Music Is The Weapon

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Squinting? Click on this link to see it blown up

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Here it is! The first of a series of posts that will include all 4 limited edition box sets that Barclay put out a few years back that has since been out of print, of hands down the greatest revolucionary musician to come out of Africa. If you didn’t act fast a few years back, you might have a hard time finding these now. Each volume has 6 remastered records, 6 color postcards of his ‘queens’ , and the first volume comes with a 10 page 12″ booklet which I have scanned and you can download it here. Most of these records have been re-issued, but it can still take some serious amount of time (and $) to track them down. I’m assuming most of you know Fela, but I’m still continually suprised at how many people have no idea who he was. If you don’t know, he was an Nigerian musician who played stretched out endless grooves that would last at times hours. He formed an autonomous commune that he named the Kalakuta Republic and declared it independant of the Nigerian government, which was a trigger happy puppet dictatorship put in power by all the multi-national oil companies, of which would hire local Nigerians to literally machine gun anyone down who was in opposition. Fela lived his life speaking out against all the attrocities that the Nigerian government committed, and set up a nightclub called Afro-spot and then The Shrine in which he performed on a regular basis. The Shrine also was a hub for the community and was a learning center on everything from the Yoruba religion to politics. He was considered public enemy # 1 by the Nigerian government, and they did everything in their power to stop him. They arrested him on any charge they could, invaded the Kalakuta Republic with 1000 soldiers burning it all down(including his recording studio and tons of master tapes), threw his mother out of a window causing fatal injuries, and beat him almost to death and imprisoned him countless times. Stirring up more controversy, he married 27 women at one time, who he called ‘Fela’s Queens’. Most of them sang and danced for him. The Fela vs. State conflict only worsened over time and, he eventually created his own political party called M.O.P. Movement of the People and ran for presidency unsuccessfully. Even with all of these struggles, he was incredibly prolific and has left behind a huge musical legacy. There is a great documentary called Music Is The Weapon, that has some incredible footage, and gives an in more depth view on his life. (that link is the full 52 minute documentary in quicktime format ready for your ipod/itunes)

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These are the 6 albums that are included in the first box set. Open And Close, Gentleman, and the anthemic Upside Down featuring Sandra Akane Isidore (the woman who introduced Fela to The Black Panthers in ’69) are up. Now Yellow Fever, J.J.D., and I.T.T. are up. All the files have the full album artwork embedded, so when you add it to your itunes it will already show up. I do this for every record I post, and with this box set I’ve also embedded the full booklet at high resolution so you can blow it up and read it. There has been quite a few blogs that have posted other Fela records. So, until I get the rest uploaded, check them out. The one that seems to have the most Fela is Oufar Khan. He’s got Shakara, Confusion, Afro-Desiac, Music of Many Colors with Roy Ayers, No Agreement, Expensive Shit, He Miss Road, etc… Metrobase has the Ginger Baker record as well as the incredible Nigeria 70′ comp. I’m sure there is more, if anyone knows of any please post a link in the comments.

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17 Comments

  1. hi Brant Lee!
    Of course there’s more Fela, some pearls in my own collection. I will post’em soon.
    Your site seems to be a nice, I’m sure I’ll have great time discovering all your stuff.
    Thx for linking my blog up, I did the same with yours.
    Bye

  2. revolucionno,
    your Blog has matured nicely keep up the good work. Thanks for the Fela + Barretto. I’ve been looking for Power + The Message for a while now. Hard to believe I had these on vinyl when I was about 13 or 14 years old. Many Thanks for the plug on my blog. Please check out my eddie post :
    Tito Puente & Eddie Palmieri: Obra Maestra (Masterpiece) [2000]
    + Eddie Palmieri: Arete [1995]

    Hasta La Victoria Siempre!!
    -MetroBase

  3. Thanks. I grabbed ‘Open & Close’ and ‘Gentleman’.

  4. Thank you for this post. This music is so good!

  5. Wow, what a post! Love the music of Fela and now i have the chance to listen to some more tunes – thanks to you!

    By the way, i added you to the link list over on the zero g blog. Greetings and keep your good work up!

  6. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhh

    THE Fela boxset !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll get it asap. TYVM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    chuchuni (call it anything)

  7. hai, brant lee, thank you for invitation…
    unfortunately i do not have an own blog to link you up. (—have to learn, to prepair myself how to manage this…).
    found my way to your blog following “zero q”
    wish you best success
    with kisses
    vera

  8. and a big mistake…
    i forgot to thank you for your great work
    some more kisses for that
    vera

  9. Zombie, ripped @ 320-
    http://massmirror.com/78cc1c444d988645ccd12498a6a81270.html

  10. I think the link to yellow fever is broken or faulty.

  11. This is some heavy shit you’ve put up here…
    Thanks so much for presenting it so beautifully.
    Hasta la resolucion siempre…
    peace
    nombei

  12. Brant Lee, thank you so much for the information you posted on Oufar Khan’s blog. As a matter of fact, I had already been downloading many Fela tunes from your blog a few days ago, but didn’t pay attention you had the documentary as well… I’m also looking for a couple of additionnal Fela tunes I can’t find out : Power Show and Army arrangement. Know where I can find them ?

  13. hi, thanks a lot for the documentary – i’ve wanted to see this for ages.
    but i can’t seem to play it – i dont have a video ipod and quicktime wont play it…is there anything i can do? cheers!

  14. thanx for all the work!!!

    @eric
    you can find army arrangement here: http://tinyurl.com/2yvtat (reg. required).

    btw: it would be great if somebody could repack the artwork of the box-sets and upload it 🙂 thx in advance

  15. Eric…the artwork has been scanned all along. Just click on the first red hilighted ‘here’ and you can download the full 10 page booklet. I’ve also scanned and uploaded all of the postcards of Fela’s queens in the Black President post. Just scroll all the way down to the bottom of the bost and click on ‘here’s all 18 of them’. As far as all the individual album artwork, both the front and back covers are scanned and are both in the actual file that you download, and imprinted on the mp3 file themselves so when you bring them into itunes, you can view all the artwork. In addition, if you click on the file in itunes and click apple/i , and then the lyrics tab, the full lyrics are there as well. -Brant

  16. if you have problems with mp4 or downloading…

    The documentary at youtube:

    Music is the Weapon of the Future (1)

    Music is the Weapon of the Future (2)

    Music is the Weapon of the Future (3)

    Music is the Weapon of the Future (4)

    Music is the Weapon of the Future (5)

    Music is the Weapon of the Future (Final)

  17. thanks goldfinger! nice one. x


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