To the millions of music lovers in West Africa, the heart warming sounds of the PEACOCKS INTERNATIONAL span every big town and city."Call them what you will" they sez.
You may believe it or not but it is no exaggeration. SAMBOLA which was first released in a single has sold nearly 50,000 pieces in Ghana and twice that figure in Nigeria.
Yet only very few of the millions of fans within 150,000 family units in Nigeria and Ghana really know who the Peacocks are. Some call them Ghanians [sic] and are ready to stake anything to argue their claims, but call them what you like, the boys are Nigerians.
That touch of the Ghanian [sic] sound in their music is a heritage of their leader Mr. Raphael Amaraebe whose musical career started in the Gold Coast.
The title on the sleeve calls them "Peacock International," the sleeve notes has them as "Peacocks International," the label on the platter credits the record to "Raphael Amaraebe* & His Peacocks Guitar Band."
Their stripped-down Rex Lawson-meets-King Onyina-style guitar highlife, however, I will call "sublime":
Awu Adada Mi
Sorry about the noise level on these tracks, my peoples... I had to dig deep for this one. There's no year indicated on this record, but John B.'s discography tells me that it's from 1978. I must say that surprised me a bit, as I had assumed it was a little older than that--it's an EMI release, but rather than the familiar red & black EMI label, it sports the old-school black & white label with the His Master's Voice logo that I don't think I've seen on any EMI record from after 1974 or so. Oh well... Learn something every day!
The main reason I posted this, really, is for mnemonic purposes: I wanted to remind myself that the Peacocks' classic "Eddie Quansa" (b.k.a. the "Zebrudaya" theme song) appears on the new Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump compilation from the recently-back-in-business Strut Records, and I have been meaning to do a write-up on it... As well as on Analog Africa's African Scream Contest and the third installment in Soundway's Nigeria Special series, Nigeria Rock Special.
Time's been tight lately, but I'll try to get to that by this weekend.
*I should note that the Peacocks leader is also frequently credited as "Raphael Amarabem"