A really well-chosen set of classic Afro Funk records from Fela Kuti – hand-picked by Idris Elba, and brought together in this limited box set! Open & Close is an early classic from Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – the kind of early 70s record that helped both the leader and the group establish themselves as a global powerhouse of funk and soul! The set begins with the side-long "Open & Close" – a righteous tune that's driven onward by lots of tight drums from Tony Allen – young, focused, and completely amazing here – while Fela delivers all these madly leaping electric piano lines amidst the super-sharp horn section – all moving instrumentally for many minutes before the vocals come into play! Side two features two shorter tracks, but still nice and long in comparison to most funky groups – the wonderful "Swegbe & Pako" and "Gbagada Gbagada Gbogodo Gbogodo" – tunes that really send the record over the top! Fela teams up with vibist Roy Ayers on Music Of Many Colors – one of the best soul collaborations ever – a whopping album that brings together the best sides of these monster soul talents of the 70s! In keeping with Fela's work, the tracks are long and Afro-tinged, with a complicated groove that grows over the length of the track. And in keeping with Roy's work, the album has a sweet soulful feel, with lots of nice jazzy touches, cool vibes, and great vocals by Roy. Two long tracks, both classics
: "2000 Black" and "Africa, Center of the World". Opposite People is seminal work from one of Fela's most crucial periods – recorded at a time when his soul was the deepest! The album features 2 long tracks – "Opposite People" and "Equalisation Of Trouser & Pant" – and they both have beautiful spooky keyboards in the instrumental passages, then leap into hard soul vocals by Fela. Tremendous stuff – done in a style that shows that no matter how many people cop or remake Fela's sound, he's still the best one to do it! The rare Stalemate album features the side-long tracks "Stalemate" and "Don't Worry About My Mouth" – both really hard-driving numbers, with a fantastic mix of vocals and grooves! Live In Amsterdam is an excellent live set from Fela – one that shows that he was still very capable of going over the top during the 80s! The set's a double LP – and it features 4 great numbers by the group, with Fela on soprano sax, piano, and organ, and plenty of other great work on tenor, alto, and trumpet. Titles include "Gimme Shit I Give You Shit", "Custom Check Point", "Movement Of The People", and "Political Statement Number 1". I Go Shout Plenty is a great one from Fela – with a date of 1986, but a sound that's pure late 70s! The record features 2 long tracks – "I Go Shout Plenty" and "Why Black Man Dey Suffer" – and they're both hard groovers with a strong political feel. "Why Black Man" is especially nice, and has some great keyboard riffing in the middle, with that great tinny sound that you'll hear on the best Fela albums. One that we almost never see – and issued on the Decca subsidiary Afrodisia.