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  • Beats of No Nation / Odoo
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Beats of No Nation / Odoo Original recording reissued


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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, July 31, 2001
$29.00 $3.55
Vinyl, February 20, 1990
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 31, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 1989
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Mca
  • ASIN: B00004XT2S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,590 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Beasts Of No Nation - Fela
2. O.D.O.O. (Overtake Don Overtake Overtake) - Fela

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Hodges on January 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
At first listen, Fela seems unfocused on Beasts of No Nation / ODOO. Extended songs are a long-standing trademark of Fela's afrobeat, but in most cases the song's length is propelled by the energetic strength of Fela's music and the conviction in his message. His seeming lack of focus makes the half-hour tracks on this recording seem overlong. However, Beasts of No Nation / ODOO were a pair of relatively late-period albums for Fela (roughly 1988), and the toll that decades of imprisonment and beatings had taken on him is well-documented. Close listening reveals that the strength of this recording lies not in his slightly diminished charisma, but by the evolution in his compositions and the realization of this evolution through his band, the Egypt 80.

Considering that Fela's performances (even on record) always had an improvisatory aspect to them, the Egypt 80 proves to be a highly flexible and responsive group. In comparison to the hard-driving Africa 70, The Egypt 80 was more attuned to the texture and subtleties that Fela was developing in his late-period work. Although the Africa 70 excelled in executing highly complex beats derived from local traditions, Beasts of No Nation / ODOO shows that Fela was experimenting beyond the boundaries his previous work. Repeated listening reveals some of his most complex arrangements and memorable melodic material, seamlessly bound into an improvisatory tapestry. It does not take too much effort to visualize Fela conducting the Egypt 80 like an orchestra in the same way that Frank Zappa conducted his bands.

However, one can't help but feel that on some level Fela is repeating himself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is Fela at his powerful, revolutionary best. The polyrhythms are so entrancing and gripping that I hear them for days after listening to the album. The lyrics highlight not only the injustices in Nigeria, but talk of the world scene as well. The images are striking and lasting...dis-united United Nations, country against country, powerful leaders against their own people. A strong reminder of the injustices around us.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 1999
Format: Audio CD
fela is one of the very few musicians who refuse to be silenced... even the nigerian govt. could'nt, sadly baba has left us but the legend of his music lives on..... when I was much younger i had the one in a lifetime opportunity to visit his shrine at Ikeja, Lagos.......brilliant, breathtaking, soul warming music, I even got grounded for going because I was but a young girl then and young nigerian girls should not be caught at Fela shrines back home ....but then again I never regretted it he is great, outspoken a proper basket mouth, you have to be nigerian or understand the language to decipher some of what he says but someone with a true appreciation of highlife and its main men would love this......truly nigerian,......thruthful and sometimes saddening....what shall we do without him....well done amazon for feauturing him in your collection..for there is trully noone like Baba himself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
You ask the age old question, what album would you want if you were stranded on a deserted island? Well, this is the album I would have with me. Specifcally, BONN, is simply the funkiest, most driving, hypnotic, fluid based, jam/song there will ever be. The ebb and flow of the beats, lyrics and interjected horn lines make you want to jump up and get freaky-deaky (to quote another masterpiece). Then the title track gives way to a melodic, if not, mesmerizing slow pulse jam that is one of Fela's greatest juxtaposition songs ever i.e. lyrics are forceful and strong political claims while the beats are steady and peaceful, inviting the listener to sit back and enjoy. As far as advice, if you have stumbled on to this site looking for Fela stuff, I highly recommend this album as your foray into afrobeat OR just the next afrobeat album to add to your collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dusty on August 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Truly the best album I own. Intellectual funk. I will never get tired of it, and I've listened to it for years. Nobody and nothing sounds like Fela. More funky and more earthy than James Brown (sorry, I love all of your tunes, James). Fela's funk and repression are from the heart.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD contains two long tracks that Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti recorded in 1989. "Beasts of No Nation" and "O.D.O.O. (Overtake Don Overtake Overtake)" maintain Fela's longtime concerns and usual features of Afrobeat, such as long timings (the first track is over 28 minutes long), a sense of gradual development, and funk instrumentation wedded to Yoruba rhythms. Both of the tracks are critiques of African politics, with "Beasts of No Nation" being an attack on South Africa's apartheid system and its international supporters, and "O.D.O.O." bemoaning the tendency of African states to fall into military dictatorships.

However, Fela's powers had diminished greatly over the course of the 1980s, when he suffered long imprisonment and beatings, and acquaintainces report that he had started to show signs of mental illness. Fela sounds tired here, both in his vocals and his saxophone playing, and what should have been strident calls sound limp. As if Fela knew that his career was entering his twilight years, "O.D.O.O" turns strangely nostalgic, and Fela quotes his old hits "Zombie", "Suffering and Shmiling" and "Unknown Soldier".

Still, the album is enjoyable enough. Fela's fatigue draws the ear to pay more attention to what his band, Egypt 80, was up to, and it is a strong ensemble. The African drum solo towards the end of "O.D.O.O" is engaging. I'd recommend all of Kuti's recordings, but you'll probably want to come to this after his biggest triumphs (most of which came in the late 1970s), and it's better value to hear this as part of the third box set of Fela's complete output.
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