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African Dance Party: Celebrating A Continent

It's no surprise that Africa is home to loads of great party music, from ancient-style drum rallies to the latest hip-hop hybrids. The surest African spice for a summer party comes from the golden era of urban dance bands — roughly the '60s to the '90s — when guitars, horns and singers took center stage backed by powerful percussion and a giddy blend of indigenous roots and gleaming modernity. Of course, a key ingredient was also the feeling of hope and optimism that characterized the early decades of African independence.

These five songs will work within any summer party mix. All come from the now-vintage repertoire of Afropop legends, and all have stood the test of time and animated countless festive occasions around the world. They're presented here in sequence to match the phases of a good party, from greeting and eating to drinking and dancing. If you try them and want more, there are many a summer's worth of surefire party songs where these came from.

For more entries in this summer's weekly It's Time to Party: Summer Songs series, click here.

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Banning Eyre