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The '69 LA Sessions

by Fela Kuti

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Viva Nigeria 03:47
Obe 03:13
Ako 02:43
Witchcraft 05:27
Lover 06:11
Funky Horn 04:44
Eko 04:15
This is Sad 04:23


Koola Lobitos:

Omuti Tide is about the alcoholic who never takes his job seriously. In the end he loses his job for drink. Sung in Yoruba like most of the songs from Koola Labitos era, one can hear the strong Latin jazz effect from Fela’s London days hanging out with West Indian Brothers (We can also hear the mix of Latin jazz and the African American Diaspora influences in Funky Horn. It is sad Fela stopped playing the trumpet in the latter part of his life as Funky Horn is a testimony to him being a great horn player). Highlife Time, another Koola Lobitos piece sung in English is about highlife music and the beat. Highlife music is one of the many contemporary urban music of West Africa, influenced by Caribbean Calypso and Latin American Salsa. Ololufe Mi is Fela’s love song, declaring his affection for his lover and insisting that she is his one and only love. Fela’s proficiency as a trumpet player can be heard in this track like in all the other pieces from his Koola Lobitos days. Wadele Wa Rohin, in Yoruba language means: ‘you will go home and proclaim in what high esteem people hold Eko, the home of great sense! Smart arse city. Eko is a funky, swinging, crazy ghetto’. Laise Lairo, another song in Yoruba literally means: without any offence or bad feeling, you lose your wife and get locked in prison by the person who took your wife. Like most of Fela’s songs of this era, they were addressing social issues. Wayo too, talks about dishonesty. Wayo in Hausa language means dishonest. Though sung in Yoruba language, it conveys the same meaning of dismay at the discovery that a person you trust is dishonest, a cheat and a fraud. It is all about being upright in society.

The ’69 L.A. Sessions:

Recorded in 1969, this album is compiled of tracks recorded by Fela’s ‘60s Highlife band, Koola Lobitos. They exhibit the earliest developments of Fela’s signature “afrobeat” sound. The
duration of these tracks, however, is a contrast in his normal
grandiose and lengthy tracks. Ten tracks averaging just under five
minutes in length. While in the US, Fela was greatly inspired by the Black Power Movement; something which would flower when he returned to Nigeria.


released February 2, 2010


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Fela Kuti Lagos, Nigeria

Over a decade after his death, vindication has come to Fela Kuti, Africa’s musical genius. AfroBeat, his gift to the world, is now an international staple on his own uncompromising terms, social content intact.

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