By the time of the military coup on December 31 1981, the industry was on its knees and the new ruling authority was the final straw. Many big figures in both politics and business were either jailed or driven away. Polygram deserted their Ghanaian operation and fled back to Nigeria, leaving Dick Essilfie-Bondzie to deal with the mess. The factory in Accra shut down and was later looted of all it's stock. Mr Badu closed the Ambassador factory in Kumasi and fled for a while to the neighbouring Ivory Coast.
Volume 1 of Ghana Soundz aims to show a cross section of just some of the many amazing pieces of music recorded in Ghana throughout the seventies that have become forgotten due to the rarity of the records. Recording facilities were limited, and musicians and producers made use of the limited resources at their disposal to make their mark. Unlike in Nigeria where the bigger budgets of Decca and EMI were able to give the industry a more professional facade, Ghanaian musicians had to battle against the tight budgets of independent producers, and a shortage of raw materials such as tape and vinyl, both expensive, imported items. Although Ghana may not have had the resources of Nigeria when it came to recording, it certainly had no shortage of talent, and in my opinion this deficit makes the music all the more special.It needs to be remembered that Ghana in the seventies was a country of less than ten million people and only a tiny percentage of that number were urban dwellers. In terms of world recording industries, Ghana's was a very small one. The music you hear on this album has somehow survived the extreme heat, humidity, dust and rain of West Africa as well as all the political and financial upheavals along the way. Whilst this first volume aims to be fairly broad in terms of the different regional styles that were being recorded at the time, there are some recordings that have had to be left out due to the absence of a decent sound source. If there are Ghanaians out there with records from this time, that deserve to be released, we will be only too happy to hear them.