Fela Kuti & The Africa '70 - Open & Close
Originally released in 1971, Open & Close stretched Fela Kuti's pioneering afrobeat over a full revolutionary workout with his band The Africa '70, featuring Tony Allen on drums.
Open & Close is an album partly focused on the dancefloor, and partly on African liberation. The title tune is a simple exhortation to dance, with instructions on how to perform Fela's choreography, while 'Gbagada Gbagada Gbogodo Gbogodo' tells the story of the Egba people's armed resistance to invading British colonialists. As a songwriter, Fela was more often concerned with the repressive rule of Nigeria's contemporary leaders than he was with that of their British predecessors, but here he draws out the connection between past and present.
Fela dedicated the album to his mother and “His Excellency Col. I.K. Acheampong, Ghana Head of State, the first head of state I ever entertained.” And the last. Fela regarded most African heads of state as stooges of the West and with good reason. (In 1976, Acheampong would ban Fela from Ghana, fearing his revolutionary rhetoric would stir up political opposition).
Unavailable for decades, this 50th-anniversary reissue on Knitting Factory Records features the restored original artwork and audio mastered from the original pressing.
Open & Close
Suegbe & Pako
Gbagada Gbagada Gbogodo Gbogodo
- LP housed in gatefold jacket with original artwork
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