After years of artists borrowing his ideas or appropriating his jams, it can seem as though Fela Kuti is as commonplace in the modern music fan’s collection as The Beatles or Stevie Wonder. But only a fraction of his music has actually been readily available on music nerds’ format of choice, the vinyl record, and most of his songs have probably never been heard before by most people on any format. In fact, our very own contributing style editor Mobolaji Dawodu, who grew up near Kuti’s Shrine in Lagos and wrote about it in FADER #67, says the Kuti family doesn’t even have some of these albums on vinyl. So needless to say, these records are treasures.
Knitting Factory Records, in a somewhat unbelievable feat, is releasing all 45 of Kuti’s albums on wax, in addition to the first-ever Stateside release of his ’60s band, Koola Lobitos. And yet somehow they still had something special left over for the upcoming Record Store Day on April 17th, which is the annual celebration of physical storefronts filled with people who like to sell you awesome music that makes you happy. The extremely limited, 140-gram, 10-inch EP will feature Kuti’s “My Lady Frustration” and “Wayo” on the A-side and “Lover”/”Eko” on the flip, and you’ll be able to buy it at your local participating indie record store as long as supplies lasts.
As if you needed more incentive, after the jump, Questlove makes his own case for Fela and mixes together a few of his favorites. Go get that and support record stores wherever you live.