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

Music
(YouTube)

The 7 Best East African Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Nandy, Juicee Mann, Alikiba, Diamond Platnumz and more.

July featured an array of incredible releases from East Africa's pop royalty as well as promising newbies.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.