(kuti, fela) | Fela Kuti and Afrika 70 [Zombie] 1977 US Mercury
(kuti, fela) | Fela Kuti and Afrika 70 [Zombie] 1977 US Mercury
(kuti, fela) | Fela Kuti and Afrika 70 [Zombie] 1977 US Mercury
(kuti, fela) | Fela Kuti and Afrika 70 [Zombie] 1977 US Mercury

Fela Kuti and Afrika 70
1977 US Mercury

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This is a very clean US Original Mercury pressing from 1977. (The album was also released domestically on Celluloid and I'm not completely sure if one predates the other; I've seen both listed as 1977 releases.) The sound is quite good -- big, lively, and punchy -- and the vinyl plays quietly. I have been digging for clean early Fela pressings for years and you almost never see them. I can't get enough of these hypnotic Afrobeat jams, and the music on this album is especially powerful. I wrote a blurb about it on my Instagram last year, which I will excerpt here with, uh, my own permission:

"Score another one for the power of a groove, as this album famously helped bring about change in Nigeria when it hit in the mid-70s, with the results upsetting the government and causing all sorts of serious problems for Fela and his associates. You can take away that history and this is still a great album, but it gives me chills to take it all in and think about how this music empowered and emboldened people to stand up to an oppressive regime. Spreading an anti-government message, putting yourself at risk, and sounding joyous while doing it? That’s my idea of punk, genre be damned. Zombie!"

4 1/2 stars Allmusic: "The most popular and impacting record that Fela Kuti and Africa 70 would record"

Vinyl: EX (one superficial mark that does not affect play)
Cover: VG+ (a couple of very small creases)
Play notes: Big and punchy sound, quiet vinyl, essential music!