New Chris Martin-Curated Fela Kuti Box Set Out in December

On Wednesday, October 27, Partisan Records announced a new forthcoming box set, Vinyl Box #5, from the famed Nigerian Afrobeat musician, Fela Kuti. The new collection, which was curated by Kuti’s son, Femi, and Chris Martin, the Grammy Award-winning frontman of the British-born band Coldplay.

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Fans can pre-order the box set, which will be released on December 10th and be limited to 4,000 copies worldwide, here.

A release from the record company said, “Partisan Records is proud to announce the long-awaited fifth installment of vinyl reissues from the Fela Kuti catalog. Vinyl Box #5 was co-curated by Fela’s son, world-renowned multi-instrumentalist and Afrobeat ambassador, Femi Kuti, and Chris Martin (Coldplay).”

Included in the box set will be the songs “Why Black Man Dey Suffer,” “Noise for Vendor Mouth,” “Kalakuta Show,” “Excuse O,” “Ikoyi Blindness,” “Original Sufferhead,” and “Overtake Don Overtake Overtake.”

Check out a newly released extended version of Fela’s “Original Sufferhead” here on Bandcamp.

“While preparing the masters for this box set, audio engineer extraordinaire Colin Young discovered four minutes of ‘lost’ material on the B-side of an original 1981 pressing, which includes a superb keyboard solo by Fela that had been omitted from subsequent reissues,” a statement about the release explained. “The restored version used here starts and finishes with Fela’s keyboard work, a typically venturesome blend of futurism and visceralism. This will be the first time since its original release in 1981 that ‘Original Sufferhead’ will be presented in its full-length glory.”

Also included in the box set will be a 20-page full-color booklet featuring introductions by Chris Martin and Femi Kuti; seven in-depth commentaries on each album by veteran music journalist and Afrobeat historian, Chris May; song lyrics; never before published photos of Fela Kuti; and stills taken from the 1982 Fela documentary Music Is The Weapon.

Earlier this year, Fela was among the nominees for the Rock + Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021, coming behind only soul singer, Tina Turner, in the fan vote.

Included in the box set:

• 7 Vinyl LPs:

1. Why Black Man Dey Suffer

2. Noise For Vendor Mouth

3. Excuse O

4. Kalakuta Show

5. Ikoyi Blindness

6. Original Sufferhead

7. Overtake Don Overtake Overtake

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