The Wings

The Wings

The Wings were a rock band from eastern Nigeria and early pioneers of afrobeat, which was heavily influenced by the western funk movement of the late 60s. Led by charismatic frontman Emeka Jonathan Udensi, better known by his nickname Spud Nathan, The Wings became hugely popular throughout Nigeria, releasing many successful 7" singles on the HMV label and performing regularly. Sadly, right at the height of their fame in 1974, and shortly after the release of their first LP Kissing You So Hard, singer Spud Nathan and lead guitarist Okey Uwakwe were killed in a car accident on one of eastern Nigeria's most dangerous bridges, with rhythm guitarist Manford Best receiving minor injuries. The trauma of this event resulted in the disintegration of The Wings (1970-1974) and ongoing bad blood between Best and Okpala. Following a two-year hiatus, two splinter groups emerged from the wreckage, both comprised of original members and claiming the namesake of their past band: The Original Wings International (or just The Original Wings) led by bassist Arinze Okpala, and Super Wings led by Manford Best. Both bands released seminal "comeback" LPs in 1976: Okpala's OWI with Tribute to Spud Nathan (EMI Nigeria), and Best's SW with Men of the People (Clover Sound).

The Wings 1970-1974 lineup included Spud Nathan on vocals, Arinze Okpala on bass guitar, Manford Best on rhythm guitar, Okey Uwakwe on lead guitar, Joel "Noel" Madubuike on drums, Pius Dellin on keyboards, and Emma Dabro and Dandy on percussion. Of the latter lineups, Pius Dellin would join Manford Best in Super Wings, while Joel Madubuike would leave after the Kissing You So Hard LP to play drums for the popular Nigerian band The Apostles, replaced on the Tribute To Spud Nathan LP by Emma Chinaka. New members on that 1976 recording also included Johnny Fleming on keys, replacing the departing Pius Dellin. Of the members who died in the car crash, Jerry Demua was brought in as lead vocalist, and Charles Effi Duke would assume responsibilities as lead guitarist.
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The Wings Discography Tracks


NCC (LP) 1501 The Wings Kissing You So Hard(LP, Album) Capitol Records NCC (LP) 1501 Nigeria 1974 Sell This Version
The Wings Tribute To Spud Nathan (Album) EMI Nigeria 1976 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

HNS 1465 The Wings You'll Want Me Back(7") His Master's Voice HNS 1465 Nigeria 1972 Sell This Version
HNS 1527 The Wings Afam Efuna(7") His Master's Voice HNS 1527 Nigeria 1972 Sell This Version
The Wings Someone Else Will (Single) EMI Nigeria 1973 Sell This Version
SM 2 The Wings Single Boy / Gone With The Sun(7") Suzumi Records SM 2 Kenya 1974 Sell This Version
AFR45.017 Fathili & Yahoos / The Wings Fathili & Yahoos / The Wings - Mabala Part 1 / Gone With The Sun (7", RE) Mr Bongo AFR45.017 UK 2017 Sell This Version
SM 4 The Wings For You(7") Suzumi Records SM 4 Kenya Unknown Sell This Version

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