Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 – Zombie (1977)

This is the record that angered the Nigerian government so much that the army stormed Kuti’s compound and threw his mother out of a third story window, resulting in severe injuries which led to her death. The title and overall theme to proceedings seems to call out those blindly following orders before they went and did just that as the result of such a calling out. Like, what the fuck Nigeria? Way to prove the guy right, but at such a terrible cost. The inquiry into the happenings that day swept everything more or less under the rug and Fela Kuti continued his activism and music with a renewed fire.

Despite the tragedy behind it, Zombie is a gorgeously funky record, steeped in soul, artistic passion and that burning flame of rebellion. The songs are – for the most part – meandering percussive beasts that are alive and breathing, with flushes of jazz and soul elements.