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Early Fela Kuti Recordings To Be Released On 10" Vinyl
Christian Eede , August 25th, 2020 16:39

The four tracks date back to 1959 and are coming out as part of Record Store Day

Four early recordings by Fela Kuti are set to be released together on 10" vinyl.

Captured in London in 1959, the tape featuring the recordings of highlife and calypso has, Cadillac Music & Publishing says, "languished in a series of dusty cupboards and damp basements for 60 years," but survived. Now they're seeing the light of day in one collection for the first time as part of a release marking this year's Record Store Day.

The original Melodisc Records single, comprising side A of the release, was thought lost until a copy of the session acetate turned up and was reissued as part of the Soundway's 2014 compilation Highlife On The Move. The two tracks on side B of Cadillac's release have never been issued in any form however.

On the recordings, Cadillac says: "How the session came about is lost to history. We know that the young Nigerian had dropped his medical training and enrolled at Trinity College of Music. He was on the scene, sitting in at jazz gigs and playing at functions.

"At some stage in 1959 he formed his group, The Highlife Rakers, with the guitarist J.K. Braimah and pianist Wole Bucknor. It would seem likely that this is the band on the recordings made in August '59 for Melodisc, but there are no records for the session."

More information on the release can be found here.

Cadillac Music & Publishing will release Fela's First: The Complete 1959 Melodisc Session on August 29, 2020.