Knitting Factory Records
Original Sufferhead begins with a minimal and otherworldly improv with a Fela’s new band, Egypt 80, before building up into a bold, intricately structured Afrobeat anthem decrying the situation of the masses in Nigeria. “Let’s sing a nice song together,” Fela suggests, as the chorus parallels the agile melody of his of sax. He then, with the help of the chorus, launches into a list of the problems that plague the people: no water supply, the exorbitant price of living, no health care, double digit inflation. The B-side, Power Show, builds on the same theme, highlighting the ruling class oppression of the masses. The lyrics tell the story of a rich man in a fancy car that, pulling alongside a poor man traveling alone, verbally abuses the man. Fela calls this the “Power Show”, and excoriates the behavior – it’s not the right thing to do for your fellow human being.
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