The Bachelor (1983) Young Daniel Wilson began his recording career in 1983 with an album titled “The Bachelor” recorded at Studio119, an independent music label in Port Harcourt, owned by Mr Emmanuel kalio, the album quickly proved to be a hit; featuring two major hit songs, “Uncle Stylee” and “Mr Bachelor” the tittle track, other well known songs on the album were, ‘Port Harcourt Number” and the dancehall thriller “Champion Bubbler”. This debut recording was released to great acclaim and impressive sales for an up-and-coming recording artist.
In The Lion’s Den (1986) In 1986, Daniel Wilson recorded his second album, continuing his meteoric rise to fame after he moved to Lagos to meet a host of other musicians; and began writing songs at an astonishing pace, eventually with the participation of Ben King Iyere who was Kris Okotie’s manager and eventually his manager, he got his big break and signed up with a private label “Rex Records”, owned by Rex Peters Okoro to record his second album “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” and scoring his first No. 1 single on the RN2 charts with “When The Heaven’s Cry” a song that invokes an imagery of God’s anger as he looks down at man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. The album included his cover of “Land Of My Birth” by Eric Donaldson one of his childhood idols and the chart buster “Love Of The Olden Days.
In The Lion’s Den album showed a very deep spiritual side of the singer in songs like “When The Heaven’s Cry”, “Love Of The Olden Days” and the tittle track “In The Lion’s Den” This album solidified his fan base, not only among hard-core reggae music enthusiasts but also among college/university students and fans of music generally. Although sales for the singer’s first and second album were good, it would have been hard to predict the amazing success of later releases “999” and “Mister Ragamuffin”.
999(1989) In 1989 Daniel Wilson released his third album, 999, which established him as one of the nation’s outstanding musicians, winning three Awards at the PMAA Popular Music Of Africa Awards, in the Song Writer of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year categories. The album spent 23 weeks at the Number One spot on the Radio Rivers Album chart, selling 1.9 million copies.
The album included his street anthems “Gimme Calypso” and “Strictly Reggae Music.” “999” marked his emergence as one of the most original and poetic voices in the history of Nigerian popular music. The album included two of his most memorable songs, “999′ and Pack Off (the later, became a huge battle cry against the apartheid regime of Peter Botha). Just as quickly as his album shot to success, Daniel became known for his deeply personal and intimate story telling approach to song writing.
Mister-Ragamuffin (1991) Mister-Ragamuffin, his fourth album, which was released on the globally renowned EMI Record Label in 1991 with the push of his campus days friend Morgan Okunuga, raked in a record-breaking 2.7 million orders before its release, and became the first album by a Nigerian singer to debut at No. 1 on Radio Nigeria’s Top Ten charts hosted by the legendary Willie Egbe. The title track was a big hit, and the album reached the top of the Nigerian music charts. Featuring appearances by members of his band Bunmi Sanya, Lieutenant Shotgun and a guest appearance by Sunny Neji, the recording went double platinum
Mister Ragamuffin had hit songs like “Abortion” “Give Us A Chance” a song that was co written and featured his long term collaborator and friend Lt. Shotgun, now Shotgun “Ragamuffin Soldier” and tittle track “Mister Ragamuffin”, firmly establishing Daniel Wilson as the definitive songwriter of the ’80s and 90s Nigerian popular music, a reputation that only increased as he became involved with Benson and Hedges Golden Tones Tour, touring England and France with Gilbert Oboh, who was his manager then, introducing his music to thousands of fans through the Golden Tone concerts.
The Mister Ragamuffin album was a much more personal, introspective collection of songs; far less politically charged than his previous efforts and became his best-received album in years. This album represented Daniel at his most innovative. With his unmistakable voice and unforgettable lyrics, Daniel Wilson brought the worlds of music and literature together as no one else in Nigeria ever did then. The song Mister Ragamuffin was officially the most requested radio song of all time and it’s still being played today in most radio stations in the country.
Original Bad Boy (1992) Quickly following up this latest wave of success, Daniel Wilson’s 1992 album Original Bad Boy was this major icon’s musical exports and he strategically changed his management, signing up with Kunle Onime’s management outfit that was renowned for packaging the best national music tours, his was an entertainment company that handles nearly all aspects of its artists’ careers.
Original Bad Boy was said to have sold more copies in its first week of sales, breaking the previous record sales, the Music Distributors Association of Nigeria certified it platinum less than a week after its release, solely based on pre order volumes. The title track, which famously sampled its chorus from Lieutenant Stichie’s “Lyrics Garden”, became one of Daniel Wilson’s most popular songs to date. He also featured the legendary Artiste Lemi Ghariokwu on the cultural theme song “Omolakeji”, other tracks are “Homework” “Heed The Call” and “True Love”, each of these songs was a number one hit in it’s own right. Daniel Wilson took the time to tell the story of his life in the tittle song Original Bad Boy.
No Exhibit (1994) In 1994, Daniel Wilson released the studio album “No Exhibit “, which included hit songs like “Language Barrier” “Police Officer” and “Dreams Come True”, a song written by and featuring Tunde Obey, one of the nation’s prolific singers. The effort earned a mixed reception from critics but otherwise fared well with fans, going on to top several authoritative music charts and achieving double-platinum status.
After hitting stores in late August, it reached the top of the album charts the next month. Several critics remarked that the album had a deliberate experimental and unhinged quality about it. It was an immediate commercial and critical success, praised for the candid lyrics and a new level of artistic maturity.
The Don-Dada (1996) The unabashedly Afro-ish Don-Dada album followed in 1996, it was far mellower than his earlier works and much less successful in terms of public acclaim and commercial success even the presence of master pieces like Obirin Dada featuring Shotgun his usual accomplice, “Get Down On The Floor featuring the masquerade Tamedu’” and the spectacular single “Heartbreaker” didn’t impact much on the fortunes of these albums. A mixture of Afro, Soca, Calypso and Reggae, the album was praised for its rich sound and imagery, an album, which would later pop up on several music critics’ lists of best albums.
Cool And Deadly (1998) In 1998, Daniel Wilson shocked his fans by releasing The Cool And Deadly Album and declaring in 1999 that it would be his last solo record for a long time.
He announced that he wanted to spend more time paying attention to his family and other businesses, as a result Daniel Wilson withdrew from the spotlight for many years and even refused to promote any of the songs on the album, though the album had great songs like “Do Am Well” featuring his home boy Duncan Mighty who was the rave of the moment at that time.
Other great songs on the album were the gospel styled “Drop The Phone” and “Good Old Days” a song that surprisingly still found it’s way to the charts even without promotion. The Cool And Deadly album would be his last studio album for over two decades, though he continued to write and produce for other artists, he also sang a few political singles.
Timeless (2020) Daniel Wilson is again reinventing himself; December 2019 his private label Tropic Music Company, announced that the artist planned to release a cache of materials made up of the remakes of some of his old hit songs and with this announcement, Daniel Wilson got back into active music and political activism.
He recently recorded these songs and released in an album he aptly titled “Timeless”, this collection of classics and hit songs from his previous albums, which have been successfully released with a couple of new songs was done all in two months and he continues to be a star performer at the many events he performs in
With the release of this recording it’s is obvious that Daniel Wilson has made a return to music recording and possibly performing in concerts tours too and shows little sign of slowing down.