LOW STOCK LEVEL
Mr Big Mouth
First reissue of this legendary Afrobeat LP from Nigeria, originally recorded in 1975. Produced by Fela Kuti. "Out of print for years, the release of these albums by Lekan Animashaun and Tunde Williams is a welcome addition to the catalogue of available Afrobeat recordings. In Fela Kuti's band Afrika 70, Tunde was the most consistent soloist, and his trumpet improvisations graced virtually all of the band's 1970s recordings. The tracks for Mr. Big Mouth had been recorded in 1975, but by the time they were released in 1977, Fela was engaged in a bitter battle with the original label, Decca Records. As a result, many of Afrika 70's Decca releases from 1977-8 fell through the proverbial cracks, and Mr. Big Mouth was unfortunately one of them. Although it is a great album, it was given little promotion and as a result, is known only to the most committed Afrobeat aficionados, even in Nigeria. The music on Mr. Big Mouth is similar in feel and mood to other Afrika 70 releases from this time on Decca's Afrodisia imprint such as Fela's No Agreement, Stalemate, and Fear Not for Man, and Tony Allen's No Accomodation for Lagos. The title track is typical of Afrika 70's uptempo grooves and like much of Fela's music the lyrics are socially-critical in tone, although unlike Fela's songs, Tunde's lyrics are not directed at the government. Rather, he says the title track was a commentary on 'some of the indigenous contractors at that time. The government would give these contractors money to complete a job, and instead they would take the money and surround themselves with women, fancy clothes, and flashy cars, and go around the town bragging like big shots. The jobs never got done, and many of them ended up going to jail for defrauding the government. That's what I was singing about.' Tunde's mid-tempo instrumental 'The Beginning' is certainly one of the most infectious tracks to come out of Fela's organization. The laid-back Afrobeat groove is dark and suspenseful, and one can easily hear why the song was often played during Afrika 70's warm-up sets, as it perfectly sets the tone for a late, smoky night at the Afrika Shrine. After leaving Fela in 1978, Tunde was in heavy demand as a session trumpeter in Lagos. His credits from this time are numerous, including Manu Dibango's seminal Home Made set (the first of Dibango's LPs to be fully recorded in Africa), and Orlando Julius Ekemode."