In 1985 there was a tiny African record shop under the elevated train tracks running through Brixton, south London. One could not walk by it any day without hearing an incredible song that would stop you where you stood, to hear it through. Set over catchy rhythms, a woman sang her heart out.
That woman was Cameroon's Bebe Manga, singing the definitive version of the perennial makossa hit "Amio," written by Ebanda Manfred in 1962. The song has had many spellings and interpretations over the years, yet Manga's 1980 recording stands above them all. Indeed, it was an isolated peak performance of this chanteuse. Amazingly, only recently has the track been collected on African music compilations like this or that massive. Today I offer a pristine analog dub of the 1984 French album.