November 11, 2013

101 Reel-To-Reel Tapes 18: Osibisa

Osibisa cover illustration detail – Roger Dean
Cover design - Roughedge
photo by Styrous©

 Osibisa cover illustration – Roger Dean
Cover design - Roughedge
photo of tape box by Styrous©

In addition to my vinyl collection I'm selling, I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes I'm selling. This is an entry about one of them that was for sale on eBay (see link below for others). I have the vinyl LP version as well. Interested? Contact me by email, please, not by a comment.

~ ~ ~

This was the first album by Osibisa and it is a doozey! Mostly an instrumental, it fuses the music of Africa, Europe and the Americas. It's jazz, latin and a few other things thrown in.
The Dawn is a wonderful, very fast waltz á la Africana. A terrific flute flutters through the beginning of this savage waltz and introduces a brassy, bawdy brass section that is then joined by great organ work. What a sensational song! There's a live version of it on YouTube (see link below).

Music For Gong Gong is a delightful, bouncy almost-samba that makes you romp across the floor and dream of dancing forever.

Ayiko Bia comes in as a jazzy treat with an all male group vocal, call and response. It's a really great song.

Oranges rocks in a nice very fast gallop with a terrific sax by Teddy Osei who is joined by Mac Tontoh on trumpet. Loughty Lasisi Amao enters with his baritone saxophone (always been a sucker for a sax), then Wendell Richardson brings the whole shebang together with his guitar.

Near the bottom of this post there are links to the songs mentioned on YouTube so you can hear them for yourself, if you'd like. 

Osibisa cover back illustration – Roger Dean
Cover design - Roughedge
photo of tape box by Styrous©

Osibisa cover back detail – Roger Dean
Cover design - Roughedge
detail photo by Styrous©

Osibisa reel-to-reel
photo by Styrous©

Osibisa reel-to-reel label detail
photo by Styrous©

Track listing

No.    Title                                  Writer(s)           Length

Side 1:

1.    "The Dawn"                         Osei/Amarfio    7:24
2.    "Music for Gong Gong"      Osei/Tontoh      4:19
3.    "Ayiko Bia"                         Osei                   7:52

Side 2:

1.    "Akwaaba"                          Osei/Tontoh       5:27
2.    "Oranges"                            Osei                   4:43
3.    "Phallus C"                          Bedeau              7:15
4.    "Think About the People"   Osibisa              4:36

Total length:    41:36


  • Teddy Osei – tenor saxophone, flute, African drums, percussion, vocals
  • Sol Amarfio – drums, percussion, vocals
  • Mac Tontoh – trumpet, flugelhorn, kabasa, percussion, vocals
  • Spartacus R (Roy Bedeau) – bass guitar, assorted percussion
  • Wendell Richardson – lead guitar, vocals
  • Robert Bailey – organ, piano, timbales, percussion, vocals
  • Loughty Lasisi Amao – tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, congas, percussion


  • Producer – Tony Visconti
  • Engineer – John Punter
  • Assistant - Martin Rushent
  • Recorded at Air Studios, London, England
  • Cover illustration – Roger Dean
  • Cover design - Roughedge

Music links:

The Dawn (live) on YouTube
Music for Gong Gong on YouTube

reel-to-reel listings on eBay

more reel-to-reel tapes on the Styrous® Viewfinder:
                                             reel-to-reel tape archive

What a great album; what a great group!

Styrous® ~ Monday, November 11, 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment

PLEASE NOTE: comments are moderated BEFORE they are posted so DO NOT appear immediately.

Thank you.