Blo - Chapters and Phases: The Complete Albums 1973-1975 (2009)

«Blo fused the Afrobeat rhythms of their native Nigeria with the mind-expanding psychedelia and funk of late-'60s Western rock to forge a wholly original sound embracing the full spectrum of black music. The roots of the group lay in the Clusters, already one of the most popular Nigerian highlife acts of the mid-'60s even prior to a stint as the support band for the Sierra Leonean pop superstar Geraldo Pino, once dubbed "the West African James Brown." In 1970, guitarist Berkely "Ike" Jones, bassist Mike "Gbenga" Odumosu, and drummer Laolu "Akins" Akintobi left the Clusters to join Afrocollection with twin sisters Kehinde and Taiwo Lijadu (featured a decade later on the British television show The Tube), moving away from their highlife roots to explore a more pronounced Afro-Rock approach. While performing at the Lagos club Batakuto, Afrocollection jammed with Ginger Baker, the renowned drummer from the British blues-rock supergroup Cream; in late 1971, the members of Afrocollection joined Baker in forming the jazz-rock ensemble Salt, making their live debut the following year alongside the legendary Fela Kuti.

Despite a series of well-received live appearances throughout Western Europe and North America, the Salt project proved short-lived, and in late 1972, Jones, Odumosu, and Akintobi formed Blo, touring relentlessly in the months to come, prior to recording their EMI Nigeria label debut Blo: Chapter One. Drawing equally on the pioneering Afrobeat of Fela and Tony Allen as well as the American psych-rock of bands like the Grateful Dead and the Byrds, the record failed to live up to EMI's commercial expectations, and after signing to Afrodisia, Blo resurfaced in 1975 with Phase 2, pushing further into funk and R&B territory. Grand Funk Railroad and the Isley Brothers were the primary influences on the trio's third LP, Phase 3, but as lackluster sales continued to dog the group, Blo faced greater corporate pressure to reflect contemporary musical trends – specifically, disco, a shift culminating with 1980's Bulky Backside, recorded in London. Blo dissolved following the 1982 release of Back in Time.» (AMG)

«One of the hippest groups of the Nigerian scene of the 70s – presented here in two classic albums, back to back on a single CD! Chapter One is a landmark set of African grooves – very unusual in both conception and execution – with a feel that's unlike anything we can think of! There's definitely a rock influence in the set, but the music isn't rock at all – it's a very dark, almost dubby groove at points – and a bit more straightforwardly funk at others – almost a post-colonial style that clearly comes from a London influence, given to the group by a previous association with Ginger Baker. Rhythms are quite tight, and the bass is as strong as the drums – mixed up nicely with riffing guitar, and moody vocals that color the whole thing nicely. […]. Phase II is a critical next step for the group – music that's even deeper than before, but a bit funkier too! There's clearly some touches here of other African funk of the time – especially in the way the guitar parts groove with the rhythms – although those heavy Blo basslines from before are still nicely in place, as are some of the fuzzier production elements too.» (Dusty Groove America)

Check also RPM Records’ Blo page.

Link in comments


Radu said...



Many thanks

Zer0_II said...

Greetings Radu. I wanted to let you know that I've added your blog to the "World Regions - Various/Eclectic" category of the Digital Meltd0wn Blogroll/Aggregator @ http://music-bloggers.blogspot.com I also added your RSS feed to the main Aggregator feed, which displays updates from all of the blogs on the list. It can be found here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/dmblogroll I also plan to add feeds for each respective category. For example, this way people who have an interest in world music, need only subscribe to the feed for the World Regions" category, as opposed to subscribing to the main aggregator feed.

If you would like to help me out, you can do so by linking back to my blogroll. It certainly isn't required in order to be listed, yet I would greatly appreciate it if you were willing to. I'm also asking if those who run blogs on the list would be willing to make a short post about the blogroll, although if you don't feel comfortable doing so that is fine Thanks for all the hard work and time that goes into maintaining this blog, and especially for the great music you share. Take care.


Heavypsychmanblog said...

Got to hear this I've heard several other similar Afro Psych bands with great guitar n playing

Anonymous said...

muchas gracias!