Fela Kuti: Shakara 12" (new)

Knitting Factory Records


Fela Kuti's rich discography stretches from the mid 1960s with Fela Ransome Kuti & His Highlife Rakers, to the early 1990s with Egypt 80, and there are masterpieces all along the way. But the 1970s, with Africa 70 and thenAfrika 70, was the decade during which Fela's Afrobeat went through its most dramatic changes – musically and politically. It begins with 1971's Shakara and ends with 1980's I.T.T. (International Thief Thief). It also includesLondon Scene (1972), Afrodisiac and Gentleman (both 1973) and Upside Down (1976). The penultimate selection is 1976's Zombie, which was a huge hit in Nigeria.

Shakara is one of a clutch of early-70s albums, on which Fela's Afrobeat transitioned from foetal stage to something approaching full-grown form. Shakara is a two-track release of 13-minute songs that showcase Fela's satirical side. "Lady," perhaps one of Fela's most popular tracks, criticizes westernized African women who he felt had been corrupted by their embrace of the new feminist movement of the time. And "Shakara" is another lyrically lambasting track that takes on braggarts and blowhards who boast false claims about their personal power and influence.

Tags: 70s afrobeat reissues