The father of Afro-Beat and a hugely influential figure worldwide, Fela Kuti attained, as a musician, a level of political notoriety rivaled in the modern era only by Bob Marley. After having spent some time in the U.S. absorbing its Blues, Jazz, Funk, and Soul traditions, Kuti was deported back to Nigeria (for his political affiliations), where he would spend the bulk of the seventies recording his most enduring work. Staunchly defiant of his country's government, which sought, on many occasions, to imprison him, Kuti's music carried an explicit anti-militaristic message that made him a highly visible thorn in the side of the despotic Nigerian government and military. In response to Zombie, widely considered Kuti's crowning achievement, government troops set fire to Kuti's compound, destroyed his recording studio, and threw his mother from a window (she died a short time later). Musically, Zombie is an infectious hybrid of West African musical forms, Jazz, Soul, and Funk all dressed in the raiment of political satire. The title track in particular is an Afro-Beat gem, with Afrika 70 slowly building the funky, hypnotic groove until Kuti's voice springs out of the mix delivering comical commands to the military, while the back-up singers defiantly chant "Zombie!" Zombie stands as a beautiful example of the political power of music, and its primary theme is as timely as ever.
Zombie (2001 Remastered Edition)
1. Zombie (12:26)
2. Mister Follow Follow (12:58)
3. Observation Is No Crime (13:23)
4. Mistake (14:46)