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Osibisa - Survival / Think About the People CD (album) cover



Jazz Rock/Fusion

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3 stars Osibisa was founded in London in 1969 by three musicians from Ghana. The group grew into a seven-piece and released the eponymous debut album in 1971. The second album Woyaya, likewise featuring an exotic, winged elephant themed cover art by Roger Dean, came later the same year. Several singles were also released to promote Osibisa's African-based jazz rock (see for more of them).

[ As a teenager, in the late 80's, I bought Woyaya second-hand (surely not least because of Roger Dean, in fact), but later I unfortunately sold it away among heaps of other vinyls. Approximately a decade ago Osibisa entered my CD shelves, although I haven't much listened to the compilation CD. To make a modest compensation for the truly undeserved oblivion I've put them into, here's a 7" review. ]

'Survival' is probably the funkiest track of Woyaya. On the album it has a long and rather unnecessary intro for percussion and voice, which is wisely edited from the single version. Basically the composition is an instrumental despite some mostly-wordless vocal parts. The groove is full of energy, quite the same way as the early SANTANA. Reeds and horns play sharp riffs while guitar and organ are mainly basic ingredients for the overall soundscape.

'Think About the People' was taken from the debut album, where it is the closing song. This is vintage jazz rock with funk flavours. The lyrics about the pollution and other global problems are sung by guitarist Wendel Richardson (with background harmonies). The song in itself is pretty effective and there are also some cool proggy alterations in the tempo etc. These two pieces may not represesnt Osibisa's fusion at its finest, but certainly this is not a bad single at all.

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Posted Friday, March 12, 2021 | Review Permalink

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