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Fela Kuti - Beasts of No Nation LP
Knitting Factory Records
After helping Fela Anikulapo Kuti with Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense, Wally Badarou was back in the producer's chair for this effort, which was political in the extreme. That is to say, Kuti was in an extremely confrontational mood. The cover pictures former South African president P.W. Botha, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan as horned vampires with blood dripping from their mouths. The music is more of the same, the grooves are typically sinuous, but the lyrics are venom-filled with Kuti referring to the aforementioned trio as "Animals wan dash our human rights." After a few so-so records in the early '80s, Beasts of No Nation was a strong (at times stunning) return to form for Kuti and signaled that his political beliefs kept him from becoming musically lazy.