Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Ofege. (Need I Say More?)
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.
Update 06/01/07: The link is re-upped.