Fela Kuti

Kalakuta Show (2024 Reissue)


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The title track likens politicians to street hawkers and hustlers, and caused considerable controversy. So did the B-side, “Mattress,” though for different reasons. In the song, Fela likens a woman’s role to that of a mattress, there to support and comfort her man. Fela’s espousal of traditional gender roles, and his approval of polygamy, struck a discordant note with some listeners, who accused him of being “anti women.” Fela was Fela and a man of his time, but he was never hostile to women. As he often acknowledged, his two greatest political influences were women: his mother, who had been an early champion of women’s rights in Nigeria, and Sandra Izsadore, the black-rights activist he began a relationship with in the US in 1969. Each opened his mind, between them turning a playboy into a political revolutionary.

First re-issued as part of Fela Kuti Box Set #5 curated by Chris Martin & Femi Kuti in 2021.

Tracklist

A Kalakuta Show
B Don't Make Ganran Ganran