Story of the Fela Kuti & Africa 70’s “Mister Follow Follow”

“Mr. Follow Follow” is from Fela’s 1976 album Zombie, which was a watershed in Fela’s confrontational relationship with the Nigerian army. The fury stirred up among the authories by the albums Alagbon Close 1974 and and Kalakuta Show in 1976, and the harassments Fela and Africa 70 suffered as a consequence, were as nothing compared to the repsials following Zombie…

On the title track, in a typically forthright and memorable lyric, Fela ridiculed the mindset of the army and likened its footsoldiers to zombies. It’s one of history’s all-time best insults, and it goes on for over 12 minutes.

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Short story of the Sakara (Shakara) Olojie

With the 1971 LP Shakara, Fela and Africa 70 enjoyed one of their biggest early hits. A two-track set comprising “Sakara (shakara) Olojie” and “Lady”, it marks the transition of Afrobeat from its late 1960s foetal stage to something approaching its full-grown form.

Up-tempo, with a characteristically turbulent horn arrangement, “Sakaha (shakara) Olojie” is a mainly-instrumental track. It includes strong solos from Fela on keyboards and Igo Chico on tenor saxophone. Continue Reading →

Story of Epic Tune “Zombie”

The fury stirred up among the Nigerian police and military by Fela’s furiously confrontational albums Alagbon Close in 1974, and the beatings and harassments Fela & Africa 70 suffered as a consequence, were as nothing compared to the reprisals following a later 1976 album, Zombie.

Within months of its release, a large-scale army attack left Fela’s Kalakuta Republic compound burnt to the ground, and many of its occupants, including Fela, assaulted and seriously injured. The sacking of Kalakuta was not, of course, brought about only by Zombie, but in the tension then existing between Fela and the military, it raised the temperature to boiling point. Continue Reading →