and finally…the fourth and final box set! It starts out with Kalakuta Show. Yet another story about his constant battles with the Nigerian police. He dubbed the most recent attack on he and the republic the ‘Kalakuta Show’. The back cover has actual photos of the attack, and a close up of Fela’s head wound that he recieved from it. To make matters worse, Fela recorded the hit Zombie, which was a metaphor for the Nigerian Soldiers, who are dead inside, and just do what the government tells them to do. In the song he commands the soldiers “Attention! Double up! Fall In! Fall out! Fall down! Get ready!” with his queens chanting Zooommmbiiii….throughout. This one become such a hit at the time (1977) that the people would walk by a soldier and flash a blank stare and say ‘Zombie’. This angered them so much, they went all out on what was to be the most vicious attack on the Kalakuta Republic. Zombie is what egged them on to send in over 1000 soldiers, severely beat everyone, raped the women, through Fela’s mother out the window causing fatal damages, nearly beat Fela to death, burned the entire Republic down, and threw everyone in jail. Never underestimate the power of music! Masters At Work also did a version of this a few years back…and it still wrecks the dancefloor. Lucky you…I included it in the zombie download.
also note, that in addition to having all the album artwork added (just click on the arrow above the artwork once it’s added into itunes and you will see the front and back cover, etc….) I also included the lyrics so when you load up the track in itunes, click on the track and apple and the letter i and then on the tab lyrics, and you will see them. I will do this when possible for all future downloads.
‘Brothers and Sisters…The secret to life, is to have no fear. We all have to understand that’ Fear Not For Man was his call to all his fellow Nigerians who were afraid of resisting oppression by the government. The b-side, Palm Wine Sound features trumpeter Lester Bowie of The Art Ensemble of Chicago. Bowie lived with Fela for 3 months in 1977 and recorded with him on this one, and an incredible solo on Dog Eat Dog, on the 4th album in this set No Agreement. ‘No Agreement today….No Agreement tomorrow’
Shuffering & Shmiling is his rant on all the colonial religions dividing the country, and behaving hypocritically…stealing, killing, and oppressing the people, etc… He continues with this theme in his elegy for his mother, Coffin For Head of State, denouncing the corrosive effect of Christian and Muslim influence on African life and takes to task the leaders that perpetuate the “Bad bad bad things/Through Jesus Christ our Lord.” After his mother died after her fatal damages that she recieved from the Nigerian military under Christian President Obasanjo, Fela and 57 others laid a coffin on the steps of Obasanjo’s Dodan Barracks, the headquarters of the military government.
So there it is. All 4 box sets in their entirety! 24 Albums in total. Easily the greatest collection of bathroom break records in history. (You dj’s out there know what I mean) Fela recorded 77 albums in his highly prolific career, and while these records are some of his best, there are many many more equally as good as these. I encourage all of you who happen to have any of the others to post a link to them in the comments section.
His legacy lives on through his sons, Femi, who still runs The Shrine in Lagos just recently played Central Park for the 3rd time, and is currently on tour. His brother Seun is also doing his thing. Tony Allen, his drummer since ’69, continues to record and collaborate with tons of people, and still puts out incredible records. Check out his last release on Damon Alburn’s (Blur) label Honest Jons. There has also been a whole slew of new afro-funk bands that are directly influenced by Fela… Check out Antibalas, Wunmi(who sang on that MAW version of Zombie) and the links on Afrofunk Forum for a ton more…
Here’s a collection of all the album artwork for these 4 boxsets. It isn’t all of them, but most, and the ones that I did scan have both the front and back covers, as well as the inserts. If you want the postcards then you will have to go to the previous post. The same goes for the Booklet that is part of the first set. You can get that in the Music is the Weapon post.