Discography of Peacocks International Guitar Band

Raphael Amarabem, a former sideman in Rex Lawson's Mayors Band of Nigeria, founded the popular Peacocks International Band in the early seventies. Amarabem had played for some years in Ghana and the Peacocks epitomized the Nigerian trend toward guitar-based highlife in the seventies, heavily influenced by Ghanaian music. In fact, the liner notes of their 1978 LP "Smash Hits" state: "..yet only very few of the millions of fans within 150,000 family units in Nigeria and Ghana really know who the Peacocks are. Some call them Ghanaians and are ready to stake anything to argue their claims, but call them what you like, the boys are Nigerians." The Peacocks' cosmopolitan appeal was enhanced by their recording in various languages - English, Efik and Ewe as well as Igbo. Their biggest hit was undoubtedly the mid-seventies tune "Sambola Mama," which spawned at least one cover version by a splinter group, the Skylarks International Band! The Peacocks dissolved in the late seventies, to be reformed in 1981 by Amarabem, who recorded at least one LP under the "Revived Peacocks" name. - John Beadle

Peacocks Guitar Band led by Raphael Amarabem
Abiriwa (LP; EMI Nigeria [Lagos] NEMI 0007)(CD; Ivory Music [Lagos] NEMI(CD)0007)
[A] Eddie Quansa / Okpa Akuerieri / Dan Njemanze / Egwu Mgbashiriko / Jiji
[B] Uba Awuu Nwa / Jesus Christ / This Girl / Iwa Anya / Abasai O. Mokop

-- In a recent Nigerian online discussion, an individual named "Festus" wrote about the above LP (the opinions, of course, are those of the author): "...The entire exchange above reminded me of the lyric from two songs in the [1972] album by the Raphael Amarabem-led Peacocks Guitar Band of Owerri titled, Abriwa. Folks old enough would remember that classic, which also included "Eddie Quansa," the theme song from the popular Nigerian Television sitcom, Masquerade, which had Chief Zebrudaya Okoroigwe Nwogbo alias 4.30 as its star character. The lyrics of the first song, "Egwu Mgbashiriko," lampoon women who, against better judgment, go against Igbo norms and culture. Of the women, the song proclaims irreverently.

"Umunwaanyi --
Ufodu bu lawyer,
Ufodu bu doctor,
Ufodu bu nurse --
Ndi obobo akwukwo.

Suru trouser
Shi nwoke adighi mma,
Ngwa nu ka anyi lewezie.

"The lyric decries the ills and destructive tendencies of feminist extremism. Translated, the lyric warns of the attending chasm, noting that when some women -- some of them lawyers, doctors or nurses all well read -- don their trousers and declare that men are no good, then we can only watch and see what evolves.

"On the flip side of the album, the lyrics in another song titled, "This Girl," parodies feminist proclivities. It states that:

"Angelina amaala mma alu alu,
Dorothy, amaala mma alu alu,
Should in case a chowa onye ga-alu ya,
I am sorry, aka m adighi ya

"Translated, the lyrics tout 'Angelina is very pretty and worthy of marriage, and Dorothy is also very pretty and worthy of marriage' But then goes on to warn, 'Should in case, (in the event) there is a search for husband for the two ladies, I am sorry I wish to have no hands in it.' In a nutshell, the message was clearly, that being chic did not translate into being a potentially good wife."

Early 1970s
The Peacocks International led by Raphael Amarabem
Abiriwa Chapter Two (LP; EMI Nigeria [Lagos] NEMI 0092)
[A] Sokwa Ya Aso / Onye Maa Mma / Menko / Nini Mere Nwa Ogwa
[B] Promoter / Niga / Dr. De Gaul / Igwe

Peacocks International Highlife Band
Sambola Mama (LP; EMI Nigeria [Lagos] NEMI 0179)
[A] Sambola Mama / Inya Akpa Ako / Nne Wu Nne
[B] Ocho Mma / Umu Nnunu / Ndi Oru Uzo

The Peacocks International
Unbeatable Abiriwa (LP; EMI Nigeria [Lagos] NEMI 0252)
[A] Iwe Ewelam / Mgbada Okie Gbara / Evu Gba Manu
[B] Igbala Oso / Owum / Si Mi Wua Bezumi

The Peacocks International
Ije Nde Mma (LP; EMI Nigeria [Lagos] NEMI 0566)
[A] ?
[B] ?

The Peacocks International
Smash Hits (LP; His Master's Voice/EMI [Lagos] HNLX 5096)(CD; A.J.N. AJN 21 [2004?])
[A] Isuloa Me-Ebiri Ye / Nwa Mbie-Obiara Nani Nyami / Kinkana Special / Mary Merimam
[B] Sambola Mama / Awu Adada Mi / Sambiro / Iga Akwalu Mmi / Umu Ibe / Manu Alnu Nwanneya

Peacocks International Guitar Band led by Raphael Amarabem
Ejiogu (LP; His Master's Voice/EMI [Lagos] HNLX 5099))(CD; Ivory Music [Lagos] HNLX(CD)5099)
[A] Onye Aghala Nwanneya / Odo Biro / Onwu Ebeara Igbu Ejiogu / Nkwo Orji / Feresirima
[B] Enwegh Mmanu / Batetu / Oji Onyike Egbu Aruru / Aya Simole / Ezenwata Nwannem Wu Oke Osisi

Raphael Amarabem & his Revived Peacocks
Werewere (LP; CAAP [Nigeria] CAP 010)
[A] Werewere
[B] Agama Egburu Onye Oma Onwem / Ochi Na Kwadara Onye

Skylarks International Band

Peacocks splinter group.

Skylarks International Band
Ochonma (LP; Philips [Lagos] 6361 162 (PL)) (CD; Premier Music reissue [Lagos] KMCD 085 "Sambola Mama 2")
[A] Ochonma Kpara Aku / Akpa Ako / Orum Eru Lam
[B] Nde Oru Uzo / Sambola Mama Part II / Udo Kanma

Skylarks International Band
Obara Shiri Ike (LP; Philips [Lagos] 6361 219)(CD; Premier Music reissue [Lagos] KMCD 104 "Jigi Jigi")
[A] Iyola / Obara Shiri Ike / Jigi Jigi Kpom Kpom
[B] Nnu Abiala Icho / Odimu / Evula

-- This discography was compiled by John Beadle at P.O. Box 100174, Milwaukee, WI 53210 USA. For weblog, visit (http://likembe.blogspot.com/), and E-mail to John Beadle

Special thanks to: Niek Lemmens, Chris Meserve, Kazuya Ogiwara, Zim Bida...

Last updated on January 13, 2015