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ARTIST
TITLE
Francophonic Vol. 1
FORMAT
2CD BOX

LABEL
CATALOG #
STCD 3041-42CD STCD 3041-42CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
12/4/2012

2008 release. In the last half-century, Franco (1938-1989) and his music can legitimately claim to have been the most popular in all of Africa south of the Sahara. Yet today that status and relevance is in danger of being written out of history; a travesty that these volumes, with their rare photos and insightful notes, set out to redress. Beginning with a take from his very first session, the carefully selected 28 tracks on the 2CDs of volume I tell the story of Franco's transformation from a street-wise 15 year-old into a successful guitarist, band-leader, singer, composer and social commentator. When this album was released in 2008, it won the fRoots World Music Critics' Award both for Best Compilation and for Best Package. Rock critic Robert Christgau, speaking on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, named it the best album of the year in any musical genre, never mind that the contents had been recorded in Kinshasa, Congo, three, four and five decades earlier. The accolades kept coming. Both Mojo and Blender awarded the album 5 stars, Inside Music graded it A+ and Pitchfork gave it an 8.8 ("an essential release, whether you know Franco's music or not, or even whether you know African music or not"). The New York Times reported that "Thorough liner notes help Western listeners understand the implications of Franco's lyrics, while the grooves communicate immediately." The Washington Post clarified that point: "Two and half hours of irrepressible grooves." Boxed set containing 2 CDs and a 48-page book.