Despite being credited to Egypt 80, “Perambulator” – backed with “Frustration” – was almost certainly recorded in January or early February 1977, years before the formation of the band. On the original 1983 release, American trumpeter Lester Bowie, of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, was credited as guest soloist. Bowie stayed with Fela for a few weeks in January and February 1977 and the solo on the title track certainly sounds like him. Further evidence is provided by the lyrics for “Perambulator,” which are a humorous lampoon of incompetent, lazy government bureaucrats, who “perambulate” aimlessly and ineffectually, and waste public money on jollies such as trips to London to study British methods of refuse collection. By the 1980s, Fela’s lyric writing was angrier than this and it is near inconceivable that he would write a light-hearted lyric such as “Perambulator” after the army’s destruction of Kalakuta Republic in 1977.

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