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ReleaseProduct
Coming Home
Artist
Pat Thomas
Label
Strut
Catalogue Number
STRUT147
Release Date
September 30, 2016

Ghanaian highlife master and “The Golden Voice Of Africa”, Pat Thomas, returns with his first full career retrospective on Strut this Autumn, covering his late ‘60s big band highlife recordings through to the “burger highlife” movement of the early ‘80s.

Growing up with music around him (“my uncle, King Onyina, was an important highlife musician”), Thomas was inspired to become a singer after hearing vocalist Joss Aikins: “He sang with Broadway Dance Band and Decca in Ghana chose him to sing with any group that came into their studios.”

When a new incarnation of Broadway Dance Band was created in ‘67, led by Ebo Taylor, Thomas received his first big break. “Ebo started to write new songs. I added the lyrics and sang them and it worked well.” The partnership with Taylor would become one of the enduring forces in Ghanaian music during the ‘70s, creating a fresh, progressive new highlife sound. They played with the Blue Monks band before, in 1974, forming Sweet Beans with the backing of Ghana’s Cocoa Marketing Board: “The album, ‘False Lover’, was the first under my own name and my first for Gapophone,” Pat reflects. “Reggae was “on” at that time - Jimmy Cliff was the guy - so I tried reggae fusions and brought in some soul.”

The album established Thomas across Ghana. Sweet Beans disbanded but the musicians stayed together as Marijata. “The guys initially used Jewel Ackah as their vocalist but they involved me and I re-vocalled the album. This became the ‘Pat Thomas Introduces Marijata’ LP. At that time, I would go to George Prah at Gapophone to ask for money and he would say, ‘if you want me to pay you, go and write a song!’ So, tracks like ‘Coming Home’ came about that way, written on the spot.” A second Marijata album followed before a damaging coup in Ghana in 1979. “Jerry Rawlings’ “house-cleaning” was designed to stop corruption but it seriously damaged our country’s music culture.”

Thomas left for Berlin and stayed true to his highlife roots, becoming the first Ghanaian to record highlife there. “In Ghana, people ex-pats living in Germany called themselves ‘burgers’, so the scene became ‘burger highlife’.” Thomas travelled to Togo and London, before settling in Canada: “I ended up there for ten years playing for universities, Ghanaian societies and festivals.”

Digital Tracklist

  1. 1 Go Modern Broadway Dance Band 2:59 Buy

    Go Modern

  2. 2 Yaa Amponsah Ogyatanaa Show Band with Pat Thomas 5:03 Buy

    Yaa Amponsah

  3. 3 Obra E Yebo Yi Pat Thomas & The Black Berets 3:21 Buy

    Obra E Yebo Yi

  4. 4 Eye Colo Pat Thomas & The Big '7' 3:12 Buy

    Eye Colo

  5. 5 Awurade Mpaebo Pat Thomas 3:26 Buy

    Awurade Mpaebo

  6. 6 Merebre Pat Thomas & The Sweet Beans 3:18 Buy

    Merebre

  7. 7 Revolution Pat Thomas & The Sweet Beans 4:18 Buy

    Revolution

  8. 8 We Are Coming Home Pat Thomas & Marijata 5:53 Buy

    We Are Coming Home

  9. 9 Let's Think It Over Pat Thomas & Marijata 3:56 Buy

    Let's Think It Over

  10. 10 Brain Washing Pat Thomas & Marijata 3:45 Buy

    Brain Washing

Show All Tracks 23

Track List: LP

A1 Ogyatanaa Show Band with Pat Thomas - Yaa Amponsah
A2 Pat Thomas & The Black Berets - Obra E Yebo Yi
A3 Pat Thomas & The Big '7' - Eye Colo A4 Pat Thomas - Awurade Mpaebo
A5 Pat Thomas & The Sweet Beans - Merebre

B1 Pat Thomas & The Sweet Beans - Revolution
B2 Pat Thomas & Marijata - We Are Coming Home
B3 Pat Thomas & Marijata - Let's Think It Over
B4 Pat Thomas & The Sweet Beans - Set Me Free

C1 Ebo Taylor feat. Pat Thomas - No Money No Love
C2 Ebo Taylor feat. Pat Thomas - Sack The Devils
C3 Pat Thomas & Ebo Taylor - Ma Huno

D1 Pat Thomas - Mewo Akoma
D2 Pat Thomas - Gyae Su

E1 Pat Thomas - Yamona
E2 Pat Thomas & Marijata - I Need More

F1 Super Sounds Namba - Who's Free
F2 Pat Thomas - Mpaebo

Track List: CD

CD1

  1. Broadway Dance Band - Go Modern 02:59
  2. Ogyatanaa Show Band with Pat Thomas - Yaa Amponsah 05:03
  3. Pat Thomas & The Black Berets - Obra E Yebo Yi 03:21
  4. Pat Thomas & The Big '7' - Eye Colo 03:12
  5. Awurade Mpaebo 03:26
  6. Pat Thomas & The Sweet Beans - Merebre 03:18
  7. Pat Thomas & The Sweet Beans - Revolution 04:18
  8. Pat Thomas & Marijata - We Are Coming Home 05:53
  9. Pat Thomas & Marijata - Let's Think It Over 03:56
  10. Pat Thomas & Marijata - Brain Washing 03:45
  11. Pat Thomas & The Sweet Beans - Set Me Free 02:51
  12. Pat Thomas & Marijata - I Can Say 05:30
  13. Ebo Taylor feat. Pat Thomas - No Money No Love (previously unreleased) 06:23
  14. Ebo Taylor feat. Pat Thomas - Sack The Devils (previously unreleased) 07:00

CD2

  1. Pat Thomas & Ebo Taylor - Ma Huno 05:43
  2. Gyae Su (Wo Nyim Nnti Na Woye LP version) 04:28
  3. Yamona 10:02
  4. Mewo Akoma 14:27
  5. Gyae Su (Mpaebo LP version) 05:22
  6. Pat Thomas & Marijata - I Need More 07:42
  7. Super Sounds Namba - Who's Free 05:33
  8. Mpaebo 15:00
  9. Can't You See 05:54
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