The Best Best of Fela Kuti
Audio CD | Import
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Two CD compilation from the Nigerian musician who single-handidly invented Afro-Beat and created some of the most innovative music of it's time, all of which is still vital and fresh today. 13 tracks spanning the years 1972-89, this intelligently compiled collection of Worldbeat is the perfect introduction and reminder of what a great artist Fela Kuti was. Universal.
Political activist, outspoken radical, and inventor of Afro-beat, Fela Anikulapo ("he who carries death in his pouch") Kuti left behind him an incomparable legacy of music when he died in 1997. His struggles against the Nigerian state became the stuff of legend in his home country; his denunciations of world leaders such as Reagan and Thatcher gained him notoriety abroad. But his music remains as his supreme achievement over and above the details of his amazingly courageous life, even if many (most) of his lyrics are angry condemnations of politicians. His vast output of recordings can hardly be distilled onto two discs, but Black President (named after a classic 1981 album) is nevertheless a good introduction to this extraordinary man and his music. The album lacks any personnel details and fails to indicate the origins of each track, but it scarcely matters: Fela's band, Africa 70, was a large and always flexible group (it rarely actually boasted 70 members), with the only constant presence being his 30 backing singers, most of whom were also his wives! Throughout, the beats are solid, the solos are never overpowering, and the rhythm--the powerful, hypnotic rhythm--is always preeminent. If, in the end, it's impossible to divorce Fela Kuti's music from his life, it is at least a real pleasure just to play this album and let his grooves possess your spirit. --Mark Walker
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Top Customer Reviews
And the grooves, with his jazz-capable band (Africans taught Western drummers how far they lagged in polyrhythms) layering them up and back down and back up, are as compelling as his own rich, broad-spectrum vocal attack -- singing, shouting, scatting, swearing, humming, doing impressions, up and down his range; and his equally strong sax-playing.
Bottomline: Buy it if you don't have already have this amazing musician in your collection. If you already do, you will be better served by sampling some of his releases.