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Sophisticated Ladies

This Ain't Really Love

This is the first ever official reissue of the Sophisticated Ladies' sought-after 1980 New York disco single 'This Ain't Really Love', backed by a Mighty Zaf extended edit of their 1977 release 'Check It Out', and accompanied by interview-based liner notes. Here, the single will be available in its true 12” format, saving collectors and DJs alike from spending triple-digit figures on an original copy.

First formed in 1955, the Sophisticated Ladies started their recording life as the R&B girl group The Bobbettes, originally consisting of five female vocalists (Jannie Pought, Emma Pought, Reather Dixon, Laura Webb and Helen Gathers). The group were signed to the Atlantic record label and were most known for their 1957 hit single ‘Mr. Lee’, which peaked at #6 on the Billboard Pop singles chart and remained #1 on the R&B chart for four weeks. They were in fact the first girl group to have a #1 R&B song which also was placed in the top ten of the singles chart.

However, by the mid-1970s and with the emergence of the disco era, the Bobbettes changed their name to the Sophisticated Ladies. As Emma Patron (nee Pought) recalled to me in the winter of 2017, The Bobbettes’ success with ‘Mr. Lee’ had been both a blessing and a curse – on the one hand it had provided them with international fame, yet by the 1970s it had become a constant weight and drag upon the group, type-casting and inhibiting their development as artists. Thus, upon the suggestion of their managers and producers Joe Webb and Frank Fair, the name The Bobbettes was lost, replaced now by the Sophisticated Ladies. Not only did this provide the opportunity for a clean sheet, but it also allowed them to have an image change from a girl group to a female disco outfit; as Joe recalls, ‘when we changed the name and gave the band a more soulful, disco sound, it made a huge difference’.

The Sophisticated Ladies (by this time consisting of Emma, Laura and Reather) released two singles between 1977 and 1980. They toured the southern states of America (whilst also touring internationally as the Bobbettes) and received radio airtime throughout the country. Here we have chosen to highlight their scarce, choice cut ‘This Ain’t Really Love’ and have invited The Mighty Zaf to re-work their version of Bobby Womack’s ‘Check It Out’, making it perfect for modern disco dancing.


Momo Joseph / Le Groupe Podem

Love Africa Soul - Inc. Nik Weston Edit

Born in Baleveng, Cameroon in 1952, Momo Joseph is known more for his endeavours in acting than for his musical output, having appeared in numerous French films between 1977 and 2000, including 'L'Africain' (1983) and 'La Haine' (1995). However, his single 'Love Africa Soul', originally released in 1980, is acknowledged by many as an outstanding piece of relentless West African disco, and has recently become highly sought-after by collectors and DJs alike. Momo has lived most of his life in Paris, however has always retained a strong connection to his native Cameroon and to other fellow Cameroonian musicians such as Tala A.M. and Manu Dibango. Here we pair the original 'Love Africa Soul' with an on-point afro disco re-work of the original B side, 'Cameroun Airline', courtesy of Mukatsuku Records very own Nik Weston. We hope that this much-deserved re-release helps to shine a light on Momo's career and musical genius.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Y'all know the drill with Kalita wax, buy or cry. Their latest reissue heater comes from Cameroon's Momo Joseph, a smooth and soulful cat who knows a thing or two about the disco. Dramatic production and a groove that won't let up are the ticket on the A-side, while the flip struts into disco-funk territories thanks to Mukatsuku man Nik Weston.

Okyerema Asante

Sabi (Get Down)

Kalita Records are extremely excited to announce their second release, Okyerema Asante's Ghanaian disco monster, 'Sabi (Get Down)'.

After touring the world and recording with both Hugh Masekela and Oneness of Juju, 'Sabi (Get Down)' was Okyerema's first solo record, released privately in limited numbers on his label Atumpan Records in 1980/1. Recorded and manufactured in the USA, but only ever released on the African continent, this self-funded, scarce, and brilliant afro-disco LP regularly exchanges hands for eye-watering prices.

This is the first time that 'Sabi (Get Down)' has ever been officially reissued, and we are happy to reproduce it in its original, 14 minute long form (check out Lady Eke Ete's amazing vocals at the 13 minute mark!), backed by the equally impressive 'That's My Girl' on the B side. In addition, we are glad to accompany it with extensive interview-based liner notes and never-before-seen photos, detailing Okyerema's career from his membership of Ghana's legendary band Hedzolleh to performing with Paul Simon and Fleetwood Mac twenty years later.

We hope that you love both tracks as much as we do, and invite you to join us in celebrating the musical world of Okyerema Asante!



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