I suppose we can forgive Mr. Baker for butchering the given name of one of the Lijadu Sisters; he most likely had not met too many Yoruba twins at that point. You see, the Yoruba people (due to a genetic predisposition that has yet to be fully explained) have the highest birthrate for twins in the world, and they're all named Taiwo ("TIE-woe") and Kehinde ("KEH-yeen-DAY"). The protocol is that the firstborn twin is named Taiwo ("s/he who tastes the world first") and the secondborn is Kehinde ("s/he who follows behind") but Kehinde is actually considered to be the older twin (as the position at the "back" of the womb suggests having gone in first) who waits for Taiwo to go out first and make sure that it is safe to emerge into the world.
Although they exist as two separate physical bodies, the twins are believed to share the same soul. Their individual personalities are aspects of a single inteligence, and that entity is complete only when Taiwo and Kehinde come together with their spirits, their hearts, their voices in harmony.
Last time, I mentioned that BLO broke up after Phase IV while the members studied in London. Thing is, they didn't exactly "break up," since they continued to play together; they just weren't releasing music under the BLO shingle. These were the days when the Nigerian music industry had that major label dough and a lot of artists were being flown to London to mix--or even just to record--their albums. In this context, Berkley Jones, Laolu Akins and Lemmy Jackson became three of the most in-demand session men, playing on albums by the likes of Christy Essien, Sonny Okosuns, Kris Okotie, and the Lijadu Sisters. The latter act, of course, was an act with whom BLO had a considerable amount of history, having been bandmates in Tee-Mac's Afrocollection and Ginger Baker's Salt:
In fact, according to Akins, BLO's formation was spurred by the Lijadus' decision to leave Salt and venture off on their own.
It was, perhaps, quite natural for Taiwo and Kehinde to feel more comfortable with each other than in the midst of a bigger ensemble. They had been singing together since childhood, often doing session work and performing in local festivals. In 1969, they cut their first album as a duo, Iya Mi Jowo and after the Salt tour they released Mother Africa. Their relationship with producer Biddy Wright was a fruitful one, yielding the impressive LPs Danger (1976) and Sunshine (1978). I'm not sure why they opted not to reprise the collaboration on their next album; instead they turned to their old Salt cohorts Berkley and Laolu (along with syudio stalwart Odion Iruoje).
Where the Wright-produced albums featured breezy, melodic Afro-pop (that frequently leaned more towards the "pop" than the "Afro"), Jones, Akins and Iruoje plant the twins firmly in a world of rhythm. With their luminescent voices dropped into a dubby juju soundscape, surrounded by pitch-dark basslines and the incessant chatter of talking drums, the twins sing back mostly in Yoruba (as opposed to the English of the Wright albums), making full use of the language's percussive and tonal properties. And somewhere on the horizon, Lemmy Jackson chips in with buzzing clavinets and stately piano riffs that fall somewhere between the church and the supper club.
The result is the Lijadu Sisters' most successful and widely-known album (which was reissued in 1984 by the US label Shanachie, and was a college radio favorite through the decade).
The Lijadu Sisters - Horizon Unlimited (1979)
Keyboards - Lemmy Jackson
Gube (bass drum) - Tony Adeleye
First Talking drum - Soji Adenle
Maracas - John Akanmu
Second Bass Drum - Ladi Oguntunwase
Rhythm Guitar - Alao/Tunde Peters/Glenis Martins
Lead guitar - Frederick Ramm
Drums - Laolu Akins
Drums - Buttley Moore
Ekwe & clefs - Friday Jumbo
Bass guitar - Richard Archer
Produced by Berkley Jones/Laolu Akins/Odion Iruoje
Recorded at Decca Studios, London
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