Monday, October 20, 2008

Rochereau Vol. 1 - 8

A little while ago, I featured songs from a series of albums by the Choc Stars.
Another great series of albums was produced in the early 80s by the Disco Stock label of Abidjan. These are the eight volumes of Tabu Ley and L'Afrisa International, simply called ROCHEREAU VOL. 1 -8.
Please find a link to download songs from these albums at the bottom of this post.

The first four were recorded in 1981 in Kinshasa as co-productions of INA and Disco Stock.
Of these four, three were titled ROCHEREAU A ABIDJAN and featured compositions by Tabu Ley, Kiesse Diambu, Dino Vangu, Empompo Loway and others.

From Vol. I we start out with the very first song, a favorite of mine, called PAPY NITHO.

From Vol. II, again the first song. This one a Kiesse Diambu composition called ZUWA TE.
and from Vol. III, here's a version of Tabu Ley's O' Hambe. Another, later version of this song is on his wonderful 1985-86 album HAFFI DEO.
With Vol. 4 we see a few changes. The albums are no longer called ROCHEREAU A ABIDJAN, but the titles reference specific songs instead like PONCE PILATE and JALOUSIE MAL PLACEE.
Although we hear the guitar of Docteur Nico on earlier volumes, on Vol. 4 he is called to the forefront and pictured on the sleeve (see the post on Docteur Nico's late work and hear another song form the album here: )
From Vol. 4, please listen to MONUMENT.

For the song from Vol. 5, you will want to crank it up! ON A RACONTE is a song worthy of the highest volume you can give it! Yes they are indeed dancing on the sleeve there. Try to stand still for this one.

Vol. 6 is not my favorite in the series, although M. MALONGA is a very fine song.
With Vol.s 7 & 8, I can rely only on the changing availability of Congolese albums in the USA.
I do not know exactly what happened with the Disco Stock label, but my guess is that they began releasing albums on this side of the Atlantic in cooperation with Makossa Records, a label associated with the African Record Centre stores in NYC and Washington DC. Although this may or may not have had a down side, the up side was that the 80s saw a mini boom in the sales of Congolese albums and interest in African music in general in the USA.

The only copies I was able to find in the 1980s of these last two albums were on the combined label Disco Stock/Makossa. I think that these songs were simply pulled from other albums and put together as compilations. Good choices though!
Vol. 7 features M'Bilia Bel on two of the four songs.

From this one, as well as from Vol. 8, I have included a version of Tabu Ley's MPEVE YA LONGO. The first is sung by M'Bilia Bel, the second by Rochereau himself.
Which do you prefer?
Here are the songs:


  1. Thank you David, great songs by Tabu Ley!

  2. David

    Thanks for posting these songs - the guitar on 'O'Hambe' is out of this world!


  3. Any chance of a re-post? Am very late to the party!

  4. Sorry, friend. I don't have these songs in a convenient single file any more.