Fela’s ‘Zombie’ To Be Re-Released On Dec. 7, After 40 Years | Pre-Order Here
Forty years after it was originally released, Zombie is now expected to be made available online as part of an eight-track cartridge to be re-released by Knitting Factory Records, Kalakuta Sunrise and Partisan Records on December 7.
Zombie is a studio album by Nigerian Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti, which was released in Nigeria by Coconut Records in 1976.
Angry at Fela’s song “Zombie”, 1,000 Nigerian soldiers raided and burned his residence – the Kalakuta Republic in Lagos (1977) pic.twitter.com/WkQIp1jdsl
— NIGERIA FACTS & HISTORY (@NigerianMuseum) September 9, 2018
The album, which criticised the federal government, was a scathing attack on the country’s soldiers using the zombie metaphor to describe the methods of the Nigerian military.
The album didn’t go down well with the country’s then Military head of state, Olusegun Obasanjo, and on February 18, 1977, Kalakuta Republic, the Lagos communal home of Fela Kuti, was invaded and burned to the ground by soldiers – a raid that led to the death of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the Afrobeat pioneer’s mother.
However, after over 4 decades, the fiery and provocative song will be re-released on December 7 and Okay Africa quoted the author Mabinuori Kayode Idowu, as saying that:
“Fela in his life time was never ‘a good bed-fellow’ of the military institution. As a political activist, he believed the army should operate under the mandate of a civil government. If national interest compels the armed forces to intervene in government, the army is obliged to hand over power to a new civil government elected by the people and enjoying their mandate. To do otherwise is to usurp power particularly since a soldier’s duty is not to seek a political mandate. For emphasis in the song, he narrates the military in motion comparing their orientation to the Zombie, without minds of their own. Fela paid a big price for this bold condemnation of the military institution. One thousand members of the Nigerian army attacked and burnt down his house after the release of the record. The tribunal set up to investigate the cause of the attack as a result of the public out-cry against the army, heard, as part of the evidence presented, an example of the Zombie album cover with the military uniform and boots displayed boldly. The army justification of the attack was that Fela treated the military institution with levity.”
The re-release will have a limited edition as only 300 copies of it will be available worldwide.
The album will also feature Mr. Follow Follow.
Click HERE to pre-order.