Osibisa

I knew I would love Osibisa from the Roger Dean cover of their first album with its butterfly elephants & the stylized lettering of their name. I was some what prepared for their African rhythms by Santana & their horn section was/is amazing plus some proto-Hendrix guitar work. I also have to admit the amount of male flesh revealed in their cover photos also held my attention. Top that off with a song called ‘Phallus C’ dealing with the myths around cock size & I was a fan.

I have as stand alone First (1971), Woyaya (1971), Osibirock (1974); as mp3 Heads (1972), Live: 1971, The Warrior (1983), Osee Yee (2009). I still have my vinyl of the first two mainly for the covers. I eventually ordered them on CD as Australian imports November 2003. Their Ghanaian-English Afro Rock sound progressed over the years as the influence of the Caribbean members was felt leading to a more reggae sound. 

The live set from 1971, probably a bootleg, is good but not great – it seems to have been done from the soundboard of the concert & it has picked up some crowd conversations that are rather fun but also a little intrusive. Their first two lps are an excellent introduction African music &, to me, haven’t dated much. I have more recent work by African bands & there is little difference. They recently released a new lp! Can’t wait to hear it.

Also in this mp3 collection is Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Shaka Zulu (1987), Zibuynhlazane (1988) – a South African male choral group that recorded with Paul Simon (Graceland). Tradition songs mixed with more contemporary work – the harmonies are sweet, their love work is energetic but a couple of lps was enough for me.

I had a cassette with Liane Foly’s 1990 ‘Rêve orange’ given to me by a friend (it is now in another mpo3 collection). On this one I have Le goût du désir (2008). A sultry jazz blues singer who infuses some of her work with Moroccan flavourings. This is romantic, sweet & sophisticated music.  

Finally from the group that started it all 🙂 is Santana’s Amigos (1976) – touches of disco that work with Dance Sister Dance – critics weren’t happy with the group moving in a more pop direction with latino flavoured songs as opposed full on latino. 

99 Tears Blues

woke up this morning 

with tears in my eyes

pillow was wet 

still so much to cry

woke up this morning 

with tears in my eyes

pillow was wet 

still so much to cry

don’t ask me why

don’t know

nothing going so wrong

all going so good

I have no complaints

<>

couldn’t stop those tears

shower didn’t wash them away

wept all through breakfast 

all the way to work 

people would stare but not dare

ask how come I was crying

glad they didn’t 

I don’t know what to tell them

don’t feel sad don’t feel glad 

just feel like me

<>

went to my doctor to see what he could see 

he said those tears are a mystery to me

went to a man of the cloth he said

those are tears for the sadness of this world

gone to sin and corruption 

someone needs to grieve

I told him get up off your knees 

don’t bother to pray 

I got better things to do today

went on my way

crying sobbing snivelling 

blowing my nose

<>

woke up this morning 

with tears in my eyes

took a plane to the desert 

to see if they can be made to dry

sun blistered my face

salty tracks itch but didn’t fade

each drop a hunger for something 

the sun couldn’t satisfy

<>

I headed home to find a place to hide

not that I felt shame

but life isn’t the same

when you cry all the time

when the tears from inside

find their way out 

there isn’t much one can do

but let them flow 

even if I don’t know why 

or who 

or where 

or what

<>

sun glasses can’t hide 

the endless trail of wet 

wherever I went 

told to leave starbucks 

asked to make myself scarce at bars

all that crying didn’t help 

the doom and gloom already there

took myself home

went back to my bed 

hope that a dream can find it’s way though

<>

woke up this morning 

smiling so wide

why was I happy

it was time for that change

smiling

beaming so strange

people looked away

the grin was so bright

the sun was pale in my sight

didn’t need no doctor 

no bartender

to make me all right

I was fine as I was

ready to face what what to be done

tears have stop flowing

time to get growing

greeting the truth 

rather than crying over it

(2008)

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