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African rock pioneer, Blo’s debut album, ‘Chapter One,’ was originally released by EMI in 1973.
Blo is most known for being the first rock band to emerge from Africa. This trio includes Berkely ‘Ike’ Jones on guitar, Laolu ‘Akins’ Akintobi on drums and Mike ‘Gbenga’ Odumosu on bass. Each member has also worked in Ginger Baker’s band, Salt prior to their formation in 1972.
The band’s retro, afro-rock sound foundation of the late 60’s makes this one of the finest African fusion albums. ‘Chapter One’ features raw and outstanding guitar work from Jones, accompanied by the groovy collaboration of Akintobi’s drums and Odumosu’s bass, creating an out of this world, psychedelic vibe. Vocals are the least prominent feature of this brilliant album, functioning more like an additional soulful element rather than a key attribute to justify the 60’s style rock. This is demonstrated in the album’s only instrumental track, the Arabic-tinged ‘Miss Sagitt.’
‘Chapter One’ is one of the most sought after African albums, despite the fact that it performed poorly upon release, which lead to the band switching labels to focus on a funkier sound. However, this album remains to be a rare piece of African psychedelic funk, which can reach up to $4000 for an original copy. Blo’s ‘Time To Face The Sun’ returned to the limelight when it was was sampled by legendary LA based hip hop producer Madlib on his hit ‘Face The Sun’.