SONG OF THE DAY The Wings – We’ll Get Home

Like a good many afrobeat bands of the time, Nigeria’s The Wings were heavily influenced by the western funk movement of the late 60’s.  Led by the charismatic frontman/vocalist, Emeka Jonathan Udensi (also known as Spud Nathan), the 1970-1974 line-up also consisted of Arinze Okpala on bass guitar, Manford Best on rhythm guitar, Okey Uwakwe on lead guitar, Joel “Noel” Madubuike on drums, Pius Dellin on keyboards, and Emma Dabro and Dandy on percussion. The line up went through several changes after ’74, but today’s song was from the original band’s early days.

The Wings became very popular throughout Nigeria, releasing many successful 45’s throughout the early 70’s.  It was at the peak of their career that disaster struck and in 1974, shortly after the release of their debut LP, Kissing You So Hard, singer Spud Nathan and lead guitarist Okey Uwakwe were killed in a car accident on one of eastern Nigeria’s most dangerous bridges.  Rhythm guitarist Manford Best was also with them but he escaped with only minor injuries.  The tragedy broke up the band and it two a two year hiatus for the remaining members to get back together.  However, two splinter groups emerged from the fall-out, both contained original members and both were claiming the namesake of their past band.  What emerged from this was The Original Wings International (or just The Original Wings) led by bassist Arinze Okpala, and the Super Wings led by Manford Best. Both bands released seminal “comeback” LPs in 1976!

We’ll Get Home is a sublime Wings classic, though tinged with sadness when you think how this was one of only a handful of songs Spud Nathan and lead guitarist Okey Uwakwe got to make! They were at the peak of brilliance and never got to take their innovations further; though their pioneering sound paved the way for many afrobeat band’s to follow and this is their legacy! Enjoy!

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This entry was posted in Afro beat, afro funk, Afro jazz, Afrobeat, Funk, Soul, World and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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