Fela Kuti

The Complete Works of Fela Anikulapo Kuti

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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek

Even before his death in 1997, Fela Anikulapo Kuti was the stuff of legend as the creator of Afro-beat, and as a fierce political activist, outlaw, and outspoken voice for the oppressed not only in his native Nigeria, but throughout Africa. Though harassed, beaten, tortured, and imprisoned by his own country's oppressive military dictatorship, he could not be broken. Like Bob Marley's, Kuti's name has been synonymous with liberation. Since his passing he has even become the subject of a Broadway musical that bears his name and tours internationally. He is a bona fide folk hero. That said, it's his music that not only survives his legend, but is the largest part of what perpetuates it. In its salacious, infectious, polyrhythmic grooves, the anger, politics, and sexuality shake, quake, and roar from his first recordings to his last. His catalog has been issued in several incarnations at various times since his death. This particular box set from Wrasse contains all 26 albums, which were previously released by the label in three separate compilation groupings. Each disc is housed in its own mini-LP sleeve, bearing original cover art, and the set contains four booklets -- one for each grouping of albums and a brief biography in a booklet of its own. What's confusing, at least initially, is that the back of the box numbers the albums one through 26, while each booklet numbers them starting at one. In other words, discs ten and 19 both bear the number one and start again with their groupings. They correspond to the way the label initially released these albums. The box also contains a DVD entitled A Slice of Fela. It is a compilation narrated by Sahr Ngaujah that contains excerpts from various documentaries and live concerts. There are interviews with Kuti's biographer Carlos Moore and Fela the musical's co-writer and choreographer, Bill T. Jones. Obviously, this collection is for the hardcore Kuti fan who doesn't already have everything. That said, given its exceptionally reasonable price tag (a true bargain), it may appeal to others as well. Either way, it is a singular document, one that testifies to Kuti's authentic role as one of the great musical innovators of the 20th century.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti 23:22 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 16:11 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 14:05 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 12:26 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 12:57 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 13:25 Amazon
4
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 14:46 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 28:27 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 17:20 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti feat: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 29:10 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti 20:10 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 24:08 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 8

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 15:22 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 13:32 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 25:17 Amazon
4
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 07:34 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 10

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 11:36 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 12:57 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti 13:35 Amazon
4
Fela Kuti 16:35 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 11

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 10:34 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 15:09 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 15:23 Amazon
4
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 13:54 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 12

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti 25:48 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti 30:49 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti 22:17 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 14

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti 15:41 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti 17:24 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti 13:40 Amazon
4
Fela Kuti 12:05 Amazon
5
Fela Kuti 09:09 Amazon
6
Fela Kuti 10:18 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 15

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 25:37 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 14:41 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 08:12 Amazon
4
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 08:07 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 16

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 13:49 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 13:25 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 07:26 Amazon
4
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 13:15 Amazon
5
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 09:30 Amazon
6
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 05:50 Amazon
7
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 07:25 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 17

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 13:14 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 11:00 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 10:47 Amazon
4
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 11:15 Amazon
5
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 17:36 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 18

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 12:55 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 15:44 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 14:14 Amazon
4
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 15:17 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 19

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 15:08 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 14:13 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 14:31 Amazon
4
Fela Kuti feat: Africa 70 16:04 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 20

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti 14:44 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti 14:36 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti 18:38 Amazon
4
Fela Kuti 17:31 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 21

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 28:20 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 31:54 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 22

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 30:01 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 29:15 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 23

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti 22:43 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti 31:09 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 24

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 21:34 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 15:31 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 15:33 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 25

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 16:39 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 16:42 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 10:15 Amazon
4
Fela Kuti feat: Afrika 70 13:42 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 26

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti 21:10 Amazon
2
Fela Kuti 14:48 Amazon
3
Fela Kuti 24:03 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 27

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Fela Kuti Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick