Certain Songs #794: Joe King Kologbo & His Black Sound – “Another Man’s Thing”

Album: Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro Rock & Fuzz Funk
Year: 1973

Ever since I first wrapped my head around the immortal The Indestructible Beat of Soweto back in the mid-1980s, I’ve gone through occasional phases where I’ve waded through various compilations of African pop/rock/whatever music, looking for other songs that hit me as hard as some of those did.

This is just dabbling — I wouldn’t even remotely consider myself an expert on any of it — but I tend to really enjoy what I discover when I go through those phases. And so a few years ago, I came across (actually I think it came from Kirk) the wonderfully titled Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro Rock & Fuzz Funk, which featured the truly bonkers 1973 track “Another Man’s Thing” by Joe King Kologbo & His Black Sound, which to me is proof positive that White Light / White Heat made it to Nigeria.

And while the lyrics of “Another Man’s Thing” are mostly sexist “don’t look at my woman” drivel, I’ll excuse it, because the music is so much fun. Over faster-than-usual congos, “Another Man’s Thing” has a rhythm guitar that barely keeps any kind of rhythm, a guitar hook the continually threatens to spiral right out of the speakers and every few minutes, and a lead vocal that sounds like a deranged street corner preacher.

And best of all, at various points it lurches into an instrumental section that was probably where they would have put the horns had they been able to afford them, but in lieu of those horns they squeeze the rhythm guitar out of the song like water from a bladder, and it somehow sounds like a lost part from “Sister Ray.”

Eventually, there’s also a guitar solo that comes roaring out of the mix like “I Heard Her Call My Name” or “Sympathy For The Devil,” but also sounds like Tom Verlaine’s solos on The Neon Boys “That’s All I Know (Right Now)” in the way it’s careening cartwheels around the rest of the song for awhile until the singer stops him with a scream.

Pure fucking chaos.

I know ya’ll have realized that I have a pretty liberal definition of what is punk rock, but I’m not even kidding when I say “Another Man’s Thing” is one of the most punk rock songs I’ve ever heard in my life, and it was recorded in 1973.

“Another Man’s Thing”

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