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Music / Drums of Passion

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Drums Of Passion is a classic 1960 album by Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji. It is credited for making traditional African music popular outside Africa. The most famous track of this record is "Jin-Go-La-Ba", which sold millions as a single alone.

It was added to the National Recording Registry in 2004.


Side One

  1. "Akiwowo (Chant of the Trainman)" (3:42)
  2. "Oya (Primitive Fire)" (5:37)
  3. "Odun De! Odun De! (Happy New Year!)" (4:39)
  4. "Jin-Go-Lo-Ba (Drums of Passion)" (3:16)

Side Two

  1. "Kiyakiya (Why Do You Run Away?)" (4:17)
  2. "Baba Jinde (Flirtation Dance)" (5:33)
  3. "Oyin Momo Ado (Sweet as Honey)" (5:01)
  4. "Shango (Chant to the God of Thunder)" (7:06)

Bonus track, added with the 2002 CD re-release: "Menu Di Ye Jewe (Who Is This)?" (3:22)

Tropes Of Passion:

  • African Chant: All tracks are backed by a chanting chorus.
  • Epic Rocking: The tribal dances tend to take longer in reality, but due to restrictions of the LP format they were kept under a limit. The longest track is "Shango" (Chant to the God of Thunder)" (7:06)
  • Face on the Cover: Olantunji is shown in close-up.
  • Fear of Thunder and God-Is-Love Songs: "Shango (Chant to the God of Thunder)", intended to please the thunder god of not scaring or terrorizing the villagers.
  • Heavy Meta: "Drums Of Passion" is a song where the mother drum (iya ilu) talks to the baby drum omele.
  • Instrumental: "Oya (Primitive Fire)".
  • Jungle Drums: Perhaps the most famous album in its genre.
  • Mating Dance: "Baba Jinde (Flirtation Dance)".
  • Questioning Title?: "Kiyakiya" (Why Do You Run Away?)".
  • Shout-Out: "Jin-Go-La-Ba" was covered by Serge Gainsbourg on "Gainsbourg Percussions" (1964), Carlos Santana on their debut "Santana" (1969), James Last on "Voo-doo Party" (1971), Pierre Moerlen's Gong on "Downwind" (1979) and Fatboy Slim on "Palookaville" (2004).
  • Title Track: "Jin-Go-Lo-Ba (Drums Of Passion)".
  • Train Song: "Akiwowo" (Chant of the Trainman)".