Sweet Talks were amongst the top five most popular bands in Ghana during the 1970s having recorded a string of hit albums. ‘The Kusum Beat’ was originally released in 1974 and became a household favourite with heavy emphasis on the ‘Afro’ through its traditional rhythms and motifs, blended together into a modern mix that combined highlife, funk and Afrobeat.
Like a small handful of seminal Ghanaian albums, The Kusum Beat has stood the test of time and sounds as original and unique today as it did back in 1974. Original pressings are in high demand and can be found on record exchanges for significant prices. This was the second album from the band formerly known as ‘El Dorados’, later to change their name to ‘Medican Lantcis’ before settling on ‘Sweet Talks’ – they were live residents at the legendary ‘Talk of the Town’ nightclub in the port town of Tema near Accra. It is here they established a name for themselves as one of the most exciting young bands in the country.
Due to the popularity and commercial success of their first three albums – Adam & Eve, Kusum Beat and Spiritual Ghana – the band began touring on a regular basis and made it as far as Los Angeles. They went on to record what was to be their biggest selling record, the Hollywood Highlife Party LP, as well as some straight disco recordings aimed squarely at the burgeoning American market.
The Kusum Beat is far from typical of their trademark sound but shows just how versatile an outfit they were able to turn their hands to any one of a number of styles. It’s a great reminder of how open-minded, experimental and curious the music scene in Ghana was in the first half of the 1970s.
“A heavy funk beat that could compete with Fela Kuti, Geraldo Pinto or Moussa Doumbia” MOJO
“Trance inducing excess” Songlines