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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Live!

Fela Kuti

1971

Live!

Album Summary

Live! is an album recorded in 1971 by Fela Kuti's band Africa '70, with the addition of former Cream drummer Ginger Baker on two songs. It was released in 1971 by EMI in Africa and Europe and by Capitol/EMI in the United States and Canada. It was reissued on CD by Celluloid in 1987 and was reissued on CD in remastered form by Barclay with a bonus track from 1978. Baker travelled with Kuti into Africa in a Land Rover to learn about the continent's rhythms, as documented in Tony Palmer's film Ginger Baker in Africa (1971). The bonus track on the Barclay CD reissue features a 16-minute drum duet between Baker and Africa '70's drummer Tony Allen recorded at the 1978 Berlin Jazz Festival. The album is on Rolling Stone's list of the 50 greatest live albums of all time. The album is also included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.43

Votes

5846

Genres

  • Funk
  • Soul
  • World
Reviews
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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

I give this 28 stars--one for each of his wives.

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Thu May 27 2021
5

This is why I’m doing this project to hear albums like this that I would never otherwise be exposed. This is awesome from the start.

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Sat Jan 23 2021
3

Day 11 of Albums You Must Hear before you die. This serving is another live album, this one by Fela Ransome-Kuti and The Africa ‘70. It features the former drummer of the British rock band Cream, Ginger Baker. I’ve never heard of Fela Ransome-Kuti, nor do I know anything about Afro Beat music or the culture it rose from. Going in blind on that front! Cream, however, is one of the best bands of the 60’s hard rock era in my opinion. Their songs I’ve known all my life. One of my favorite Rock Gods is Eric Clapton. If I don’t make my personal observation of this album as short and sweet as possible, I won’t be doing either Fela Kuti, nor Ginger Baker their due respect. I’ll tell you this, I was a day late even writing this, because I fell in love with the music so much, that I fell into a research rabbit hole. I dug so deep into the super unlikely collaboration of these two, ummm, shall I say super gifted and influential but a little bit, no joke, bat shit craz... eccentric guys, that I’d have to write and research for years and probably go nuts, too. It’s that wild. That’s all I’ll say. This was a great listen and you must hear it before you die. The percussion alone will get your foot in the door on this album. Everything else is.. good. It’s so good. ✌️

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Fri Jul 16 2021
5

Pues muy bien, variado, rítmico, ecléctico, hipnótico. Sin skips y eso que son canciones re largas y monotonas en ratotes. Fav: el solo de percusiones del final. Mood: johny la gente está muy loca

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Fri Feb 18 2022
5

This album has a fantastic start and then just keeps going. Very funky and jammy with great rhythms. Didn't even notice the songs are 12 min long! Just a fun, and well-rounded album.

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Mon Oct 17 2022
5

I’m not sure what other Fela Kuti records are on this list, so I’m gonna take this opportunity to say that Fela Kuti was a certified badass. A legitimately revolutionary musician, from a political stand point, but also musically. If you’re unfamiliar with him, take a few minutes to read about his career and the oppositional force he was to the oppressive Nigerian government in the 70’s/80’s. Live! might not be his best record (that’s Zombie, or maybe Expensive Shit, in my estimation), but it’s a tight, funky firestorm that doesn’t let up across its 4 tracks.

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Sun Aug 29 2021
4

Good funk afrobeat, but ignore the additional long drum solo tracks from track 5 (original album is 4 tracks)

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

I liked it a lot

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Tue Feb 23 2021
5

Amazing world music. My first listen, but not my partner's.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
5

Best thing i have ever have heard. Transcendental

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Mon Mar 01 2021
5

UFFA! QUÉ CHULADA.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
5

false

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Sun Feb 07 2021
5

I love anything Fela Kuti did. This album is awesome.

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Sun Jan 31 2021
5

Fantastic drumming and percussion, with some horns thrown in for texture. This is the best non-Kanye album on the list so far.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

This album feels like a big jam session and I love it. I love the use of horns and percussion and Ginger Baker on the drums is a great time. Now if only I could understand what he's singing about... Favorite Track(s): "Black Man's Cry" and "Ye Ye De Smell"

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Fri Jul 16 2021
5

Pura energía y talento. Cada pista es un trance distinto. Fela Kuti siempre ha sonado bien y así sonará por los siglos de los siglos, amén (ese solo final de percusiones, uff). 10/10

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

I LOVE this music, it's so catchy and refreshingly different than what I normally listen to, makes me want to dance

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Tue Mar 09 2021
5

Given Ginger Baker was involved, this must have been widely available in 1971. I can't understand someone  hearing it and not searching for more musicians from Nigeria. I ended up finding  Miriam Makeba  before finding Fela. In both cases it was mixed feelings. So glad to have made the discovery but unhappy I hadn't found them a decade or two sooner. What a fabulous LP.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
5

Really enjoyed listening while I was working. Reminded me of ‘Whiplash’!

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Thu Mar 18 2021
5

Groovy!!!

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

Amazing! Love the Afro vibes in everything, specially the vocals. The whole band sounds in the same vibe! I quite enjoy the Funky/Jazzy/Fusion elements and this is a live gig which makes the album much better for the real feel of the genre and the musicians involved. Everything sounds like it should for me. 5 Stars.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
5

Absolutely love it!

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Fri Apr 23 2021
5

Effin awesome energy & groove

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Mon Jul 05 2021
5

Love this album!!!!!!

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Fri May 21 2021
5

Amazing album

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Fri May 14 2021
5

Dude this album fucks. what a cool sound. read up on the artist bio a little, Fela Kuti was a neat man. Wish he hadn't died so soon. Wiki says the genre is afrobeat, really digging it. The Black Man's Cry-man, what a song. the growl in that cry. damn. Ye Ye De Smell-The druuuumms. Whew. Egbe Mio-honestly super funky. i dig. That was real cool man. I knew nothing about afrobeat until today but i enjoyed it. for a live album it was pretty sweet.

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

Totally bitchin from start to finish. Another rare instance where I wanted this album to be twice as long. Working Freeform radio in college, Fela was a name I had heard a bunch, but I don't think I ever sat down and listened to an album before.

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

Gimme this all day. Added to the Drinking and game playing rotation. Good candidate for vinyl purchase

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Fri Jul 30 2021
5

Got my blood pumping

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Fri Aug 06 2021
5

I've got nothing clever or profound to say. Transcendent music.

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Fri Aug 06 2021
5

Well God damn, this was just a bunch of supremely talented musicians going the fuck off for the better part of an hour. The drum solo bonus track is a bit much (as I'm finding bonus tracks to be so far), but the rest just washed over me almost instantaneously. Kuti is an awesome frontman and Paul Simon should've taken some vacation tips from Ginger Baker. Key Tracks: Black Man's Cry, Ye Ye De Smell

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Fri Aug 06 2021
5

I'm a jazz nerd and a drummer this album was unfair to the competition godlike

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Fri Aug 06 2021
5

Thoroughly enjoyable.

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Fri Aug 06 2021
5

A full hour of very good listening. Started how it meant to continue. Initially I was gonna go 4 but I think it's a soft 5

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Tue Aug 24 2021
5

Really impressive album. A good dose of funk, rock, Afrobeat, and soul. The live feel is incredible. Most tracks are too long for quick, casual listening, but otherwise this is a great project.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
5

Não, isto não é só um álbum. "Live!" trata-se um evento histórico de proporções quase inconcebíveis de tão grandes. Sendo um dos primeiros álbuns realizados em parceria por um artista do Ocidente e um do Oriente, o que ocorre aqui é algo muito próximo de uma retratação histórica. O colonizador, representado por Baker, rende-se à beleza da manifestação cultural do colonizado, representado pelo mestre Fela Kuti e decide unir-se ao mesmo sem tentar mudar arte dele de forma alguma, pelo contrário, e sim tentar adequar a sua arte a ela, num balanço perfeito e único. Deu pra ter uma noção do calibre disso tudo ? As faixas não poderiam ser mais surpreendentes, hipnotizantes e emocionantes. Kuti escreve e canta murmúrios em sua língua nativa com uma maravilhosa voz, impondo emoção e tocando o coração não só da platéia (que canta junto na última música do álbum, num dos momentos que mais me emocionaram de tudo que já escutei) mas também do ouvinte, toca seu saxofone e o teclado com uma imponência e uma malemolência (sim, usei essa palavra) que se estende a todo o Africa'70, o que torna os arranjos épicos e dinâmicos. Ginger, por sua vez, encarna o Afrobeat na bateria, inerentemente, com um pouco de seu toque rockeiro, todavia, como mencionei, sempre prejudicar, agregando à experiência e servindo como um excelente Fusion - e as piadinhas que o Kuti faz sobre ele em alguns trechos são de fazer qualquer cidadão de um país que não seja desenvolvido ficar satisfeito e rir junto do público do show e dos instrumentais, incluindo o baterista. Por fim, eis aqui mais um LP que vai pro meu seleto panteão pessoal de "discos perfeitos". Essencial e inesquecível, fez até mesmo, junto do perfeito "Zombie", de autoria também do Fela, o Afrobeat tornar-se, de uma vez, um dos meus gêneros musicais favoritos, pois tem tudo que amo no Jazz e o que não tem lá contudo me agradaria se tivesse. Obrigatório !

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

Flamboyant and beautifully produced. Joyous.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
5

One of the greatest live albums ever

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Wed Nov 17 2021
5

I’ve heard the name but have never listened to Fela Kuti before today. Great performance! Getting deeper into Afro Beat now.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

This was far and away one of the best live recordings I've ever heard! The instruments were all so vibrant it felt like I was actually at the show. And the drum solo at the end was amazing. This is probably my favorite record off this list so far that I hadn't already heard or been aware of already. Pure excellence!

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View Author
Fri Dec 03 2021
5

Stunning AfroBeat album. A truly incredible band joined by a masterful Ginger Baker. Fela Kuti is an iconic figure who inspired a generation and stood for resistance to power through MUSIC. What a force. This sound could start a Revolution and we get to listen. We’ve been blessed.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
5

boom - like it!

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Fri Dec 17 2021
5

Brilliant! 6 stars.

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Mon Dec 20 2021
5

10/5

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Mon Jan 17 2022
5

Love Fela.

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Tue Jan 25 2022
5

Rhythm section so solid

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Wed Jan 26 2022
5

I hadn't really listened to much Fela, but when I heard "Let's start" it kind of blew my mind. The way it opens, the slowdown, the return to the original groove, amazing. The rest of the album doesn't hit those heights but is still awe-inspiring.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

djöfull langar mig á einhverja svona insane live tónleika þetta er epic, groovy as shit tónlist

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Sun Feb 13 2022
5

The definition of what a live album should sound like. An absolute surprising burst of euphoria. This album is why I signed up for this project some 267 days ago. Sure, I've enjoyed revisiting the classic albums I was already familiar with. But the biggest reason lies in the potential discovery of gems I'd never even heard of previously. Like this one.

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Wed Feb 23 2022
5

Awesome. Love fela kuti.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
5

Felt is God

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Tue Mar 08 2022
5

This album took over my body from start to finish. INSANE grooves and musicianship + the brass are perfect. Furthermore, I think this is the best performance I've ever heard of Ginger Baker, who is amongst my best drummers. It instantly became one of my favorite live recording. I will need to buy this live on vinyl.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

Hot, hot, hot afrobeat featuring one of rock's all-time great drummers. The chemistry among all these musicians is unreal, and the product bleeds cool. I would put this among the best live albums I've ever heard.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

Super groovy! Loved it.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

Awesome album!

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

An excellent performance by Fela, and getting this early taste is very illuminating in how he reached stardom in the way he did.

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

Bopping from start to finish. The legend Fela with two legendary drummers on board? Can't get better than that!

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Thu Mar 31 2022
5

What an intro! Great subsequent tracks. Would have loved to watch the concert live

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Fri Apr 08 2022
5

Hah hah, awesome! I'm expecting a bunch of commenters losing their damn minds at the 16 minute long drum solo... I could listen to afrobeat all day, and this is a great example of the genre. Fave track - "Black Man's Cry" - funky as hell!

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Fri Apr 08 2022
5

Fela Kuti clocking in another smooth funk masterpiece. Ginger Baker absolutely kills it on the drums.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

This was great! Way outside the stuff I normally listen to, and I listened to it twice back to back. Killer.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

pesado

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Tue May 03 2022
5

Great!!

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Wed May 04 2022
5

Fela is a god. This album is killer. Another I'll need to pick up on vinyl.

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

Excellent

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

This is what I'm doing this for. Love a bit of Afrobeat and well aware of Fela Kuti's legend (and of course Ginger Baker's) but not got around to listening to many legendary albums. The groove is alive. Oh my god, the drumming. Superb

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Sun Jun 05 2022
5

Wow! This album is hot! Great sounding recording. The horns and drums are off the hook! The patter made it a vibrant, live experience - really enjoyed the call-and-response in “Carry Me I Want To Die.” Happy to have this LIVE! album in the rotation.

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Sun Jun 05 2022
5

I wasn’t at all sure what to expect here, but when they started playing on the first track, I was totally into it! Totally jamming’!

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Sat Jun 11 2022
5

One of the all time great live albums you'll ever hear.

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Tue Jun 14 2022
5

Fantastic music.

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Sat Jul 02 2022
5

Hot damn.

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Thu Jul 07 2022
5

This album is a reminder that I need to explore Fela Kuti so much more. I've listened to an album here or there but really need to dive deeper. This was fantastic.

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Mon Jul 18 2022
5

Kuvittelin itten Pori Jazzeille, viltillä rinteessä, hyvässä seurassa ja Fela Kuti jamittelee päälavalla. Aurinko paistaa ja ukkelilla maailman levein hymy

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

Never did get around to checking out more Fela Kuti since his last awesome album showed up on this last. More of the same - really dug the opening track and enjoyed the second track but not quite as much. Then comes the addition of Ginger Baker - was not aware how good he really was. Damn. Plus the Africa '70 is still killing it. Was feeling like a 4, maybe 4.5 for me but I'm going to round up because this is a live album that doesn't sound live and tired at times.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

I had enjoyed Fela Kuti's "Zombie" album when it came up on randomly on the generator. I really dug the afro-jazz vibe. And now, with Ginger Baker added in to the mix, this made it even better. The bonus track: do we need a 16 minute drum solo? No, but it's still nice to hear. Baker is infamous for this, the song "Toad" by Cream, performed live has a THIRTEEN minute drum solo. So a 16 minute drum duet is no surprise. The other songs are in the same vein as "Zombie," although a bit more scat-singing. So high marks from me!

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Wed Aug 10 2022
5

jaming

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Tue Aug 16 2022
5

I came across this album some time ago as I was exploring Ginger Baker's catalog. I don't get out much to be honest. I was hooked on Fela after one listen of this album and Afrobeat in general for which Fela is the originator. Watch Beware Mr Baker to see more about this album and Ginger, it's worth a watch.

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

Holy crap. I was blown away here. Rated one of the best live albums ever. I didn’t realize Ginger Baker had such chops. This whole album has an underlying jazz feel to it that meets so nicely with Fela Kuti’s music. No complaints.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

Damn this was good. Good vibes all-round.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

That was fun.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

That's cool! I enjoy this fantastic album! I'm giving the best rating. - This outstanding album gives what you expect from this marvellous era. ***** - Great rhythmic patterns and powerful grooves. ***** I can feel the magic, and my feet follow the beats from the first notes of every song. ***** I was looking for something like that. Thank you very much!

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

just wonderful, would have appreciated if spotify would have had all 5 songs and not just 4 but still amazing🥰

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

Classic Afro-beat! Incredible performance. A "must-hear" album.

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

Always love Fela's monster jams. You gotta have some serious fuckin chops to keep up with Fela, and Ginger Baker definitely passes muster.

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

Now this will keep you warm on a cold day! Which it is, very cold today, below zero. I wonder how Tony Allen felt about Ginger Baker treading on his territory. Loved listening to this. Not very familiar with Fela's discography so I am not sure how this sits with the others but the music is undeniably vital, so grooving, I could listen to it all day!

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Thu Sep 15 2022
5

5 Jazz

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

live bands are really hit or miss for me but this one was a pleasant and funky surprise on all fronts. modern day afrobeats has been deservedly taking the world by storm but it's nice to see its forebearers laying the groundwork so to speak

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Tue Oct 04 2022
5

I knew of Fela Kuti from how he influenced later projects by the Talking Heads, but being able to sit down and listen to his stuff from a clean lens is really enjoyable. I love the funk inspired sounds, but I never usually find people capitalize on them well. Fela definitely does.

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Mon Oct 31 2022
5

30 Oct/22: I know next to nothing about Afrobeats as a genre and wow, this album is quite the introduction! Absolutely loved it, this is live music at its best. Standouts after listening to the whole thing once: Black Man’s Cry and the Baker/Allen drum solo. Something that surprised me right from the start is how much the trumpets remind me of the Salsa and Latin sounds of my youth; but of course they’re similar! Cuban salsa especially has a ton of influence from African sounds, so that was a component I held onto while listening to the record and it really enhanced the experience.

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Sat Nov 12 2022
5

Прослушано! Очень круто, прекрасный джазовый альбом.

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Sat Nov 19 2022
5

Fantastic. Utterly inspiring.

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Tue Nov 29 2022
5

Listened through 4 times. Morning, noon or night it's great. Just utterly outstanding danceable music. No, it's not like any Ginger Baker I've heard before, but yes it's as good as every Fela Kuti album I've heard.

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Fri Dec 02 2022
5

Yes these are the albums that make this project worth while. Iv never heard of Fela Kuti before, this is the best African album Iv heard and one of the best live albums. You just can’t help but dance to these songs, the energy is brilliant. And ginger baker on the drums just tops this off, a live album masterpiece.

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Wed Dec 14 2022
5

Very good! Loved it

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Sun Jan 15 2023
5

Ginger Baker an absolute and literal (if the documentaries are to be believed) mad man. What a performance by both of them. Incredible live album and definitely one to listen to again.

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Mon Jan 23 2023
5

excellent.

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Thu Jan 26 2023
5

Drumming

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Sat Jan 28 2023
5

Incredible

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Fri Feb 03 2023
5

Yeye

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Fri Feb 03 2023
5

Magical sound.

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