The full version of this track runs to around twelve and a half minutes. According to the Tejumola Olaniyan biography Arrest the Music! Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics
, "Zombie" gave the youth of Africa "a handy concept that dramatized the intellectual shallowness of the military dictatorships rampaging the continent."
It is clear to anyone who knows anything about the man and his music what inspired this song. On February 18, 1977, Fela's residence was sacked by nearly a thousand soldiers. "Residents - including Fela - and guests were brutally beaten and bayoneted and scores ended up with broken heads, legs, backs, shoulders, arms, and ribs; women were sexually assaulted; Fela's ailing mother... was tossed from a second-floor window; and the house itself was razed."
When Fela performed this song the following year in Accra, the capital of neighboring Ghana, riots broke out, and he was deported and banned from the country.
Alexander Baron - London, England