ahehehinnou left the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou without explanation. He had been one of their principal vocalist since 1968 and had helped transform them from a hard-charging nightclub band into a musical powerhouse and Africa-wide sensation. By the end of 1977, after an explosive performance at the pan-African arts and culture festival (Festac77) in Lagos, the band had reached the very pinnacle of their success. 

For nearly forty years, the reasons behind Vincent's sudden departure have remained a mystery. Until now. In an interview included with Analog Africa's new reissue of Best Woman – Vincent's first post-Poly-Rythmo album, which has been out-of-print for close to four decades and nearly impossible to find outside West Africa – the great singer finally breaks his silence. He didn't leave... he was pushed. 

Poly-Rythmo were already popular in their native Benin but, in the aftermath of Festac '77, the band were poised for break-out success throughout Africa. One of the people who stood to benefit most was the band's manager Adissa Seidou, whose label Albarika Store had released most of the band's recordings. However Adissa's vision for Poly-Rythmo didn't always line up with that of the musicians and, more often than not, it was Vincent who spoke up for the band. 

The two men grew increasingly estranged until one day – at the funeral for Adissa's father no less – Adissa gave Vincent an ultimatum of sorts. In Vincent's own words: ‘I asked him if there is a way we could sort out our differences to which he replied that the only solution was for me to leave the band, adding, "If not I will kill you"'. 

And so Vincent found himself forced out of the band he had helped build. He tried his hand at various business ventures, but soon realised that the pull of music was too strong. On a business trip to Nigeria, Vincent met with Ignace de Souza of Benin's Black Santiago band, who agreed to arrange Vincent's songs, assemble musicians, and book a session at the legendary Decca Studios in Lagos. 

With everything in place Vincent returned to Cotonou, gathered together all the money he had saved over the years and set out again for Lagos. But the simple bus journey to Nigeria turned into a nightmarish odyssey of military corruption ... and had it not been for the random kindness of an unknown woman on the bus, this album – along with Vincent's subsequent solo career – might never have existed. Vincent tells the full story in the liner notes to this LP. 

But Vincent did make it to Lagos and the sessions went ahead. The nine-piece band, handpicked by de Souza, learned the songs and set them to tape in the span of only a week ... but the results are as timeless and essential as anything to emerge from West Africa in the late 1970s. 

Vincent's afrobeat credentials are in full evidence on opening track ‘Best Woman' (English) whose driving beat, focussed horns and intricate vocal melody recall the raucous intensity of Poly-Rythmo. But the deep funk of the title track turns out to be only a warm-up for album-highlight ‘Maimouna Cherie' (French), a moving expression of love and longing which kicks off with a hi-hat and wah-wah guitar workout but shifts gears mid-way into a more concentrated and contemplative groove. 

The funk and afrobeat gems on Best Woman are balanced by songs that draw upon Sato, one of the many Vodoun rhythms of Vincent's native Benin. Side one concludes with "Vi Deka" (Mina), an epic slow-burner propelled by some of the record's most soulful vocals, while album closer "Wa Do Verite Ton Noumi" (Fon) all but dares you not to lose yourself in its sublime hypnotic trance. 

Best Woman was released on Nigeria's Hasbunalau Records in 1978, and original pressings are now highly-prized collector's items. With this reissue on Analog Africa's Dance Edition imprint 'Best Woman' makes a welcome and long-overdue return to turntables around the world.

Other Releases on Analog Africa

ShadowSweet Sweet DreamsAnalog Africa
When it came out in 1984 the far-out album Sweet Sweet Dreams by Trinidad & Tobago’s Shadow (aka Winston Bailey) was described as “way ahead of its...
BitoriLegend Of Funana (The Forbidden Music Of Cape Verde Islands)Analog Africa
The follow up to the highly acclaimed "Space Echo" compilation is another offering from the magical Cape Verde islands.  In 1997, a quiet,...
Space Echo: The Mystery Behind the Cosmic Sound of Cabo Verde Finally Revealed!VariousAnalog Africa
Analog Africa presents a compilation of dancefloor grooves from Cabo Verde, revealing the mystery behind the island's cosmic synth sound. Located 350 miles...
Afro-Beat AirwaysVolume 2 - Return Flight To Ghana 1974-1983 Analog Africa
From the coastal cities of Accra and Cape Coast, basked in a tropical sound heavily influenced by highlife, to the semi-Saharan cities of Tamalé...
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De CotonouEchos HypnotiquesAnalog Africa
Four years in the making, Analog Africa finally presents the second volume of Africa's funkiest band, the mythicalOrchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou.During...
Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo De Cotonou Volume 3 - The Skeletal Essences Of Afro Funk 1969-1980Analog Africa
The bones of afro-funk laid bare on this outrageously funked raw collection from the mind-bending legendary Benin band on Analog Africa!  Not...
  • 2×LP£17.99
    In stockAdd to Bag
  • CD£15.99
    Out of stock
Diablos Del Ritmo: The Colombian Melting Pot 1960-1985VariousAnalog Africa
More heat from Analog Africa -- Afrobeat, Puya, Cumbiamba, Terapia, Mapale & Caribbean funk. Split between Afrobeat, Afrofunk, Psychedelia-inspired...
  • 2×LP Vol.1£20.99
    In stockAdd to Bag
  • 2×CD£13.99
    Out of stock
Orchestre Super Borgou de ParakouThe Bariba Sound 1970 - 1976Analog Africa
Yep, Analog Africa keep churning out the goodness. You won't be able to stop your body moving to the sounds of the seventies afro grooves on here, plucked...
Bambara Mystic Soul: The Raw Sound Of Burkina Faso 1974 - 1979VariousAnalog Africa
The raw sound of Burkina Faso combined Afro-Funk, traditional Islamic rhythms and subtle Afro-Latin sounds brought over by visiting Cuban ensembles. Mandingue...
  • 1. Amadou Ballaké et l'Orchestre Super Volta – Bar Konou Mousso
  • 2. Abdoulaye Cissé – Kodjougou
  • 3. Compaoré Issouf – Dambakale
  • View full info and tracklisting
RobFunky Rob WayAnalog Africa
Superb reissue of this seventies cosmic Ghanian-funk LP from Rob on Analog Africa! Influenced by American artists Otis Reading, James Brown, Wilson Pickett...
Afro-Beat Airways: West African Shock Waves Ghana & Togo 1972-1978VariousAnalog Africa
Amazing compilation of 70's African music from the ever-excelllent Analog Africa camp! Organ-driven Afro-beat, cosmic Afro-funk and raw, psychedelic...
Angola Soundtrack: The Unique Sound Of Luanda 1968-1976Various ArtistsAnalog Africa
On its ninth release Analog Africa unearths musical gems from Angola, the former Portuguese colony in south west Africa. The compilation 'Angola Soundtrack'...
African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds From Benin & TogoVariousAnalog Africa
This is an AWESOME compilation of super-funky, raw, and rootsy African funk from 1970s Benin and Togo! An essential party rocking album of super-rare...
Anibal Velasquez y Su ConjuntoMambo LocoAnalog Africa
Nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Rio Magdalena, lies the city of Barranquilla. Hailed by its locals as Colombia’s “Puerto de Oro” or Golden...
  • CD£12.99
    Out of stock
  • New LP £16.99
    In stockAdd to Bag
Orchestre Poly Rythmo de CotonouEchos Hypnotiques 1969-1979 - Volume 2Analog Africa
The second volume of recordings from Benin's magnificent Orchestre Poly Rythmo De Cotonou, this time recorded at the EMI studios in Lagos for the Albarika...
Legends Of BeninAfro-Funk Cavacha Agbadja Afro-Beat 1969-1981Analog Africa
Analog Africa continue their excellent series of forgotten gems from 70's Africa with a collection of super rare and highly danceable masterpieces recorded...
  • CD£12.99
    Out of stock
  • 2×LP£20.99
    In stockAdd to Bag

People also bought

El Michels AffairReturn To The 37th ChamberBig Crown Records
Return To The 37th Chamber is El Michels Affair’s highly anticipated follow up to 2009’s underground cult classic Enter the 37th Chamber. Churning...
  • LP + Download Code£22.99
    Out of stock
  • CD£14.99
    Out of stock
Stump Valley森林Dopeness Galore
Mystifying Stump Valley fuse House and Disco to a Balearic, almost hypnotic Ambient 'zen'. - Check!   
  • 12"£7.99
    Out of stock
Scott GroovesSo Into You / If You Want Me To Stay1st 7"
Killer beatdown house / funk version of Sly & The Family Stone's 'If You Want Me To Stay' backed with Scott's killer jam 'So Into You'. Killer 45...
  • 7"£14.99
    Out of stock
AkisSpace, Time and Beyond (Selected Works 1986-2016)Into The Light Records
'Into the Ligh't brings out a splendid assemblage of 17 tracks of mostly previously unheard material by Athens based composer Akis Daoutis (Akis) most...
Gaussian CurveThe DistanceMusic From Memory
New LP from Gigi Masin, Jonny Nash and Young Marco on the mighty Music From Memory -Highly Recommended! In the spring of 2016, Gigi Masin, Jonny Nash...
Helena HauffA TapeDark Entries
 ‘A Tape’ is a double LP of early work by Helena Hauff, the DJ and record producer based in Hamburg, Germany. ‘A Tape’ is a...
  • New 2×LP £26.99
    Out of stock
J DillaMotor CityNature Sounds
Vinyl now available! The late, great J Dilla is widely regarded as one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time. Since his death in 2006, Dilla’s...
  • LP + Download Code£18.99
    Out of stock
  • CD£12.99
    In stockAdd to Bag
Theo Parrish feat Amp FiddlerGentrified Love Part 3Sound Signature
Third instalment of Theo Parrsih's highly succesful 'Gentrified Love' series featuring Amp Fiddler. Another deep, soulful, sun-kissed 12" set to light...
  • 12"£12.99
    Out of stock
Esther PhillipsFor All We Know (1976)Kudu
Following on from "What A Diff'rence A Day Makes" a year earlier, Esther continues with disco-boogie arrangements by guitarist Joe Beck, updating standards...
Mori RaTrapped In The SkyTracy Island
Debut release from Banoffee Pies offshoot label Tracey Island. Tracy Island will follow a 10 episode framework taking inspiration from Thunderbirds,...
  • 12"£8.99
    Out of stock
The Godson (Rick Wilhite)Soul Edge EP - Part 2Still Music
Incredible repress of Rick Wilhite's 2004 EP on Chicago's Still Music imprint.Pure Detroit beatdown house music, featuring some stellar remix and production...
  • 12"£8.99
    Out of stock
Two SistersB-Boys Beware (1983)Sugarscoop
Fly Girl pressure! Tough female electro/hip hop tune on original press 45. Killer.
  • Original 7"£10.00
    Out of stock
Claremont 56: 10 YearsVariousClaremont 56
All orders for this release are eligible for free shipping in the UK! Sounds of the Universe favourite, Claremont 56 enter their tenth year with...
  • 1. Smith & Mudd – Mhor (Lexx Mix)
  • 2. FreshRo! – Pacific State (Phil Mison Mix)
  • 3. Okinawa Delays feat. Satoko Ishimine – Nariyama Ayagu (Max Essa Dub)
  • View full info and tracklisting
  • 5×LP£69.99
    Out of stock
The Universal Robot BandDance And Shake Your Tambourine (1976)Red Greg Records
CLASSIC CLASSIC DISCO TUNE produced by Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael. Seminal stuff!MINT UNPLAYED ORIGINAL USA 45
  • Original 7"£10.00
    Out of stock
Rupa BiswasDisco JazzOvular
A reissue of a highly sought after, rare Indian soul / disco / funk gem from 1982!
  • LP£23.99
    Out of stock
Boombastic CrewAutomatic Sound KillerPartial Records
Killer reissue from Partial Records of U.K. roots lo-fi instrumental from 1990 originally released on Riz records.
  • 7"£5.99
    Out of stock
First ClassThis Is It / Filled With Desire (1977)All Platinum
Massive string-lade wicked boogie funk tune!
Tania MariaLove Explosion (1984)Concord Jazz Picante
Heavywieght Brazilian/Latin jazz fusions from the queen (with Jon Lucien guesting on vocals on a track!)
  • Original LP£9.99
    Out of stock
New York Underground #2VariousNY Underground
Remakes and remodels of cult early house and disco rhythms pioneered by legendary DJs such as Larry Levan, Franckie Knuckles, Junior Vasquez,...
  • 12"£11.99
    Out of stock
GeminiLe FusionAnotherday
Classic, eccentric house music from the Chi Town's second wave house legend, Gemini! Originally released on Cajmere's Cajual label in '95 and still sounding...
Freddie HubbardLiquid Love (1975)Columbia
Classic album that includes the boogie jazz classic "Liquid Love"! Very much a rare groove/crossover album in the vein of Donald Byrd and Mizell Brothers...
  • Original LP£14.00
    Out of stock
Hustle! Reggae Disco (Expanded 2017 Edition)Kingston-London-New YorkSoul Jazz Records
Soul Jazz Records’ are releasing their long-out-of-print album ‘Hustle! Reggae Disco’ in a new expanded 2017 edition which now features five extra...
  • 1. Blood Sisters – Ring My Bell
  • 2. Derrick Laro and Trinity – Don't Stop Til You Get Enough
  • 3. Chariot Riders – Do It Nice & Easy
  • View full info and tracklisting
Marcos Valle Marcos Valle (1970)Light In The Attic
Stunning reissue from one of Brazil's most gifted vocalists Marcos Valle, originally released in 1970! Evolving from samba's prominent Brazilian greats...
  • CD£9.99
    Out of stock
  • LP£22.99
    Out of stock
 
    Ahmad Jamal TrioThe AwakeningBe With Records
    Ahmad Jamal is a jazz giant and The Awakening is his iconic masterpiece. The landmark deep trio session, recorded in NYC and released on Impulse in...