Pat Thomas introduces Marijata (CD/LP, Academy LPs, 2015 reissue)
Born in 1951 in Kumasi, Ghana, the highlife vocalist, Pat Thomas, made his name with his band the Sweet Beans. He began his carreer in 1969 with the Broadway Dance Band, leaving a year later to join the Uhuru Dance Band. Then he played with Ebo Taylor's Blue Monks and finally formed the Sweet Beans in 1973. They released 'False Lover' in 1974, then split and-reformed as Marijata, releasing 'Marijata' and 'Pat Thomas Introduces Marijata'. What a story - to sum it up this rare and famous album that can be sold more than one thousand dollar... (Source : orogod.blogspot.com)
Now the wait is finally over! Four years after the first vinyl reissue from 2011, the 2nd Marijata album is finally planned for 2015. Here's what Voodoo Funk says on his blog: "I know I've been promising this one for years but now. Academy Lps and Voodoo Funk will release this record as their first joined release of 2015. We have managed to secure the licensing from band member Kofi 'Elecric' Addison who also provided us with some mind bending band pictures. Stay tuned for one of the most anticipated Afro Funk releases ever. The CD version will contain both Marijata albums!".
Considering that the Afrobeat Academy crew behind the recent Ebo Taylor albums and tours has a new Pat Thomas album in preparation, 2015 is gonna be a great year for Ghanean grooves on vinyl…
Pat Thomas introduces Marijata
(CD/LP) Academy LPs, 2015
Tracklisting LP :
A2. Mother Africa
A3. My Love Will Shine
A4. That's The Way
B1. Brain Washing
B2. Papa's Little Boy
B3. Black Beautiful Race
B4. I Can Say
B5. Don't Blame Us
Note : This album was originally released on Gapophone Records (GAPO LP 013) in Ghana in 1976.
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Pat Thomas biography :
Born 1951, Kumasi, Ghana. The wave of disco and reggae that swept Africa in the mid-70s created differing responses: some musicians pulled away from playing imported music entirely, others adopted it and adapted it to their own purposes. One of the latter category is highlife vocalist Thomas, who made his name with his band the Sweet Beans.
He was brought up by his uncle, Onyina, a celebrated local bandleader and the owner of a record store in Kumasi. In 1969 he joined the Broadway Dance Band, leaving a year later to join the Uhuru Dance Band for a tour of the UK. Returning to Ghana, he played with Ebo Taylor's Blue Monks, spent a year in the Cote D'lvoire and then formed the Sweet Beans in 1973.
Like many Ghanaian bands, the Sweet Beans received sponsorship from a government body, in this case the Cocoa Marketing Board. They released False Lover in 1974, then split and re-formed as Marijata, releasing Marijata and Pat Thomas Introduces Marijata, after which Thomas released two reggae-influenced solo albums, Let's Think It Over and Asawado.
He then left for Berlin, where he recorded the classic 1980, a hi-tech mix of reggae and disco-highlife that featured George Darko on lead guitar. The albums that followed his return to Ghana abandoned electronic slickness in favour of a return to roots: Sweeter Than Honey dug into traditional dagomba rhythms.
When Thomas does hit form he is hard to beat; his 1985 output included three hastily recorded albums, including the disastrously under-mixed Pat Thomas And Ebo Taylor and one blistering triumph, Asanteman, which combined a history of the Ashante kingdom, kicked off by a blast of traditional horn playing with solid production.
By this time, Thomas had discovered football, which would provide lyrics and conceptual themes for his songwriting throughout the rest of the decade. In 1984, he had recorded the mini-album Asante Kotoko, dedicated to the Ghanaian club which had won the Africa Cup in 1983.
The title track was played over the speakers at the club's home pitch and occasionally played live at half-time by a local highlife band. In 1985, Thomas went to work on a further Asante album, to commemorate the club's 50th anniversary. In the late 80s Thomas spent some time in Canada, before making a memorable (but ill-publicized) comeback in 1991 with Sika Ye Mogya.