Fela Ransome-Kuti* And His Africa '70* ‎– Fela's London Scene

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Tracklist

J'Ehin J'Ehin
E Gbe Mi O
Who're You?
Buy Africa
Fight To Finish!

Versions (10)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
HNLX 5200 Fela Ransome-Kuti* And His Africa '70* Fela Ransome-Kuti* And His Africa '70* - Fela's London Scene(LP, Album) His Master's Voice HNLX 5200 Nigeria 1971 Sell This Version
M2399 Fela Ransome - Kuti* And The Africa - 70* Fela Ransome - Kuti* And The Africa - 70* - Fela's London Scene(LP, Album) Makossa M2399 US 1983 Sell This Version
STCD3007 Fela Kuti Fela's London Scene(CD) Stern's Music STCD3007 UK 1994 Sell This Version
STERNS 3007 Fela Ransome Kuti* & Nigeria 70 Fela Ransome Kuti* & Nigeria 70 - Fela's London Scene(LP, Album, RE, RM) Stern's Africa STERNS 3007 UK 1994 Sell This Version
VICJ-5060 Fela Kuti Fela’s London Scene(CD, Album, RE, RM) Victor VICJ-5060 Japan 1994 Sell This Version
MPG 74036 Fela Anikulapo Kuti* Buy America(CD) Movieplay Gold MPG 74036 Portugal 1996 Sell This Version
ESP8525 Fela Anikulapo Kuti* Buy Africa(CD, Album, RM) M.I.L. Multimedia ESP8525 US 1997 Sell This Version
none Fela Ransome-Kuti* And His Africa '70* Fela Ransome-Kuti* And His Africa '70* - Fela's London Scene(5xFile, ALAC, Album, RE) Knitting Factory Records none Nigeria 2010
KFR2004-1, HNLX 5200 Fela Ransome-Kuti* And His Africa '70* Fela Ransome-Kuti* And His Africa '70* - Fela's London Scene(LP, Album, RE) Knitting Factory Records, His Master's Voice KFR2004-1, HNLX 5200 US 2016 Sell This Version
MPG 74036 Fela Anikulapo Kuti* Buy America(CDr, Unofficial) Not On Label (Fela Kuti) MPG 74036 Unknown Sell This Version

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streetmouse

streetmouse

October 28, 2018
referencing Fela's London Scene, LP, Album, M2399

For a general overview of Fela’s work, please see my review for Sakara (Oloje), by which I stand …

Fela’s London Scene comes at you more full throttled and more angular, giving rise to fantasies of James Brown and his epic deliveries. Yet I for one enjoy his less intense material, where the track “J’ehin J’ehin” rides nicely in my back pocket, sending me on an adventure that I’m sure will last years, a quest of sorts to comb through the rest of his catalog, creating a compilation of Aftrobeats I can most relate to, and not just on a musical level.

Having spent much time in the UK, Fela recorded this gem at the Abbey Road Studios, though by 1971, the Beatles were all but whispered ghosts in those hallowed halls. On a whole, the album is very immediate, very muscular and masculine, imparting a sense of urgency as it ventures down the path of spoken (or shouted) word. There is little to be found here that’s intoxicating, with Fela’s structures leaving me with the image of a headlong drive down the wrong side of the road. Each of the songs appear to have been commingled from a collection of partially scripted thoughts, as if the dust and rain of Africa were clay in a musical potter’s hands, where he was breathing life into this combination of inanimate elements, infusing them with the spirit of birth through enunciation.

Again, the percussions set the place and lead the way throughout all of this album, though as if with emphasis, Fela nearly punches his way through most of the material with brass notes that come across with a piercing sonic intensity that I could not get used to … certainly very experimental and innovative. (laughing) With that in mind, I wonder if there is anyone out there who’s been so smitten with these sounds that they’ve collected his nearly fifty albums, as it would seem to me that they would become rather repetitive rather quickly.

One of the most common vocalizations regarding all of Fela’s releases is some variation of, “I’m not sure what to make of this, but I like it,” which of course would compel me to question the dialectic nature of the music and those whose ears are taking it in. Of primary interest to me is, who is Fela speaking to, what message is he relaying, and how is that message being both heard and perceived? This music is not jazz or soul or even funk in its purer forms, this music is both politically and quasi-religiously manifested and motivated, delivered for maximum effect from repeated listens, where the subversive nature of these overtures will seep in gradually over time until the manifesto is heeded and taken to heart.

I am not comfortable here, nor have I been comfortable with most of Fela’s deliveries, where I select songs based not only on their musical structure, but on their sociological nature, where there is much found within these grooves to be avoided and disrespected.

Review by Jenell Kesler
HighwireDays

HighwireDays

July 26, 2016
referencing Fela's London Scene, CD, STCD3007

"Who're You" is my favorite Fela song aside from "Confusion." It should've been released as a single, would've been a big hit.