Incoming: Reissue of Afro-Funk Legend Harry Mosco (of The Funkees)

Harry Mosco Funkees

Long-lost solo debut from ’78 finally restored to print by Secret Stash.

 By Blurt Staff

 One of Nigeria’s biggest musical sensations in the late ’70s and early ’80s was Harry Mosco. Mosco first rose to fame as the guitar player and chief songwriter in The Funkees, an explosive Nigerian funk-rock band whose two mid-’70s albums helped popularize Afro-Funk and went on to become on of the biggest bands in Nigeria.

 Almost immediately after The Funkees broke up, Mosco released his first solo LP, For You Specialy [sic] in 1978. The album’s combined the boogie sound and funk grooves of The Funkees with a danceable, hard driving beat but was a commercial failure – possibly because it was on the virtually unknown Taretone label, whereas The Funkees had been on EMI.

 Although the album helped to define him as a solo artist and laid the groundwork for critical and popular acclaim in Africa and the UK, where he would go on to have major hits up through the early 1980s with songs like “Country Boy” (one of the all-time biggest hits in Nigerian music), “Sugar Cane Baby,” and “Heartbreak,” it was all but lost until recently – in fact, Mosco himself had forgotten about the album’s existence until asked about it in an interview before his death with Uchenna Ikonne. (Ikonne is known for his support of classic Afro-Funk and boogie in the US, and the man greatly responsible for the behind-the-scenes work that brought critically acclaimed compilations Who Is William Onyeabor? and Brand New Wayo to light.)

 Well aware of the Secret Stash’s history of classic Afrobeat and Afro-Funk reissues, Ikonne brought For You Specialy to the label and now, 36 years after its release, this album has been restored and re-mastered (although the original typo “Specialy” on the album’s cover remains) and is seeing its first re-release (and first ever release in the US).

 The album will be available on blue vinyl and housed in a  matching hand-pulled, screen printed jacket for the first 350 pre-orders; the standard black vinyl edition (with beige jacket) will be available through all regular online and retail outlets on March 25th. More details at www.secretstashrecords.com.

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