Carabao Band History
25 Years Carabao Aniversary

Carabao band was firstly originated in Philippines by students named Mr. Yuanyong Opakul (Aed) and Kirati Promsaka Na Sakon Nakhon (Khiao) who first knew each other during their Academic Degree Course in Mapua University, Philippines where they had jointly formed a musical band name “Carabao”. The word “Carabao”- means buffalo- was Tagalog word used to call native buffalo of Philippines. Buffalo was the symbol of fighting, hard working and patience. In addition, buffalo was represented as labor as it was believed that labor was the world creator. Based on those reasons, Yuenyong Opakul had therefore used the word “Carabao” and buffalo head as symbol of his Carabao Band since 1977 onwards.

After graduation, Kirati Promsakha Na Sakhon Nakhon had worked as machine price appraiser with Filipino company for 6 years while Yuenyong Opakul returned Thailand to start his architectural work at the National Housing Estate Authority of Thailand and, at the same time, played music in the nighttime. When all were well settled, 

Mr. Yuenyong Opakul then had resigned from his permanent work to devote all his times on music and persuaded his intimate friend, Kirita Promsakha Na Sakon Nakhon who was working with Filipino company branch in Thailand to resign and jointly with him to build perfect Carabao band.

The first album of Carabao was launched in 1981 named “Khee Mao”, having Aed and Khiao as the major leaders of the band. The name of songs in this album was influenced from Philippines, such as, “Lung Khee Mao”. The best song to introduce Carabao band was “Mon Phleng Carabao”. The first song composed by Aed was “Thuek Kwai Thui” which was the song of one nominated person whose story was continuously narrated in all albums until it was regarded as the longest ballad song.

After the first album, Yuenyong Opakul had persuaded Preecha Chanaphai (Lek) – the guitarist, Anupong Prathompatama (Od) – Base player to join in Carabao who was at that then current working as professional musician with President Band and had to finish tour concert in abroad with President before joining with Carabao permanently.

In 1982 – the age of 200 years Ratanakosin City celebration, the second album named “Pae Khai Khuad” was issued by Preecha Chanaphai (Lek) who was the third member of Carabao and jointly produced this album and manufactured by PEACOCK total 20,000 pcs. At that moment, both albums were not quite successful but the most popular song in that time was “Kan Cha” which was sung by Aed in his specific characteristic by singing very long tone to suddenly stun all audiences upon the song was started.

With strong commitment of Aed, the songs of Carabao therefore had their individual character and mystical that more reflected Thai social condition as Aed had composed song in new style that had never been existed in Thailand before named “Wanipok” , hue used“Sam Cha” rhythm with the sarcastic words satisfied by all audiences. Wanipok was therefore the name of third album of Carabao in 1983. With this song, Carabao was rapidly well known countrywide. In addition, for this album, Carabao had Base player – Phairat Permchalad (Rat) to join in the band.

Subsequently, Carabao had issued their fourth album named “Thor. Thahan Od Thon” which was considered as the first album and which was banned. The song, namely, Thor. Thahan Od Thon” was banned because the contents of such song was related to the military sector. In addition, there were some songs that reflected the life of peoples, such as, “Tukta”; “Khon Keb Fuen” which were highly popular. Moreover, in this album, a professional musician from Azona Studio had permanently joined with Carabao, he was Tiery Mekwattana (Rie) - the guitarist and Thanit Sriklindee – the Pipe Instrument Blower and Amnaj Lookchan (Pao) – the Drummer.

In 1984, Carabao was classed as the top range popular band with their historical fifth album named “Made In Thailand” because the contents of the songs was well responsive to Thai baht devaluation of the government in such age and the government’s policy to promote peoples to use Thai products. Made in Thailand album had arrogantly earned more than 5 million pcs. sold and Carabao was on tour concert both within the country and abroad. Moreover, in Made in Thailand Album, there was important and great change of the band members when Base player of President band – Anupong Prathompattama (Od) had finished his tour concert in USA and returned to join with Carabao while Pairat Permchalad (Rat) former Base player had resigned from the band with regretful of the publics. Working of Carabao in Made in Thailand Album was consisted with all 7 members, as follows:-

1. Mr. Yuenyong Opakul (Ad) - (Guitarist, Leading Singer) and Chief of the band.
2. Mr. Kirati Promsakha Na Sakon Nakhon (Keo) - (Keyboard, Percussion, Quitar)
3. Mr. Preecha Chanaphai (Lek) - (Guitar, Leading Singer)
4. Mr. Tiery Mekwattana (Rie) - (Guitar, Leading Singer)
5. Mr. Thanis Sriklindee (Ajarn) - (Keyboard, Blowing Instruments)
6. Mr. Amnaj Lookchan (Pao) - (Drummer)
7. Mr. Anupong Prathompattama (Od) - (Base)

Made in Thailand could very quickly bring back Thai values to Thai society 
as Carabao had on tour concert throughout the country. Moreover, Made in Thailand was also very popular in abroad, such as, USA.

After Made in Thailand album had brought great fame and made Carabao to 
be well known countrywide. As result, the following albums of Carabao must be on the same standard as this album and must be better and better.

As result from the great success of Made in Thailand album, Carabao could 
organize Center Stage Studio of the band and subsequently issued the sixth album name “Ameri Koey” which all songs were recorded at its studio while the content of the songs still concerned with the situation of the country as Carabao had represented the actual situation, such as, the problem of rice price guarantee, America restricted importing quota of Thai textile to compose as songs for the juveniles. The rhythm in Ameri Koey song was still simple and easy but more development in musical style.

In 1986, the seventh album “Pracha Thippatai” was issued based on the 
democracy claim of the publics. Carabao had therefore reflected the difficulty in acquisition of democracy regime through their song. The trend of songs, such as, the “Pracha Thippatai” “Phoo Thon” and other encourage song like “Prachao Tak” had strongly alerted all publics and other songs which all were great valuable to Thai society. Further more, three songs in such album was banned by the Sensor Committee.

In 1987 – “Welcome to Thailand” the eight album was issued to promote 
Tourism festival in such age and to invite the foreigners to visit Thailand. The music in such album was easy and simple with the scent of Thai characteristic, such as, “Welcome to Thailand” or the sarcastic songs as “Sabai Kwa” or “Barb Borisut” the story about lovers with innocent affect to the child or “Sang Ka Si” that reflected the laborer’s life. In this album, new singer was born with the enjoy song name “Kra Thang Dok Mai Hai Khun” sung by Anupong Prathompattama (Od) – Base player of Carabao.

In 1988, the ninth album “ Thab Lang” reflected situation of Thailand, 
fighting to claim the ancient lintel (Thap Lang Narai Banthomsilp) back to Thailand as being claimed by Thai government until it was finally returned to Thailand. However, it was rarely believable that “Thab Lang” album was the last one of Carabao and with many other reasons that unable all Carabao members to further join in working.

However, Opas Opakul (Aed Carabao) or Leader of Carabao had promised to 
the publics in the last concert stage that before leaving only unforgettable memory of Carabao at MBK Hall of Maboonkrong Center, even all Carabao members had to separate to perform each individual duty but Carabao would be remained forever.

In 1990, only 4 members of Carabao were left, who were Ade, Khiao, Lek and 
Od as the core leader of the band to issue new album with Wongtawan as back up band. This album was different from those former albums but still maintained the same style songs. The songs in this album were “Sanya Na Fon” as Aed had composed for Khiao to sing as his personal song and “Thuek Kwai Thui” “Khor. Khao Diao” This album was the last episode of Thuek Kwai Thui.

After the tenth “Ham Jod Kwai” the remaining 3 members, namely, Tiery 
Mekwattana,Thanit Sriklindee and Amnaj Lookchan had gathered to produce his individual single. In addition, Yuenyong Opakul and Preecha Chanaphai, Kirati Promsakha Na Sakon Nakhon had also turned to produce his individual single.

Conflict of all 7 Carabao members was answer to the question of the publics 
but in fact, their separation was regarded as it was the saturated point where Carabao was greatly successful. Working together for several years of those 7 members, of course, some conflict was quite simple. However, they were all willing to help each other at all times.

In 1991, Carabao by the master leader, Aed Carabao had issued eleventh 
album named “Wicha Pae” jointly with only 3 members of Carabao, namely, Aed, Lek and Od with assistance of some professional musicians, such as, Luechai Ngamsen (Duk) – Keyboard, Chuchat Nooduang (Ko) – Drummer, Khajornsak Hutawatana (Mee) – Guitarist, Sayaporn Singthong (Nong) – Percussion. The music trend of such album was varied but maintained politic concept, such as the song “Nai Kor.”, to claim the person who would assume the position of public leader that must come from public election.

In 1992, the twelfth album “Sajja Sib Prakarn”, Carabao had stuck on 
Thai situation including the natural resource conservation. Carabao had composed the song to insinuate the politician, such as, the song “Sajja Sib Prakarn” or the song related to the water resource, like “Pleng Nam” because Thailand was encountered with the critical lack of water, the government had encouraged the public to save water and selected Carabao to be on tour concert for Water Saving Campaign promotion.

In 1993, the thirteenth album “Chang Hai” was produced only by Aed and Od and the same backup band to jointly produce such album to narrate about nature and living of human including the encouragement songs.

In 1994, the fourteenth album “Khon Sang Chat” the songs to activate and stimulate the sense of love to the nation of Thai peoples. In this album, Mr. Phayak Khamphan, the Buddha statue expert had composed the song “Luang Phor Khoon” which was very popular countrywide. In addition, as the friends of Karavan band, Aed had composed the song for 20th anniversary for Karavan.

In 1995, fifteenth album “Jaek Kluay” was the songs related to the decentralization of power to local in the song “Kamnan Phoo Yai Ban” and the song to blame the corruptionism with the song “Kang Kao Kin Kluay” and “Dern Khabuan” which had tried to implicitly tell the government the reasons of villagers’ procession was their troublesome.

Not so long in 1995, the great expectation of Carabao fan club was satisfied by the temporary reunion of Carabao members in 15th anniversary Carabao cerebration where the sixteenth album was released as “Hak Hua Jai Yang Rak Kwai 1” and “Hak Hua Jai Yang Rak Kwai 2” 20 songs to reward long time waiting with “Sam Cha” melody, such as, “Carabao” the song to well narrate 15 years history of Carabao and other songs that still adhere to the country situation, such as, “Ong San Su Kyi” “Tao Hoo Yi” and philosophical song, such as, “Ma-Laeng” or “Lung Fang”, etc.

In 1997, the seventeenth album “Sen Thang Pla Daek” was consisted with the songs to conserve Thai characteristic, such as, “Nam Prik Kaeng Pa” “Pleng Klong Yao” and it was the 12th anniversary of “Made in Thailand” song which was remixed in this album.

At the end of 1997, the eighteenth album “Che Yang Mai Tai” being the song mentioned to the fighter, such as, Che Kuwara, Ong San Su Kyi, Asanee Pholchan. Those songs had reflected brave to fight against arbitrary powers to be the sample model of following generations.

In 1998, the nineteenth album “Amerikan An-tha-Phan” it was the cooperation for the second time of Preecha Chanaphai (Lek); Tiery Mekwattana (Rie) and Kirati Promsakha Na Sakon Nakhon (Khiao). In such album, Aed had sarcastically sung to protest the great power countries like USA as USA had pretended to establish IMF to grant loan to Thailand until Thailand had been in great indebtedness. In addition, it was the occasion of full cooperation members. Lek Carabao had sung the song “Ai Noo” about children while Tiery sung “Rak Nee Mee Tae Ther” the sweet love song according to his personal style which was so lovely and very attractive song.

At the end of 1998, the twentieth album “PorYoo Por Kin” was issued when Thailand had great foreign debts resulting economic regression.. The song “Por Yoo Por Kin” was inspired by royal initiation of majesty the king’s speech promoting Thai peoples to sufficiently live and sufficiently spend. 

In 2000, the album “Sean Lor Kue” which was still adhered to the situation in the country, the song in this album, such as, “Sean Lor Kue” “Moo Siam” to sarcastically blame the politicians who liked to cheat peoples while the country was in the depression period, following with the song “Sanya Na Luak Tang” to tell the publics not to purchase or sell their election votes. In addition, the song “Bang Ra Chan” “Wan Phen” the most popular song of “Bang Ra Chan” movie were in this album.

In 2002, twenty-third album “Nak Soo Poo Ying Yai” was issued with new business of Aed, namely, Carabao Tonic Beverage by using slogan “Nak Soo Poo Ying Yai” (the great fighter) in advertising campaign by introducing the great fighter in each age in the past as point of sale. Such album was consisted with more songs than other albums. There were 13 songs, such as “Khon La Fun” to activate and alert peoples to fight for their lives, the song “Nom Hod” that Aed had composed to blame person taking advantage against the student who gave bad milk to the students. In addition, the song supporting movie “Prang Chompoo” which Aed had also acted and composed two songs for the movie, namely, “Prang Chompoo” and “Rao Kratop Tud” 

In 2003, Carabao had no any new album in this year but had remixed entire historic album, namely, “Made in Thailand” 2003 version – great revision” subject to the great desire of Aed to promote this album to be the most perfect album in all aspects to maintain as the most classical album of Carabao permanently subject to the recording quality in current age.

In 2005, the twenty-fourth album “Samakki Thailand” was originated in the age of social crisis, terrorism in 3 southern provinces resulting misunderstanding among Thais. Carabao had partially build unity of Thais with the song as media to build better understanding in “Kwan Thai Jai Nung Diao” and “Samakki Thailand” to arouse love among Thais. In addition, the song “Yoo Kab Kong” was the song for movie to build good sense to aware on the goodness of Thailand.

Not only those 24 albums, but there were other albums issued overlapping between those 24 albums regardless special album in several occasions and live concert tape of single album of Carabao members, etc. It is said that Carabao was only and the first band in Thailand who had continuously worked for long time and created the song to build great benefits to Thai society for several ages and eras of which each song was embedded with good meaning which could be adapt to improve benefit and valuable living of all human.

By: Mr.Chaiyuth Limlawan
Latest edited on 18 August 2005