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!