Recalling his introduction to the Nigerian legend, Eno said:
"I remember the first time I listened [to Fela's album Afrodisiac] and how dazzled I was by the groove and the rhythmic complexity, and by the raw, harsh sounds of the brass, like Mack trucks hurtling across highways with their horns blaring. Everything I thought I knew about music at that point was up in the air again."
With over 50 albums to choose from, Eno narrowed it down to London Scene (1971), Shakara (1972), Gentleman (1973), Zombie (1976), Upside Down (1976), I.T.T. (1980), and of course Afrodisiac (1973). The selection spans the more personal music of Kuti's earlier years, right up to the searing political protest of his later LPs.
Of course, many of us will be familiar with Zombie, the scathing critique of Nigeria's military. However, fewer fans will have heard Eno's selection of Fela's earlier work, which revealed his views of a changing African society and set the tone for the Afrobeat genre.
The box also includes a 12-page full-size booklet with a foreword by Brian Eno, in-depth commentaries about all seven albums written by Afrobeat historian Chris May, plus song lyrics. As a special bonus an exclusive A2 poster is included, and of course all seven LPs come in their own sleeves with the original artwork, so you can marvel at Lemi Ghariokwu's iconic covers again.
The collection is released on the 29 September and will be available on the Knitting Factory website. Also, check out the trailer for Finding Fela, a doc set for release early next month: