Highlife, for years the most popular music in Nigeria, is being elbowed aside by African American soul artists such as James Brown, and by Nigerian “copyright bands” such as Geraldo Pino & The Heartbreakers and Joni Haastrup & The Clusters, who play cover versions of US soul hits. Fela takes Koola Lobitos on a second tour of Ghana, but finds highlife’s popularity is in decline there, too. Fela’s first album, a compilation of Koola Lobitos singles, is released.
At a press conference, Fela announces he will now call his (increasingly soul-influenced music) Afro Beat. He records the first African cover version of Herbie Hancock’s hit “Watermelon Man.” Fela takes over the Kakadu Club in Idi-Oro, Lagos and renames it the Afro-Spot.