The release of the Beatles-Fela Kuti mashup by DJ Rich Medina and producer Mark Hines worked both lyrically and musically, as Hines told us on The World Thursday.
For me, an avowed Beatles and Fela fan, this is like a musical Reese’s peanut butter cup: two great tastes that taste great together. Perhaps not as much as the originals listened to separately. But still great.The pairing also works from a historical perspective. Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Band on the Run,” which some critics argue is one of the best post-Beatles solo albums to come from any of the Fab Four, was recorded in Lagos, Nigeria.
I’ve even heard that the title came from the sense of constant motion while Wings was in Lagos.
And if you’re looking for anecdotes that serve as a metaphor for the colonial power meeting the colonized (Macca the British proxy, Fela the Nigerian), this is it. Wikipedia’s entry on “Band on the Run” tells the story quite well.
If you want to read more, this article in the Guardian fills in some of the background to Fela’s distaste for foreigners coming to Nigeria.