Audio

Hear a Full Retrospective of "The Golden Voice of Africa" Pat Thomas’ Ghanaian Highlife & Afrobeat Classics

Strut Records compiles 'Coming Home,' a career-long retrospectives of Pat Thomas' Ghanaian highlife and afrobeat classics 1964-1981.

At 65 years-old, Pat Thomas is a highlife legend.


Now, Strut Records is compiling Coming Home, a career-long retrospectives of the Ghanaian singer’s highlife and afrobeat classics. It spans from Thomas’ 1960s big band recordings to his contributions to Berlin’s “buger highlife” scene of the ‘80s.

Known as “The Golden Voice of Africa,” Thomas started building his reputation as a vocalist and songwriter early in his teenage years under the mentorship of his uncle, King Onyina—a guitarist well-known for his own work and collaborations with Nat King Cole.

His break came in 1967 when he forged a partnership with another highlife legend, Ebo Taylor.

Thomas and Taylor played together in several noteworthy groups—Blue Monks, Broadway Dance Band, and Sweet Beans—and the new highlife sound they created helped cement the songwriters as a major force in 1970s Ghanaian music.

Thomas’ first solo record, False Lover (1974), further established the vocalist across Ghana and made him a radio favorite.

“The album, False Lover, was the first under my own name and my first for Gapophone,” Thomas mentions. “Reggae was 'on' at that time—Jimmy Cliff was the guy—so I tried reggae fusions and brought in some soul.”

In the late ‘70s, he moved to Berlin, where he stuck to his Ghanaian roots and helped spark the “burger highlife” movement.

“In Ghana, people ex-pats living in Germany called themselves ‘burgers,’ so the scene became ‘burger highlife.’”

After Berlin, Thomas had stints Togo and London, before settling in Canada. “I ended up there for ten years playing for universities, Ghanaian societies and festivals,” he says.

Last year, Strut released Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band, Thomas’ first recording in over a decade.

The vocalist has since been touring and playing the album with Kwashibu Area band across the globe.

“Today, highlife has become the world's music and I am proud to still bring it to so many people,” Thomas mentions.

Stream our premiere of Pat Thomas’ Coming Home: Original Ghanaian Highlife & Afrobeat Classics 1967-1981 above and pre-order a copy of the compilation, due Sept. 30.

Tracklisting:

CD 1

1. BROADWAY DANCE BAND – GO MODERN

2. OGYATANAA SHOW BAND WITH PAT THOMAS – YAA AMPONSAH

3. PAT THOMAS & THE BLACK BERETS – OBRA E YEBO YI

4. PAT THOMAS & THE BIG ‘7’ – EYE COLO

5. PAT THOMAS – AWURADE MPAEBO

6. PAT THOMAS & THE SWEET BEANS – MEREBRE

7. PAT THOMAS & THE SWEET BEANS – REVOLUTION

8. PAT THOMAS & MARIJATA – WE ARE COMING HOME

9. PAT THOMAS & MARIJATA – LET’S THINK IT OVER

10. PAT THOMAS & MARIJATA – BRAIN WASHING

11. PAT THOMAS & THE SWEET BEANS – SET ME FREE

12. PAT THOMAS & MARIJATA – I CAN SAY

13. EBO TAYLOR feat. PAT THOMAS – NO MONEY, NO LOVE*

14. EBO TAYLOR feat. PAT THOMAS – SACK THE DEVILS*

CD 2

1. PAT THOMAS & EBO TAYLOR – MA HUNO

3. PAT THOMAS – YAMONA

4. PAT THOMAS – MEWO AKOMA

5. PAT THOMAS – GYAE SU

6. PAT THOMAS AND MARIJATA – I NEED MORE

7. SUPER SOUNDS NAMBA – WHO’S FREE

8. PAT THOMAS – MPAEBO

9. PAT THOMAS – CAN’T YOU SEE

News Brief
Photo: Darren Gerrish/WireImage for Nownessn via GettyImages

South Sudanese Top Model Aweng Ade Chuol & Her Wife Embrace On Cover of Elle UK

If the love doesn't inspire you to push boundaries and move fearlessly, we don't want it!

South Sudanese Top Model Aweng Ade Chuol and her wife Alexus Ade-Chuol braved the seemingly endless sea of criticism against African LGBTQ+ communities by posing on Elle UK's January 2021 issue together.

The newlyweds are the picture of love and happiness as they pose, kissing, for the magazine's new year release.

In an interview with Yahoo Life! , Elle UK's Editor-In-Chief Farrah Storr said of the groundbreaking cover, "Glossy magazines have traditionally put heterosexual couples on covers, but rarely have I seen same-sex couples embraced and celebrated in the same way. At Elle, we wanted simply to show a young couple in love at the end of a very tough year, and Aweng and Lexy seemed like the most natural fit in the world."

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Eli Fola Offers a 'Soundscape to Freedom' With New Performance Visuals

The multidisciplinary artist's latest release "Blackness Be Divine" gives listeners a glimpse into what the musician has to offer.