Fela Kuti Coffin For Head Of State

    Knitting Factory Records
    • Fela Kuti – Coffin For Head Of State part 1
    • 1. Coffin For Head Of State part 1
    • 2. Coffin For Head Of State part 2

    Fela Kuti made some frantic albums in his career--ones that popped with his enthusiastic political disobedience and ones that roared with fury at the Nigerian system and Africa's disadvantaged position in the late-20th century. But Coffin for Head of State is a different tiger. It's a downturned, sad, melancholic 22-minute work that signaled how Fela would make his previously general criticisms of Nigerian politics very specific. He recorded the album in 1981, several years after the Nigerian military's destruction of his self-declared Kalakuta Republic (a residential compound, in truth) and the ensuing, relentlessly violent assault on its residents, including his mother, who later died as a result of her injuries. Coffin finds Fela castigating Muslim and Christian leaders for idling while the government raped and pillaged, and it boasts a visionary quality in the antiphonal "Amens" that gets bounced through the band.

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