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Fela Kuti|The Best of the Black President

The Best of the Black President

Fela Kuti

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Fela Anikulapo Kuti (1938 -1997) was the father of Afrobeat, a political counter-power opposed to the Nigerian government of his day. He was a legendary figure of pan-Africanism and the godfather of contemporary African music. This release could only ever offer an introduction to his prodigious body of work (57 albums). But the 13 tracks on The Best of the Black President give an admirable overview of his output. The collection starts with two tracks which marked one of the peaks of his career: the 1972 release Shakara (Oloje). He made that album with his best ever line-up, Africa ' 70, whose rhythmic keystone was the drummer Tony Allen. Gentleman which followed one year later, was a devastating broadside at Africans who imitated western fashions and lifestyles. This marked the singer-saxophonist's début on the piano, an instrument to which he brought a unique approach.

Zombies, an anti-militarist anthem recorded in 1976, was another high point for the Black President. Sorrow Tears and Blood was written 18 February 1977, when the army and the Lagos police force stormed the Republic of Kalakuta, where Fela and his relatives lived. No Agreement, Pt. 2, another afrobeat classic, only the second half of which is presented here, also dates back to 1977, when the American saxophonist Lester Bowie, who co-founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago, came to join Africa '70. On Shuffering and Shmiling (1978), Fela attacks the power of the monotheistic religions that colonised Africa. Meanwhile, on 1980's Coffin for Head of State, he blames the Nigerian government for the death of his mother. This generous compilation ends with an edit of O. D. O. O. (Overtake Don Overtake Overtake), one of his last hits, from 1990. © Benjamin MiNiMuM/Qobuz

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The Best of the Black President

Fela Kuti

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1
Lady
00:13:48

Fela Kuti, Composer, Producer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

2
Shakara (Oloje)
00:13:26

Fela Kuti, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Afrika 70, FeaturedArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

3
Gentleman
00:11:02

Fela Kuti, Composer, Producer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

4
Water No Get Enemy
00:09:51

Fela Kuti, Composer, Producer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

5
Zombie
00:12:25

Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Composer - Fela Kuti, Producer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

6
Sorrow Tears and Blood
00:10:15

Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Composer - Fela Kuti, Producer, MainArtist - Afrika 70, FeaturedArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

7
No Agreement, Pt. 2
00:07:53

Fela Kuti, Composer, Producer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

8
Roforofo Fight
00:15:40

Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Composer - Fela Kuti, Producer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

9
Shuffering and Shmiling
00:12:25

Fela Kuti, Composer, Producer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

10
Coffin for Head of State
00:13:22

Fela Kuti, Composer, Producer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

11
I.T.T. (International Thief Thief), Pt. 1 & 2
00:13:42

Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Composer - Fela Kuti, Producer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

12
Army Arrangement
00:17:02

Fela Kuti, Composer, Producer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

13
O.D.O.O. (Edit Version)
00:06:55

Fela Kuti, Composer, Producer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

Album Description

Fela Anikulapo Kuti (1938 -1997) was the father of Afrobeat, a political counter-power opposed to the Nigerian government of his day. He was a legendary figure of pan-Africanism and the godfather of contemporary African music. This release could only ever offer an introduction to his prodigious body of work (57 albums). But the 13 tracks on The Best of the Black President give an admirable overview of his output. The collection starts with two tracks which marked one of the peaks of his career: the 1972 release Shakara (Oloje). He made that album with his best ever line-up, Africa ' 70, whose rhythmic keystone was the drummer Tony Allen. Gentleman which followed one year later, was a devastating broadside at Africans who imitated western fashions and lifestyles. This marked the singer-saxophonist's début on the piano, an instrument to which he brought a unique approach.

Zombies, an anti-militarist anthem recorded in 1976, was another high point for the Black President. Sorrow Tears and Blood was written 18 February 1977, when the army and the Lagos police force stormed the Republic of Kalakuta, where Fela and his relatives lived. No Agreement, Pt. 2, another afrobeat classic, only the second half of which is presented here, also dates back to 1977, when the American saxophonist Lester Bowie, who co-founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago, came to join Africa '70. On Shuffering and Shmiling (1978), Fela attacks the power of the monotheistic religions that colonised Africa. Meanwhile, on 1980's Coffin for Head of State, he blames the Nigerian government for the death of his mother. This generous compilation ends with an edit of O. D. O. O. (Overtake Don Overtake Overtake), one of his last hits, from 1990. © Benjamin MiNiMuM/Qobuz

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