Saturday, September 3, 2011

Expensive Shit / He Miss Road

by Fela Ransome Kuti & Africa 70

It's really only recently that I've come to discover that Knitting Factory Records has reissued so many of Fela Kuti's records in the last two years.  Faced with a plethora of choices at an HMV a little while ago, I thought I'd go for the one with the funny title and the topless girls on the cover - you usually can't go wrong...

This disc contains two albums that Fela and his band originally released in 1975.  Expensive Shit was Fela's response to a police raid during which he swallowed a joint that the police planted on him.  Later, they tested his feces for evidence of marijuana, but weren't able to press charges for it.  That album also contains the song 'Water Get No Enemy', based on a Yourban proverb. The second album, He Miss Road, contains three tracks, including the seventeen minute 'Its No Possible'.

Both of these albums are prime examples of Fela's approach to Afrobeat, and they are terrific.  I am not sure how many of these reissues, which duplicate the front and back artwork for both albums they contain, there are, or what it will cost me to collect a complete set, but I think I know what I'm going to be hunting for in any number of cd shops from here on out.

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