Friday, October 30, 2009

A free Fela Kuti download

Are you into Fela Kuti? Or did you never get around to exploring the prodigious recorded output of Nigeria’s king of Afrobeat?

Now comes news that Knitting Factory Records will remaster and reissue Fela’s entire catalog over the next 18 months. Those people are on a mission from God.

I got into Fela back when I was buying most of my music on cassette. Time for the upgrade.

Meanwhile, I can point you to a FREE MP3 off the new “Best of the Black President” deluxe double-CD.

Click here to hear “Zombie” on my Vox blog. It’s a 12½-minute cut from 1977. To download it, follow this link to Giant Step, the marketing website. (If you’re a Mac user, CTRL+click and “Save Link As...”)


bklyn6 said...

I LOVE "Zombie!" This song never leaves my mp3 player.

Soundcheck recently had a smackdown to decide who inspired the best music, vampires or zombies? The first song that came to mind was Fela's jam. (Yeah, I know he's talking about zombies in a metaphorical sense, but still....)

Go and kill. Go and die....

Thanks for posting!

Lyndon said...

Prodigious output is an understatement. I think he's trying to fill up an iPod.

Omo Naija said...


Thanks for posting this. I will sure to buy the entire package.

Fela's live jam is unbelievable. An undiluted cultural experience.

I witnessed one in 1988 at the University in Ife. The band started jamming at 10pm to set the scene. Fela finally showed up at 2am and jammed till 6am* in the morning. The music was made sweeter with the waff of good quality Nigerian pot in the air.

* My first concert in the US was Erika Baddu in Greensboro, NC. To my eternal surprise the show started at 8.30pm and the entire lineup was done by 11pm. I could not believe it. Kept asking my classmates is this it? Was expecting a Nigerian Jam experience. Oh well!

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Thanks for commenting, Omo Naija.

Here's the Fela cut that made me a fan back in the '80s... "Power Show."

Anonymous said...

I will look at what the Kniting Factory put out. To the one person who wrote about the 8 hour University of Ife jam -- was that all one song? Did anyone record tone of those entire shows? _That_ would be an interesting release. I was disappointed to see that the US 1987 release of _Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense_ that released the import 2LP set as a long single LP still had each of the two songs split into two tracks (i.e. the two parts of a song on the same side of the record) -- didn't the band play through,and if so, why not put the entire take as a single track on the LP? That's what was good about _ODOO_ -- the songs were each closer to a full 30 minute length, rather than chopped into "instumental" and "vocal" halves. There's an unreleased (AFAIK) live recording from Detroit in 1986 (or maybe 1988) that has a couple tracks that are about 40 minutes long, complete. There are presumably others.

I still feel bad that on two consecutive years in the late 1980s i traveled to DC on weekends where it turned out i had just missed Fela shows, so i never got to see him live in person.

That said, even if the releases use the same edits as the original releases, the music is great.