The Beta Yama Group – Free Love

The Beta Yama Group – Free Love

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It’s hard to get a handle on Nigerian musicians Nash Dodoo, Charlie Cuul and Jonas Caulley. In 1980 they released an album of face-melting gospel boogie as the BML chapels. And in the same year, calling themselves the Beta Yama Group, they put out Free Love, a belated love letter to San Francisco’s Summer of Love and an album altogether focused on more worldly concerns. Free Love is a small slice of Haight-Ashbury transported to the Polygram Studios in Lagos. ‘Te Revoir’ is Mamas and Papas jamming with Sergeant Pepper’s Beatles. ‘Free Love’ offers a respectful nod towards Je T’aime-era Serge Gainsbourg. Sure, ‘Revolution’ gets hard and funky and ‘Rain’ flirts briefly with a calypso reggae sound, but the majority of the album is cheesecloth and flowers in your hair. Insanely rare ‘ and worth buying for the freaky cover art alone ‘ Free Love is a funky, reverb heavy call for love, peace and sweet, sweet loving. What more could you want from an album’ – Peter Moore