Welcome to the January edition of Five Favourites. See below some excellent covers which have moved me rather this month.

Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (2021)

I saw Little Simz be awarded best female act at the Mobo awards in December and have enjoyed this album repeatedly since. The cover is excellent to me, pops of colour, well crafted wooden chair and excellent hair, which is itself a form of art. Great cover and album.

Femi Kuti – Femi Kuti (1995)

This album from Fela’s eldest son is extraordinary. I love the cover in the first instance, the outline of the continent of Africa singed into a burlap fabric with the artist in the middle creates quite an arresting effect. His resemblance to Fela is also quite arresting. An overall great cover.

Paul Simon – the Rhythm of the Saints (1990)

The Rhythm of the Saints, Simon’s first collection of new material in four years, extends his reach not only further into the riches of world-beat music but further into the realm of the spiritual. Rolling Stone

Perhaps there will be more on this album later in the month… However I wanted to highlight this. Simon ended up traveling to Brazil four times between 1988-89, discovering street sounds that would shape The Rhythm of the Saints – this indeed has featured on this cover with two Brazilians running. I admit to not being able to find out much on the origin of the cover but it is still excellent and catches the essence of the album.

Tony Allen – Progress (1979)

Tony Allen is one of Nigeria’s foremost drummers, having played on top 5 favourite album, Live! with Fela Kuti and Ginger Baker. He took over the Afrika 70 and made this excellent album which bears repeat listening. The cover is close to Fela’s own covers, showing clearly the struggles of the masses to climb the ladder. An expressive cover which merits a spot here.

Seun Kuti – Black Times (2018)

The final Fela of this post will be Kuti Snr.’s youngest son, who took over Fela’s band the Egypt 80 when he was just 14! This 2018 cover is arresting, featuring a fat cigar and Jean Paul Goude esque sectioning of the facial features. Overall a strong cover which takes the listener in.

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of five favourites!