Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stoneface & Life Everlasting 45 In Stores Now!



This was the first recording by Stoneface Iwuagwu with his band the Life Everlasting, originally released in 1973.

This 45 marks the beginning of a series of 45s to be brought to you by Voodoo Funk & Academy Lps. Only 1.000 copies will be pressed of each release so be quick!

My friend Uchenna Ikunne from Comb & Razor, without whom we would not have been able to put this record out, provides us with a bit of background information on Stoneface and his band:

"Innocent Iwuagwu received the name "Stoneface" during his tenure as a singer in the Tall Men, a mid-1960s Enugu-based pop group. While with the Tallmen, he also taught himself to play the drums. In 1967, shortly after the Eastern region of the country declared its sovereignty as the Republic of Biafra, Stoneface was invited to play drums for the top pop band in the region, The Postmen, by the group's guitarist Goddy Oku.

The Postmen didn't last long after that as their popular lead singer, Sonny Okosuns, had been deported from Biafra. In 1968 Stoneface joined the In Crowd, led by Lasbrey Ojukwu and stayed with the group until the end of the war in 1970. After the war, he joined The Soulmen, an army group based in Ogoja. The Soulmen soon relocated to Enugu, where Stoneface left and joined his old friend Goddy Oku's new group The Hygrades in 1971.

He left The Hygrades (probably around '72) and played for a little bit in Ify Jerry Krusade, led by another old mate from The Postmen, Ify Jerry.

Around 1973, he decided to form his own band and he rounded up a bunch of teenage musicians--singer Kingsley "Dallas" Anyanwu (from the high school band Dee-Mites), lead guitarist Maurice "Jackie Moore" Anyaorah (from Salt & Pepper Organisation), rhythm guitarist Roy Obika and bassist Jimi Henshaw--and formed Life Everlasting.

Unlike many of the Eastern groups of the post-war era, Life Everlasting was sponsored not by the army but by Stoneface's elder brother. But the amount of financing provided couldn't buy them state-of-the-art gear, so they used mostly instruments constructed by local carpenters and amps and pedals built by electronics wiz Goddy Oku.

They were signed by EMI and recorded their first single, "Love is Free" b/w "Agawalam Mba" at the EMI studio in Apapa, Lagos. The session featured a studio musician playing polyphonic organ that ended up not making the final mix.

The record was a hit and they followed it up with "Everyday" b/w "Love Him" (Stone says he thinks they *might* have recorded a third single but he cant' remember what it might have been called..."

Write up by Uchenna Ikonne from Comb & Razor who also brokered the licensing of this release.

Limited pressing of 1.000 -be quick and get one here!

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

that sounds cool frank... can't wait for the release. I was wondering what happened to the pat thomas and marijata release. is there a release date already?

bless

Frank said...

Pat Thomas Introduces Marijata will be out soon. The vinyl is already in manufacturing but we want to release it together with the CD version which will take a little while longer. In the meantime we're also working on the Freedom Family LP and various other 45 releases...

Anonymous said...

thats awesome... I really appreciate all the reissue stuff you're doing... thanks for that...

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts of doing a subscription series (i.e. one flat rate for a year's worth or releases) that labels like Numero Group or Light in the Attic have set up? I would definitely buy a subscription to your albums/singles, I'm going to buy them all anyway. It would be much easier to buy them all in one fell swoop.

Regardless, keep up the killer re-issues.

Thanks, DJ M (http://www.smileysmile.net/uncanny/index.php )

Frank said...

Hey DJ M, I don't think a subscription series would work for us. I appreciate the thought though and thanx for buying our records! I promise the next releases will be worth your while...

Cheers!

Frank

Anonymous said...

Frank - these tracks are AMAZING! Such a different vibe on each track - tremendous stuff. Any chance these (and the other stuff in the 45 series) will appear in some digital format? I'm not a vinyl guy but I've got to get these tracks!
All the best!

hugh said...

now it's time for the 45's - keep 'em coming !!!
and also with picture sleeves - mouth waters...
you'll get my full support - can't wait.
keep on keeping on.

Frank said...

Thanx guys! Great you're digging these tunes. We'll definitely do digital distribution. I'm happy people are still willing to pay for this stuff and don't just rely on free downloads.

Cheers!

Frank

Anonymous said...

Any word on the Simigwa reissue yet?

Frank said...

Simigwa will be out in a matter of weeks!

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that the official Simigwa is getting released. I just saw on soundsoftheuniverse that they have just started selling the bootleg. Surprised by them. You might want to have a word Frank: http://www.soundsoftheuniverse.com/releases/?id=24314

Anonymous said...

Happy to hear about the LP. Keep fighting the good fight. Can't wait for that show with Antibalas on Tuesday!

Marc B. from Chicago said...

Great news! Both LP's are aewsome... The 45 is a welcome treat as well.

Marc B. from Chicago said...

Listening to this right now, sounds awesome!

Gary from Miami said...

Just ordered! Will be ordering all the singles in this amazing series! Thanks for your dedication.

Anonymous said...

A litte off topic here; will there be a lagos disco inferno II?

general marcus said...

just received my copy this morning... the uk style center piece is super awesome!!! (and the tracks as well)
thx

Frank said...

General Marcus, glad you're enjoying the 45. Like pretty much all Nigerian 45s, the original 45 had a snap-out center pieced so we decided to do this as authentic as possible.

Anonymous, I'm not sure if there will be another Lagos Disco Inferno compilation or instead a series of 12" releases but more Nigerian Disco & Boogie goodness will be re-released at some point.

Cheers,

Frank

Lg said...

Great looking 45. I'll probably receive my copy this week. I guess the next one in the serie will be General Gowon ?

Frank said...

I don't really like the 45 version of General Gowon too much and the (amazing) LP version would be way too long for a 7" press. The next 45 release will be by The Apostles and it's going to be a stone cold killer...

Matt W said...

Jeez! This is incredible. Agawalam Mba is killer. Thanks Frank for unearthing this heavy s^*%

Anonymous said...

Hey Frank,

I'm a new but very enthusiastic collector of many of your great African reissues and sometimes originals (when I can get my hands on them). The Stoneface 45 is fantastic but I do have a question. After about two weeks the picture sleeve became rippled/wavey.

I know you have great experience with caring for records. The room I keep them in is typically a cool temperature and not too dry. Any idea why this happened or how can I prevent this from happening in the future?

Much respect,

Jonathan

Frank said...

Hi Jonathan, I'm not sure why your picture sleeve rippled up, maybe you're having some humidity issues? My own copies are sitting in an open box in my record room and their covers are all still nice and flat.

Anonymous said...

Mine also went wavey. It was the plastic cover that was a little too tight. Changing this sorts it. Happy days