The Super Elcados only ever released three albums in relatively quick session, with Frank Martins as the frontman on the Fender lead guitar and vocals. Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture - Tambourine Party Vol 2 was the first in 1976, originally released on EMI Nigeria, followed by The World Is Full of Injustice and Whatever You Need. This funky album features eight songs in a startling short 35 minutes. Way too quick for me, as the funk is heavy from the get-go and it just leaves me wanting more.
Although the UK’s equivalent, the Average White Band, had greater success, I suspect there was some unintentional or coincidental inspiration from Elcados.
Tambourine Party is a nice funky drum riff. A fluid disco evolution of the Amen break. This is a great party track, while Afro Funk starts with the afro beats, full of funky horns reminiscent of Fela Kuti. Xray Gun is probably as deep as it goes when it comes to funk. This indeed is a floor filler for the retro crew. As the pace drops to a melodic serenade How Much I Love You is probably not in my favourite on the album. However, it does add a nice contrast giving you time to chill and get it together.
Ejole measures 10 out of 10 of the Afro-funk Richter scale, causing many unexplained natural disasters. It is heavy. There are no words to explain this. It’s just the funk. Staying on the heavy vibe, Joe Edem Bassey Edet drops the mandatory conga funk accent to Tribute to Murtala Mohammed, Frank Martins’ monologue - an ode to the former military leader of Nigeria. Despite this the track’s sentiment, it’s still funky.
Reminiscent of James Brown, but without the flair - yet plenty of tuneage - Get Up and Do It Good has stood the test of time. This feel-good, motivational tune has a positive and admirable musical structure. If it is the first time you have heard this, you may recognise the style and possibly confuse it with other great tunes of that style.
In summary, this is a great album, and the adage still stands “released ahead of its time”. The song structures aren't too dissimilar which maintains that funky beat through the album with exception to a few. I am not sure of its past commercial success, but vinyl has been revived and this gratifying new member to the family. There can be no argument about what is classified as good taste in music. Music is written into our DNA and expressed creatively by the Super Elca Elcados as one of the forerunners of funk. The performance quality is what you would expect of this particular era and vibrant. Music was and is still used in political statements to create a memory as per track 6 - Tribute to Murtala Mohammed. The Production quality is a little rough around the edges, however, that comes with the territory and its commercial success may demand a remaster.
Lead Guitar, Vocals – Frank Martins
Trumpet – Bola Adex
Electric Piano, Synthesizer, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals – Dave Crown Olugbade
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Tony Steven Nosika
Congas, Percussion – Joe Edem Bassey Edet
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Rocky Mustapha Philips
Organ, Guitar, Vocals – Geoffrey Johnson
Valve Trombone – Jarret Effiong
Vocals – Christe Black