Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Egypt 80 – Army Arrangement (1985)


Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Egypt 80
“Army Arrangment”
Released 1985 on Celluloid (CELL 6109)
Reissued 2001 on MCA (314 549 381-2)

I am too upset and angry to write a commentary for this album. I stayed awake all night watching online live coverage of the situation in Egypt, then woke up and watched their Vice President talk absolute garbage, telling bald-faced lies, blaming the unrest on `outside agendas`, and basically threatening the protesters should they continue. This is coming after a night of attacks on peaceful demonstrators by agents provocateurs, plainclothes police officers, and paid thugs attempting to delegitimize the continued presence of popular manifestations. I think it is safe to say that in the eyes of most of the world, they have failed – the protests are legitimate, and this dictatorship has to come down, NOW. Journalists are now being rounded up and detained. The situation is, as the cliché goes, will probably get worse before it gets any better.

I spent a little while looking through my record collection in my stainless-steel bunker for any angry music from Egypt, wishing I had access to my secret vault in the Kayman Islands that holds the rest of my collection, and then looking through computer hard drives. I came up with this album. Unless you have been living under a rock or in a steel bunker for the last half century, you know that Fela Kuti was Nigerian, and not Egyptian. But he named his second band Egypt 80 for symbolic reasons, and this oft-overlooked album seems to fit my mood at least. Considerably less of a hard-edged sound than his earlier material (can we blame producer Bill Laswell? please say yes…) Anyway. Check it out.

I am sending out VIBES to the people of Egypt and especially those in Tahrir Square: DO NOT GO HOME. Do not give up. Do not believe anything your government says or any conciliatory advice from their “sympathizers” (apologists). Mubarak has had 30 years to prove himself amenable to the demands and criticisms of his own people. He has not. Time to go home, Mubarak. THERE SHALL BE NO COMPROMISE.

Outside influences? Really? Let me say something about outside influences. Egypt is the second largest recipient of United States military aid in the world. I am a citizen of the United States. I certainly never voted for this aid nor gave my support for it. The canisters of tear gas being volleyed at the protesters since the beginning had “Made in the U.S.A.” stamped on them. This makes me nauseous and ashamed.

It is a pathetic hypocrisy to DEPEND on “outside influences”, such as powerful allies like the Policeman-To-The-World that the US has been for a half century, and then claim that “outside influences” must be purged and foreign powers need to stop meddling in your affairs.

As Liston Lonnie Smith said — “CITIZENS OF THE WORLD! It’s time for WORLD PEACE.”

Get this motherfucker out of office.


Artwork By [Concept] – Patrick Di Meglio
Artwork By [Picture] – Gilles Chagny
Bass Guitar – Herman Menimade Addo
Congas – Ola Ijagun
Drums – Francis Foster
Drums [Simmons] – Sly Dunbar (tracks: A)
Flugelhorn – Oye Shobowale
Guitar [Rhythm] – Chukwudi Aroga , Keji Ifarunmi
Guitar [Tenor] – Okalue Ojeah
Keyboards [Yamaha Rx 11], Talking Drum [Chatan], Cowbell – Aiyb Dieng (tracks: B1, B2)
Leader, Saxophone [Baritone] – Lekan Animashaum
Maracas – Fosibor Okafor*
Mastered By – Howie Weinberg
Organ [Hammond B3] – Bernie Worrell (tracks: A, B1)
Percussion [Sticks] – Lamptey Addo
Piano [Rhythm] – Dele Shosimi
Producer – Bill Laswell , Fela
Recorded By, Mixed By – Robert Musso
Saxophone [Alto] – Nana-Femi-Anikulapo Kuti
Saxophone [Baritone, 2nd] – Acheampong (Kolaoni)
Saxophone [Soprano] – Fela Anikulapo Kuti
Saxophone [Tenor] – Oyinade Adeniran
Talking Drum – Aiyb Dieng (tracks: A)
Trumpet [2nd] – Akomeah Dodo

** This is not my rip and I owe thanks to the SUN KING for it. I hope he doesn’t mind the reappropriation and resignification.


in 320 em pé tré


secret codes to the insurgent uprising are in the commentaries

(alternate album cover)

Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Afrika 70 – Opposite People / Sorrow, Tears & Blood (1977)

I plan to share some African music NOT from Nigeria in the next week or so, but until then a Fela album wouldn’t hurt. There’s nothing rare or arcane about the man’s music at this point of the digital age. Nowadays you can find his work everywhere. But there was a time when — where I was living, at least – Fela’s albums were quite rare. I remember being in high-school and having a cassette tape of his stuff that was a treasured possession, given to me by a bass player for a reggae-funk band I had befriended as a young lad. I played the shit out of that tape until the magnesium oxide was shedding onto your finger tips just handling the thing. For over ten years it was the only Fela I possessed in my music collection, a random 90-minute mixtape of his stuff. These days, there is a band in Rio de Janeiro devoted solely to playing his music, and bands in the US from New York to Ann Arbor that are just shamelessly ripping him off. Always go back to the original, though, and you will see why he was an international iconoclastic heavyweight the likes of which are rarely seen, and can’t be imitated.

Post-colonial marxist rhythm and blues lead off Fela & Afrika 70’s ‘Opposite People’, the title track a fast, frantic afrosoul workout in composite time. Fela has an extended sax solo on this one and doesn’t begin singing until eleven minutes in. A slower beat but an identical structure characterize the class-consciousness metaphor-making of ‘Equalization of Trouser and Pant’. This is a fine enough album but reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend about how you can substitute a handful of these Afrika 70 titles from the early to mid-70s pretty much interchangeably. You have one, you kind of have them all, although I prefer to have them all. An opinion like this is bound to induce flames in the comments section, but I assure you I mean no ill will towards Fela. Unlike Caetano Veloso, who is still a douche.

The real item of interest on this Sony 2-on-1 disc is the album “Sorrow, Tears & Blood”. Released as the first title on Fela’s own Kalakuta Records after being dropped by Decca in the wake of the government’s raid on his compound and confiscation of his master tapes (which he managed to get back, thankfully), it shows Fela and Afrika 70 shifting gears ever so slightly to a more foreboding, loping groove. It’s short EP-length keeps it powerful enough to lodge in your memory. The second side, ‘Colonial Mentality’, is a monster, and something of an anthem toward the continual unfolding process of decolonizing the mind, body, and spirit. Some of Tony Allen’s most innovative playing can be heard in the low-burning, restrained bedrock he sets down, creating a tension that you keep expecting him to release with some more ebullient, open playing but which he never quite does aside from laying on the ride cymbals for a few measures here and there. Groove and lyrical intention in sync here.

Opposite People (1977)
1. Opposite People (16:37)
2. Equalisation of Trouser and Pant (16:43)

Sorrow Tears and Blood (1977)
3. Sorrow Tears and Blood (10:16)
3. Colonial Mentality (13:42)

Contains complete artwork, cue, log, m3u files

Fela & Afrika 70 – Opposite People / Sorrow, Tears & Blood (1977) in 320kbs em pee tree

Fela & Afrika 70 – Opposite People / Sorrow, Tears & Blood (1977) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO
Part One //////////// Part Two

Sorry for having to go back to zshare again for a while, folks, but there’s nothing I can do about it at the moment. There is a proverb in English about beggars and choosers, pays to recall it…

Senha/password in comments