May 28, 2011

In the 60s

A few years ago I expressed (in this post) my preference for the more 'profane' work of Nigerian juju star Ebenezer Obey. "Profane" in the original sense that is, i.e. "not belonging to a church or religion".

On closer inspection, I have to take back what I wrote.

In fact there are, in my opinion, no better songs in Obey's extensive repertoire than the godfearing tracks collected on this album "Ebenezer Obey in the 60's".
This has been one of favourite juju albums (if not THE favourite) for over 25 years. And in all this time its shine has not diminished. On the contrary, the lp has only grown in stature, as a monument to the early work of the now chief commander.

Unlike the majority of juju music albums this lp does not contain two medleys, but a total of twelve short tracks. Among these there are several that, as far as I am concerned, can compete with the best tracks from the sixties by pan-african superstars like Franco and Kabasellé.
To me the very best of these is the concise but heavenly "Ori Bayemi". I get tears in my eyes every time I listen to this stupefyingly beautiful song. Obey manages to cram all of the good bits of juju music into less than three minutes, including - in order of appearance - some eternal guitar chords, very casual sounding but for exactly this reason brilliant lead and chorus interplay and a 'get down & shake it' drums bit.

The whole of the A-side is in fact of a surreal wonderfulness. "Ope Fun Oluwa" and "Gbe Bemi Oluwa", both songs filled to the brim with Jesus and Our Lord (Oluwa), offer stiff competition to "Ori Bayemi", with the rootsy (okay, you can shoot me now) "Ope Fun Oluwa" very close, if only for the great rhythm.

The only hint of profanity is in "Pauline", a song with sensual guitar balanced against manly vocals and chest-beating drums.

On the B-side there are some surprising jewels. Like "Edumare Lon Pese". After the opening notes I almost expect Tunde Nightingale to squeak in. I love the guitar in this song.

This lp is the first volume in a series of two. But if you ask me, the second volume does not get close to this (mono!!) evergreen of Nigerian - and African - music.

Decca WAP 432 or Decca WAP 432

13 comments:

jan duinkerken said...

Great! I'm glad you offer some Nigerian music.
Thank you.

Planetolusola said...

Download of 'In the 60's' is hung up mid-way. Mediafire file host will fix this. Could you please re-post?

Thanks for your great collections.

Olusola001

kissmynoose said...

I also found that the download kept pausing, but that hitting "resume" now and again will make it work. Many thanks for another excellent post. I have this volume of "In the 60s" on vinyl, but not volume 2. I would be curious to also hear volume 2 at some stage, though you don't rate it as highly.

WrldServ said...

Megaupload is perhaps not ideal, but it is certainly working fine, I have tested it twice now, and without any problems.

I would like to add that Mediafire is the only service which has actually removed some of my uploaded files.

@kissmynoose: I'll consider posting the second volume. But even within only Obey's work there are better albums, which merit posting before Vol.2.....

Planetolusola said...

Thanks worldservice. Perhaps the issue is with my pc.

Thanks again.

bolingo69 said...

Yes, it is quite strange I am also left hanging at 28 meg. This has happened before and sometimes it goes away after a reboot so it may be something local but the weird thing is that it has happened even fter rebooting an sometimes for several days. I'll make some more attempts before I start crying wolf!

reservatory said...

I'm up to about seven tries. I've tried in Firefox and Safari with no luck, then took Kissmynoose's advice and tried the 'resume' trick, but that just gives me the same 'File Cannot Be Saved' message.

WrldServ said...

There is not a lot I can do at the moment. I have reported it to Megaupload.
I am certainly NOT going to upload the MU files to another server.

reservatory said...

Hey, no worries on this end! I've got enough Worldservice downloads to last me months and months at the very least. It's just that your posts are routinely so wonderful!

WrldServ said...

As I wrote, I tried downloading the file twice yesterday and found no problems. I have tried it again twice today, from two very different locations, - and again have found no problems.

Megaupload has not replied to my call, so far.

ken_yatta said...

Not a big fan of juju, but will give this a listen. And coincidently, I recently ripped two of his lps.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

You are the best and so very much appreciated!

glinka21 said...

I had no idea you possessed such a nice collection of rare Obey until I saw s rip of one of your uploads (not to put too fine a point on it) on another site. You noticed; you commented, with gentlemanly restraint. Certainly better was due you than at least a tip of the hat.

Thanks for all this material, Obey and otherwise!