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Zombie
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Performer Notes
  • ZOMBIE was released while Fela, a political enemy of the Nigerian government, was in prison in Lagos, Nigeria, serving a five-year sentence for currency smuggling. "I will never, never stop fighting," Fela is quoted as saying in the liner notes. "This jail only makes me stronger and I hope it's giving my people more courage to do their part in the struggle."
  • Originally released on Celluloid.
  • Personnel includes: Fela Kuti (vocals, alto & tenor saxophones, piano); Ogene Kologbo, Leke Benson (guitar); Christopher Uwaifor (tenor saxophone); Lekan Animashaun (baritone saxophone); Tunde Williams (trumpet); Franco Aboddy (electric bass); Tony Allen (drums); Henri Kafi, Nicholas Addo (congas); Isaac Olaley (maracas).
  • Producer: Fela Kuti
  • Reissue producer: Jean-Pierre Haie
  • Includes liner notes by Jacqueline Grandchamp-Thiam, Rikki Stein and Mabinuori Kayode Idowu.
  • Digitally remastered by Pompon (Translab Paris, Paris, France).
  • With the inclusion of Nigerian master musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti's incendiary 1977 single, "Zombie," "Mr. Follow Follow," a typical anti-authoritarian exhortation, and a couple of hitherto-unreleased live cuts from the 1978 Berlin Jazz festival, ZOMBIE finds the iconoclastic singer and bandleader at his electrifying best. The title track, an anti-militaristic lampoon of the Nigerian armed forces, earned Fela the ire of that army--revenge came when soldiers wrecked Fela's compound, throwing his mother from a window and killing her. A breakneck rhythm, skittering horn lines, and Fela's own taunting vocals add up to one of the musician's most confrontational tracks. Conflict is likewise in the air on "Mistake," performed in front of a less-than-ecstatic crowd of Berlin jazz aficionados, conveying the palpable anger of a musician who craved controversy and relished provocation.
Professional Reviews
Q (2/02, p.122) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Settles into Fela's jazzy Afrobeat groove for a classic anti-military broadside..."

Vibe (12/99, p.164) - Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century - "...hypnotically grooved '70s records by the Nigerian Afro-beat superstar whom James Brown called 'The African James Brown'..."

Vibe (12/99, p.164) - Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century - "...hypnotically grooved '70s records by the Nigerian Afro-beat superstar whom James Brown called 'The African James Brown'..."
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