The disc begins with "AZDA," the 1973 single which took Franco's reputation beyond Zaire into Central and West Africa. Other highlights include "Liberte," a coded critique of Mobutu from 1975, and the wrenching lament "Kinsiona," in which Franco attempts to exorcise his grief for his brother, Marie-Marie, whose death in a car crash he blamed partly on himself. "Minuit Eleki Lezi" contains a killer sebene, and "Mabele" and "Alimatou" feature the future soukous star, vocalist Sam Mangwana, who was a member of TPOK Jazz from 1972 - 1975. Congolese music fans will recognise a dozen or so other stars-to-be in the 1960s and 1970s TPOK lineups.
A well-chosen collection of enduringly blinding music, the rarities contained on Francophonic make it a must-have for committed fans. It's also the perfect jumping off point for newcomers discovering Franco and Congolese rumba.
A second 2-CD set, taking the story up to Franco's death in 1989, is to be released in 2009.
Tracks: CD1: Esengo Ya Mokili; Tika Kondima Na Zolo; Anduku Lutshuma; On Entre OK, On Sort KO; Tcha Tcha Tcha De Mi Amor; Mosala Ekomi Mpasi Embonga; Sansi Fingomangoma; Bato Ya Mabe Batondi Mboka; Bazonzele Mama Ana; Bolingo Ya Bougie; Ku Kisantu Kikwenda Ko; Tozonga Na Nganga Wana; Annie Ngai Nalinga; Marie Naboyi; Boma L'Heure; Nzube Oleka Te; Likambo Ya Ngana; Infiedelite Mado. CD2: AZDA; Mambu Ma Miondo; Minuit Eleki Lezi; Mabele; Kinsiona; Alimatou; Cherie Bondowe 2; Liberte; Lisolo Ya Adamo Na Nzambe; Nalingaka Yo You Te.
Collective Personnel: Franco Luambo Makiadi (Franco): guitar, vocals; Paul Ebengo (Dewayon): guitar, vocals; Henri Bowane: guitar, vocals; Philippe Lando (Rossingnol): vocals; Victor Longomba (Vicky): vocals; Celestin Kouka: vocals; Edouard Nganga (Edo): vocals; Joseph Mulamba (Mujos): vocals; Hubert Dihunga (Djeskin): vocals; Jean Diki Munsi (Kwamy): vocals; Djangi Checain (Lola): vocals; Michel Boyibanda (Michaux): vocals; Gilbert Youlou Mabiala: vocals; Samuel Mangwana Mayimona: vocals; Kiambukuta Londa (Josky): vocals; Blaise Wuta Mayanda (Wuta-Mayi): vocals; Ndombe Opetum (Pepe): vocals; Daniel Nzitani Ntesa (Dalienst): vocals; Diatho Lukoko: vocals; Daniel Lubelo (De La Lune): guitar, vocals, bass; Antoine Armando (Brazzos): guitar; Leon Bolhen (Bombolo): guitar; Jean Tashamala (Piccolo): guitar; Simon Lutumba Ndomemueno (Simaro): guitar; Mose Se Sengo (Fanfan): guitar; Yoka Mangaya (Gege): guitar; Mayaula Mayoni: guitar; Mavatiku Visi (Michelino): guitar; Monogi Mopia (Petit Pierre): guitar; Thierry Mantuika Kobi: guitar; Makonko Kindudi (Makos): guitar; Flavien Makabi Mingini: guitar; Kasia Dialungana (Gerry): guitar; Antoine Nedule (Papa Noel): guitar; Augustin Moniania (Roitelet): bass; Alphone Epayo: bass; Francis Celi Bitchoumanou: bass; Decca Mpudi (Mpasi Zinza): bass; Flavien Makaba Mingini: bass; Jean-Serge Essous: clarinet, saxophone; Jean Malapet (Nino): saxophone; Isaac Musekiwa: saxophone; Albino Kalombo: saxophone; Georges Kiamuangana: saxophone; Pedro Dele: saxophone; Lunuma Mbemba: saxophone; Kasongo Wa Kasongo Kawaka: saxophone; Kongi Aska: saxophone; Empompo Loway: saxophone; Edouard Lutula: clarinet; Camille Feruzi: accordion; Jeef Mingiedi: trumpet; Guillaume Mbembe: trumpet; Christophe Djali: trumpet; Adamo Seye Kadimoke: trumpet; Barami Miranda (Nkuta Zowa): trumpet; Kapitena Kasongo: trumpet; Vieux Kalloux: trumpet; Tchandala Kosuana: trumpet; Saturnin Pandi: congas; Jean-Felix Pouela (Du Pool): congas; Nicolas Bosuma Bakili (Dessoin): congas, bongos; Celestin Kouka: maracas; Simon Moke: percussion; Nestor Diangani: percussion; Nyoya Fwala (Pajos Na Ndjili): kit drums; Ngiandu Kanza: kit drums.