Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ofege. (Need I Say More?)



Probably.

Originally, I had planned to chronologically trace the development of Nigerian pop music from the 1950s and 60s up through the 80s in a series of droll, but carefully thought-out essays. But as it turns out, I'm not feeling too droll at the moment and I have like three overlapping deadlines to make by tomorrow morning, so my concentration is not at the level it could be.

Yet, even as the pressures of life bear down on me, I want to rock.

About this time last year, in the early days of this blog, I posted a song called "Gbe Mi Lo" by a band called Ofege as the mp3 of the day. Quite a few folks dug it and wanted to hear (and know) more. Of course, the first Flashback comp contained two more Ofege songs (both taken from the same LP as "Gbe Mi Lo") so I might as well just give y'all the rest of the album, yeah?

At this point I should mention that the album cover featured at the top of this post is not the album in question... I just posted it because I think it's the coolest-looking of their album covers (which tend to be much less expressive than their music) and the above-pictured longplayer, Higher Plane Breeze, is (I think) their best album, which I have a lot of affection for and I will probably be posting up later. Besides, this photo perfectly encapsulates the band's general stance and style.

Ofege was formed by a bunch of teenage hipsters at the prestigious St. Gregory's College in the Obalende area of Lagos. I believe I previously described them as "a cross between the Bay City Rollers and Santana" or something like that. I also said that I wished that they worked more on their songwriting and singing, but hey... It's clear that for Ofege, songs were largely incidental, little more than excuses to launch into insane, distorted guitar solos. It's also very clear that they smoked a lot of weed.

You are about to listen to their first album, TRY AND LOVE, released in 1974.



DOWNLOAD IT!

Update 06/01/07: The link is re-upped.

36 comments:

matt said...

You on on the money once more....WOW!

matt said...

First heard them on the Love Peace and Poetry - African Psychedelic Music Collection and have always wanted to hear more. Cheeku followed through with a single including Devil's work. Thanks again.

dafriquan chinedu said...

Ofege is some really heavy psychedellic stuff. You just made my weekend bro. Can't wait to hear the other Ofege album. Btw I have some funky Ghanaian highlife that I am almost certain you do not have...It was put out on a small Toronto label in the 70s/80s...no date...anyway let me know if you're in the mood for that.

AFKAP of Darkness said...

damn, man... you have to ASK?

hell YEAH i want it!

Seven said...

Yes man...thanx for this....1st time hearing about them...had Try and Love with me on the way to work the other day...

AFKAP of Darkness said...

nice to see you, Seven! i know i need to email you... i haven't been in touch lately. and i still owe you those dub records!

The Squeegee said...

file has expired... anyone care to re-upload the nugget? word, james

The Squeegee said...

THANX for the re-up!!!!!!!

katie said...

hey, i can't get the download and i've been looking for it for weeks! can you put it back up??
thank you!

Comb & Razor said...

as far as i can tell, the link still works, katie... it's just that DivShare as a whole seems to have been down all day.

try it again later, and if it doesn't work, let me know, okay?

glennfaj said...

Cheers guys. I've been looking for this album for ages!!
Faji

Comb & Razor said...

no problem, Faji... thanks for stopping by!

Faji said...

Comb & Razor,
I hope all is well.
Do you remember an Ofege track called "Evil Child", and was it on other the album you said you would upload in the future? There was also a song called "Mandy" which I think was by them but I'm not 100% sure. Any clues?
Faji

Comb & Razor said...

Faji:

both "Evil Child" and "Mandy" are on the Last of the Origins album, which i already posted here

tj said...

I have both the first and second Ofege albums (Vinyl LPs) here with me in the States; these records, besides Dora Ifudu's have been my closest Nigerian pop companions for more than 2 decades.I can upload them for y'all.

Comb & Razor said...

hey tj... thanks a lot for commenting!

well, i already posted the first two Ofege LPs (Try and Love and Last of the Origins) but my semi-moronic continued struggle with the properly recording vinyl has kept me from posting the other two, Higher Plane Breeze and How Do You Feel. now if you had either one of those two to upload....

as for the Dora Ifudu... now that would be greatly appreciated. i was just listening to First Time Out the other day and i had thought about doing a post on her. so if you could upload her two albums, yes... that would be cool, fam!

Anonymous said...

Comb & Razor, thanks very much for this, ive been looking for these guys forever!! Maaan you made my day!!

Do you guys remember a jam went along the lines of "you're my sweetie, my sugar, my baby,let me hold you, let me love you, forever, oh yeah......."

Comb & Razor said...

glad to be of service, Anonymous... check elsewhere on the blog for some more music by Ofege.

the song you're thinking of is "Let Me Love You" by Bunny Mack. it is also on the blog, included in a mix in a post called "Disco Daze," i think.

Anonymous said...

Hey! you're the man, found it and loving it!!! God Bless. Ibrahim

Comb & Razor said...

respect, Ibrahim...

i'll probably post that song in a single format later... or if you can't wait, check it out here

(i should have just given you this link before, but i was half-asleep when i replied your last comment)

Anonymous said...

I've been searching a long time for Ofege since I lost all their original albums... thanks for reviving one of the highlights of Nigerian 70's music icons.

the P.

Anonymous said...

i cant seem to download the higher plane breeze album. (HPB) the links are dead

Comb & Razor said...

email me and i'll send it to you directly.

Anonymous said...

I cant download try and love, and I wondering whether you would be able to send me the link.

Anonymous said...

dear comb and razor
i am based in canada . can you please upload ofege try and love album and any other thing ofge and all the good music from nigeria back in the days to me. i am proudly nigerian. i am surprised nobody has sampled those guys. you can reach me at bivins_c@hotmail.com

thanks

Anonymous said...

Hey,

Do you think you might do the world a huge favor and refresh the link? The file's not there.

Thanks a million! Brooklyn hearts Ofege.

Comb & Razor said...

Anonymous -

I probably won't be refreshing the link anytime soon, but if you email me directly at combrzor at yahoo dot com, I will send it to you directly.

K said...

Brough back memories Wonder what happened to those guys. I hope they found fulfilment

Comb & Razor said...

I don't know about fulfillment, K... But at least they're all alive!

Queen said...

Hi Comb and razor. could you please send me the link or files of all the Ofege albums and a lit bio on them. will really appreciate this. thanx. Queen Martins

Haiku forever said...

Comb, I am not a musician but the guitar solos you call insane and distorted are what I so endjoy endlessly. I find them great. I bless them and their weed. I wonder what they are doing now. However, your blog is a source of many beauties.

Humongous said...

Good for them. They appear to have had quite a following.Keep up the good work Comb.

Comb & Razor said...

Haiku forever -

Oh, believe me: when I describe the solos are "distorted" and "insane," I mean it in the best way possible! Distortion and insanity are qualities that I actually look for in mind-altering music like this!

(But speaking of mind alteration, let me state that according to the band members they never actually smoked weed or took any other mind-altering substance!)

Humongous -

Thanks for the support!

Haiku forever said...

Comb, nice, thanks for your reply. I agree with you now, have not looked at it that way re distortion and insanity. Really, when people get to dance you see a glimpse of the latter in a beautiful way...yes I saw the band's statement.
Live and let live...hahahahaha

Comb & Razor said...

oh yes!

zim said...

"(But speaking of mind alteration, let me state that according to the band members they never actually smoked weed or took any other mind-altering substance!)"

wow, this may be the most surprising thing you've written - college age hipsters in 74 who release THIS LP never smoked? I always assumed that's what 'higher plane breeze' referred to