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Coffin For Head of State / Unknown Soldier
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But besides being a genuinely hip musician, Fela was a voice against the misdeeds of the Nigerian government. He had a number of small brushes with the state as the years went by, but when he released a song called "Zombie" in 1977 that painted the Nigerian military as a bunch of mindless puppets, the powers that be sought to put him down for good. Over a thousand soldiers stormed his neighbourhood, arsoned his home, raped local women, beat Fela to within an inch of his life, and threw his mother to her death from a second-story window. When the people demanded an investigation, the government kept a lid on it and claimed that the murder was done by an "unknown soldier".
The first song on this disc, "Unknown Soldier" (1979) has Fela recounting the whole sad story after 15 minutes of smoking development. While he keeps an even tone of restrained anger for most of his narration, once he gets to the matter of his mother's death his voice movingly breaks.Read more ›
Unknown Soldier is a song that goes beyond anything you can imagine. It is 31 minutes long, and super-dope. I don't know what to say, it's like describing the Grand Canyon to someone who's never seen a picture of it. They walk away with a vague understanding, but no idea of its true powers.
Just curious if anyone else does this....I never turn a Fela song off once it has started. It has to play itself out. I can leave the house but the stereo has to stay on. Anybody else do that?
He also accuses the leaders of Nigeria of using religious authority to back up thier statements, thereby getting people to agree with them not by reasoning, but by yielding to the authority of God.
Kind of sad that Obasanjo outlived this man.
If you are interested in Nigerian history, both songs are related to events surrounding the destruction of Fela's home and the murder of his mother. IT was beleived that the attack on the hous, carried out by armed soldiers, was an order from the higher ranks of the military, whose leader was General Obasanjo. "Unknown Soldier" is a reference to the murderer of his mother ( she was thrown down a flight of stairs and died from multiple injuries) and "Coffin for the Head of State" is a dirge like song that describes the droping off of a mock coffin by Fela and his followers at the official residence of the Head of State of Nigeria, who was then General OBasanjo.
You have to like Jazz to have an appreciation for the music, but if you are a Fela fan, this is a CD you can buy without any regrets. IT is kind of sad that these songs were written in the late 70s and early 80s and are still relevant to the Nigerian situation today.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
With the current media barrage feeding frenzy about 300 missing in Nigeria never mind the capitol of idiotics USA we need all all the truth barometers available to keep a path of... Read morePublished on May 26, 2014 by beecaapi
authentic afrobeat song with deep emotional content. This is what the spirit needs to hear. Africa alive and well. Peace.Published on March 24, 2013 by Travis Hall
This was my first Afrobeat purchase and I bought it based on the reviews of others. I was not disappointed - it's soulful and moving, upbeat and serious dance music all at the... Read morePublished on June 2, 2003 by mic Roots
this cd is nothing short of living music he was our equivalent of bob marley!! fela sang, wailed and cry for his people muscally, the man was untouchable he was classless for... Read morePublished on December 29, 2000 by akin
Fela Kuti was an outspoken critic of the various Nigerian governments under which he lived. The title cut here comes from when his mother was (allegedly) killed by the government,... Read morePublished on December 29, 2000 by Jonathan Reynolds
this was the first album i ever heard by fela kuti and i was immediately impressed by it. the best descrption i can give likens fela's music to that of bob marley's political... Read morePublished on June 24, 2000 by Goldwood