Looks like this release was timed to coincide with the Fela! musical about to hit London village, which, by the way, is the first musical I can ever remember actually wanting to go and see. Alright, I wanted to see Les Mis but that’s a bit different (isnt it?)
Anyhow, back to the subject in hand, an enoooooooormous box set release from Wrasse records of all of Fela Kuti’s albums, a stonking 26 cds (comprising 46 albums) , plus a dvd ‘A slice of Fela’ in the ‘complete box set’ or three separate box sets of about 8 or 9 cds each – it’s an amazing thing, and if like me and half the known world you are a fan of the music of the man they call Fela – then it’s a thing of beauty! Or it would be if I had the spare £72.00 that the full box set costs. My own lack of cash aside though, that actually works out to a measely £1.50 per album by the way!
Fela Kuti was a rebel, a legend, a wildly eccentric, controversial and colourful figure, and he was the king of Afrobeat. His name is talismanic to many, and this collection or its constituent parts shouldnt just be of interest to completists, but to anyone serious about music, Africa, or the roots of modern pop, rock, funk, hip hop and soul. There is something in Fela’s music which is distinctively African – like I say, it’s a thing of beauty.
I hope to get hold of the cast recording of Fela! And if I do, I’ll review it here. The box sets are out at the beginning of November, and available from your preferred place of music purchase (unless it’s Oxfam, in which case you’ve not got a hope, these are for keeps.)