Osibisa were formed in London in 1969 by three Ghanaian and three Caribbean musicians. They took their name from the Akan ( which is a West African language ) word for a particular dance rhythm. Their music was a fantastically infectious mix of African rhythms, R&B, jazz and rock, and it had an instant appeal with the punters. Their first self-titled album, complete with Roger Dean artwork, did very well for them, as did later albums, and they became very popular in Australia, the US and in England. They split in the late seventies and reformed in 1980. They appear to be still active, although new releases are few and far between, the last(?) one being " Monsior" about five years ago.

Osibisa - Survival, from "Woyaya", their second album, released in 1972. We've featured this amazing outfit many times in the past and they're also well represented on these pages elsewhere, so we won't repeat their entire history here. What we will mention again is that they were formed in London by three Ghanaian and three Caribbean musicians and they played an important and central role in developing an awareness of African music, in their case, specifically, West African highlife tinged with rock. Ghanaian members, Sol Amarfio on drums, Mac Tontoh on Trumpet and Teddy Osei, Tontoh's brother, on sax, were seasoned members of the Accra highlife, featuring in outfits such as The Star Gazers, The Comets and The Uhuru Dance Band before they moved to London. The other members were Wendell Richardson on guitar, from Antigua, Spartacus R, from Grenada, on bass, and keyboard player Robert Bailey, from Trinidad. A seventh member, percussionist Darko Adams, also from Ghana, joined after the formation of the band, which was actually called Cat's Paw when it was first formed by Osei when he moved to London. Osibisa was born at the end of 1969, and their debut, self-titled album was released in 1971 on MCA Records and it was an almost immediate success, with the single "Music for Gong Gong" a substantial hit. Our featured album reached number 11 on the UK charts, but unfortunately the band's true power only fully came across onstage. They went on to score with a number of excellent albums and singles over the next few years, notably "Sunshine Day" from their "Welcome Home" album, released in 1976. During the late seventies, they spent a lot of their time on the road, touring Africa, India, Japan and Australia, where they'd built up a fair following. They continued to record and tour well into the 80's, but disbanded midway through the decade, although they are apparently around is some form or another.  

Osibisa - Why, from "Osibirock" in 1974, their 5th album. Not one of their best known albums, which is a bit of a shame, as it certainly was up there with their best. You can read up on this great multi-national o utfit elsewhere in these pages as we've featured them on numerous occasions in the past. If you happen to spot this excellent album in your local store, give it a listen. 
(If you have more info on this band, please e-mail us)


The brainchild of Teddy Osei, a Ghanaian sax player, composer, and drummer who came to London to study music, Osibisa was one of the first African bands to win worldwide popularity. Their mix of African (especially highlife) and Caribbean forms made them a sensation in the mid 70s and their popularity continues today, even though recording dates have fallen off. 


Kiki Gyan
Gregg Kofi Brown

Hi Life International
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The Sweet Talks

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Osibisa - 1971 - Osibisa - 4.5/5

Osibisa - 1971 - Woyaya - 4.5/5

Osibisa - 1972 - Heads - 3/5

Osibisa - 1973 - Happy Children - 3/5

Osibisa - 1974 - Osibirock - 3/5

Osibisa - 1974 - Superfly TNT (OST) - 2/5

Osibisa - 1976 - Ojah Awake - 3/5

Osibisa - 1977 - Black Magic Night, Live at the Royal Festival Hall - 4/5

Osibisa - 1977 - Welcome Home - 3.5/5

Osibisa - 1995 - African Flight - 4/5

Osibisa - 1997 - Monsore - 3/5

Osibisa - 2000 - Movements - 4/5

Osibisa - 2001 - Aka Kakara Acoustic Live - 4/5

Osibisa - 2003 - African Dawn African Flight - 4/5

Osibisa - 2004 - Wango Wango - 2.5/5



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