Fela Kuti: Opposite People / Sorrow Tears and Blood

Fela Kuti
Opposite People / Sorrow Tears and Blood
(Knitting Factory Records)

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This album is another indictment of the Nigerian military and their impact on society. Fela is making a statement that all they contribute to the world are sorrow, tears and blood– something with which he has first-hand experience. The musical backdrop is a down-tempo, melancholy composition that suggests impending terror and doom. Fela sings about the fear and dread the army inspires among the Nigerian people. He says, “They leave sorrow tears and blood” and the chorus responds, “Their regular trademark.” Having suffered firsthand through the violence and oppression of the Nigerian military, he speaks from a perspective of authority on the issue. This song has a dark, ominous vibe, which foretells that an off-putting future is in store.

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