Psychedelic Woman

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"Psychedelic Woman"
Song by Honny & the Bees Band
Language English
Released 1973 (1973)
Recorded Ghana
Genre Afrobeat
Length 4:31
Songwriter(s) Ernest Honny

"Psychedelic Woman" is a 1973 Ghanaian song by Honny & the Bees Band. It was written and sung by Ernest Aubrey Honny,[1] who worked mainly as a session keyboardist and recording engineer.[2] Over a medium-tempo groove, the song begins with a spoken-word story concerning a "psychedelic woman" first spotted at a nightclub. The story ends with a transitional climax to a sung chorus of several voices. There are several more choruses, interspersed with solo singing, then a funky, jazzy electric organ solo, finishing with a brief recap of singing. Part and parcel of the afrobeat sound then becoming popular in Ghana, influences include reggae, James Brown, and perhaps even Britain's mods.[3][4]

Thirty years later it gained a new audience outside of Africa through its inclusion in multiple compilations of 1970's-era African music. Critics highlighted the song in their reviews:

  • "Many of the best original tracks are from the 1970s, when west African music was still largely ignored in the west, and they range from the pounding and jazzy Psychedelic Woman by Ghana's Honny and the Bees through to..." – The Guardian[5]
  • "'Psychedelic Woman' is irresistible simply because it's so cheesy (but also very good)." – Allmusic[6]
  • "Wild, kitschy" – National Public Radio[7]
  • "Choice cut" – Robert Christgau[8]
  • "A stunning collision of Western and African music in which both get their big moments" – Pitchfork[3]

The original was released as a 45 rpm by Essiebons, backed with "Kofi Salanga" and credited to "Honey and Bees Band".

Compilations[edit]

  • Africa 100 (Pitchfork Media, 2005)
  • Africa Express Presents... (Ariola Express, 2009). Included at the request of Fatboy Slim.[9][10]
  • Ghana Soundz: Afrobeat, Funk and Fusion in the 70's (Soundway, 2003)[6]
  • Rare Trax Vol. 58 - Let There Be Drums! - Afrobeat Reloaded (Rolling Stone Germany, 2008)[11]
  • Sound Affects (Mr. Bongo, 2006)[5]

Remixes[edit]

Personnel[edit]

  • Ernest Aubrey Honny - vocals, electric organ
  • Bob Pinodo - vocals

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ghana Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Ghanaian Blues 1968-81". music-releases.com. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Duke, John (October 31 – November 6, 1988). "Talata Heide's 'Meko'". West Africa. p. 2043. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Tangari, Joe. "Africa 100: The Indestructible Beat". Pitchfork. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Cahill, Greg (12 June 2003). "Getting Funky". Metroactive. Metro Silicon Valley. Retrieved 22 April 2012. While the bands on the 14-track Ghana Soundz are wildly diverse in their own ways, they all share one thing in common: All were doin' it to death to those irrepressible down-D, funky-D James Brown funk grooves. You can hear it loud and clear in Marijata's "Mother Africa" and again on Honny and the Bees' "Psychedelic Woman" 
  5. ^ a b Denselow, Robin (24 August 2006). "Sound Affects, Africa". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Nickson, Chris. "Ghana Soundz: Afrobeat, Funk and Fusion in the 70's: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "4 June 2003". National Public Radio. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Robert Christgau. "Various Artists: Compilations". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Africa Express Presents...". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  10. ^ Wacht, Walter W. (11 August 2009). "Damon Albarn". Spex (magazine). Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "Various – Rare Trax Vol. 58 - Let There Be Drums! - Afrobeat Reloaded". Discogs. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "Sound Affects". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Various – Made In Africa". Discogs. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "Ghostfunk". maxtannone.com. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  15. ^ Lynch, Sean (10 July 2011). "Max Tannone - Ghostfunk (Album)". The Source (magazine). Retrieved 21 February 2012. 

External links[edit]