Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fela Ransome-Kuti And The Africa '70 - 1974 - Alagbon Close

Fela Ransome-Kuti And The Africa '70
Alagbon Close

01. Alagbon Close 16:50
02. I No Get Eye For Back 11:23

Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Electric Piano, Vocals – Fela Ransome Kuti
Baritone Saxophone – Lekan Animashaun
Congas – Daniel Koranteg, Henry Koffi
Drums – Tony Allen
Electric Bass – Franco Aboddy
Guitar – Segun Edo
Maracas – Isaac Olaleye
Percussion – James Abayomi, Nicholas Addo
Rhythm Guitar – Tutu Shoronmu
Tenor Saxophone – Christopher Uwaifor
Trumpet, Soloist [Trumpet] – Tunde Williams

Fela wrote the track Alagabon Close to lampoon the police after he was detained at the police station which, not coincidentally, is located in a cul de sac of the same name. In this deeply anti-establishment song, Fela describes the harsh tactics that the police employ to control society, detailing their favoritism of the wealthy elite and their mistreatment of the poor. In Alagbon Close, Fela tells us, you can be detained indefinitely, you will be brutalized, you will be treated as an animal — the police have no respect for human beings. The song represents one of the first times anyone had directly taken on the Nigerian authorities in such a brash manner. “I No Get Eye For Back”, a song emanating from a lyric in “Alagbon Close”, is a more melodic, instrumentally focused piece, with Fela musing in both pidgin and Yoruba.

Released in the middle of Fela's peak, Alagbon Close is a little less structurally daring than either Gentleman or Afrodisiac, with Fela mostly riding a single groove all the way through both tracks. No matter, though - there was no one, maybe ever, writing funkier rhythms than Fela, and the fiery chanting and soloing that are the man's trademarks are in full effect. Not an essential Fela release like most of the records that surround it, but a rewarding listen nonetheless.



  2. Hey there - you OK? No posts for a month and usually you let us know if you're going on vacation. Hope all is well. THIS IS MY FAVOURITE BLOG.