Fela Kuti Fear Not For Man on LP
Almost two decades after his death, vindication has come to Fela Kuti, Africa's musical genius. AfroBeat, his gift to the world, is now an international staple on his own uncompromising terms, social content intact. Throughout his life, Fela contended that AfroBeat was a modern form of danceable, African classical music with an urgent message for the planet's denizens. Created out of a cross-breeding of Funk, Jazz, Salsa and Calypso with Juju, Highlife and African percussive patterns, it was to him a political weapon.
Fear Not For Man was one of the first albums to be released by Fela following the sacking of his Kalakuta Republic compound by 1,000 soldiers in February 1977. Fela, along with many other Kalakuta residents, was brutally beaten; his mother, then aged 77, was thrown out of a window, fracturing a leg. The army set fire to the compound, destroying six Afrika 70 vehicles, all Fela's master tapes and band equipment, a four-track recording studio, and all the community members' personal belongings.
It is doubtful, contrary to some sources, that Fear Not For Man was recorded after the attack – doubt which isn't dispelled by the gruesome front sleeve design, showing blood flowing down Fela's face. His response came later, on albums such as Unknown Soldier (1979) and Coffin For Head Of State (1980); Fela's practice of no longer performing a song live once he had released it on record is the reason for the two/three year gap between the attack and the release of these albums.