Personnel includes: Fela Kuti (vocals, alto & tenor saxophones, piano); Ogene Kologbo, Leke Benson (guitar); Christopher Uwaifor (tenor saxophone); Lekan Animashaun (baritone saxophone); Tunde Williams (trumpet); Franco Aboddy (electric bass); Tony Allen (drums); Henri Kafi, Nicholas Addo (congas); Isaac Olaley (maracas).
Producer: Fela Kuti.
Reissue producer: Jean-Pierre Haie.
Engineers include: Demola Odebiy.
Recorded in 1975. Includes liner notes by Jacqueline Grandchamp-Thiam, Michael A. Veal & Rikki Stein.
Digitally remastered by John Perce Ali Bears.
Personnel: Fela Kuti (vocals, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano); Oghene Kologbo (tenor guitar); Christopher Uwaifor (tenor saxophone); Lekan Animashaun (baritone saxophone); Stephen Ukem, Tunde Williams (trumpet); Franco Aboddy (bass guitar); Tony Alen (drums); Henry Kofi, Nicholas Addo (congas).
Audio Mixer: Demola Odebiyi.
Arranger: Fela Kuti.
Newcomers to the music of Fela Kuti are faced with some difficult choices since the late-1990s/early-2000s reissues of his string of classic '70s albums (the reissues put two records back-to-back). In truth, they're all good, so it is hard to go wrong picking one at random. Still, EXPENSIVE SHIT/HE MISS ROAD is arguably one of his best. In addition to its burbling percussive groove, infectious horn melodies, and Fela's inspired vocal performance, the anecdote behind the title cut is an amusing tale involving the Nigerian authorities' raid of Fela's home compound, during which he was framed for the possession of marijuana. (Fela ultimately escaped charges.)
The rest of the disc--the keyboard-and horn-dominated instrumental "Water No Get Enemy," HE MISS ROAD's subtly grooving title track, the loping "Monday Morning in Lagos" and the staccato "It's No Possible"--continues in classic Afrobeat style. Even decades later, this collection plays like revolutionary music--free, defiant, pleasure-giving, and full of passion and conviction.
CMJ (4/24/00, p.24) - "...These percolating, horn-heavy grooves simmer while Fela lays down his trademark rants, often in deliberately skewered pidgin English....totally unstoppable in its mix of music and message..."
Down Beat (4/01, p.76) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...His mixture of raw energy and sophistication is as remarkable today as it was when he first put it all on wax..."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/95, p.112) - "...[HE MISS ROAD is] a high-stamina example of the usual Afro-jazz chugging with organ jabbing, horns having sudden aggressive outbursts and Fela's spontaneous ranting spat out towards all adversaries."
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