Apr 26, 2014

Coming soon: The Black Hippies - The Black Hippies

“Pazy (real name Joseph Etinagbedia) started playing music in the Fire Flies in the city of Warri in Nigeria in 1973. The area was in the midst of an oil boom, and like most bands on that scene, the Fire Flies played American and European pop hits mixed with Jazz and Highlife for the largely expat audiences in local clubs. Along with an influx of foreigners, the oil boom also gave rise to an emerging Nigerian youth market, and soon Pazy formed the Black Hippies to play the uniquely African style of hard rock that was favored by this new audience.

They quickly found success and were appearing alongside other Warri-based artists such as Tony Grey. In short time, they came to the attention of EMI and their legendary producer Odion Iruoje, who recorded this album. By the time it was released in 1977, though, Disco and Funk were starting to take over and the hard fuzzy rock of The Black Hippies first album was somewhat behind the times. As a result, the album was barely released and is now virtually unfindable, unseen by all but a few of the most hardcore collectors. Pazy would go on to form a new line up of the Black Hippies that played mostly Reggae but this remains by far the best album.

Featuring whiplash funk drumming, searing fuzz guitar, raw vocals and that uniquely West African organ sound, The Black Hippies first album is a definitive classic of the genre.

Beautifully remastered with restored artwork, this release stands alongside our Ofege and Psychedelic Aliens releases as restored gems from a largely unknown but incredibly vital Rock scene in 70’s West Africa."



Johan Kugelberg: When I moved from Sweden to America in 1988, I sold quite a lot of my records and, like a schmuck, sold a lot of my Fela Kuti records as I, like a schmuck, thought that I could easily re-purchase them cheaply in New York City. You know what? That did NOT happen. It took years and it was sometimes brutally expensive, but I’ve gotten them all back. (With the notable exception of “Best of Volume Two Fela’s Budget Special.”)

This process, in turn, led me to some unbelievable experiences getting to know West-African guitar music in the days before everything was priced in the triple digits. I bought hoards of records from a kind and enthusiastic dealer named Osita, who’d let me come to his house and needle-drop on epic quantities of records. I rarely bought the funky ones, as my taste runs towards hard-swinging highlife/palm wine type stuff, but once in a while something would tickle the ol’ record palate in genres other.

The Black Hippies is that kind of record, but it certainly reverberates inside Mr. Alapatt’s cranium more than mine, so, when he leaves, he is taking it home with him. I am sure that something awesome will show up in the mail from him at some point. This is just how collectors who become pals roll.



1. Doing It In The Streets 
2. Have The Love 
3. Hippies Love 
4. World Is Great 
5. You Are My Witness

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