“Pieces Of A Man” by Gil Scott-Heron - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1971Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

Had I been there at the time, after the hard-hitting rap debut I'd have been kinda hoping that Scott-Heron might have delved deeply into a JBs-style brand of deep and heavy funk. Alas, this was not the option that he mainly preferred, and the crucial, career-defining decision was made to team-up with keyboardist / flautist / composer Brian Jackson; a jazz-tinged future was assured. Which is not to say, the funk style was ignored - far from it. Side one delivers some great treasure in this regard; “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” and “When You Are Who You Are” are both hard-hitters. And what can I say about the album's opener? Well, for starters, I reckon it to be the greatest Disco / Funk song of all-time.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” ain't no party, ain't no disco, ain't no fooling around. It's the burgeoning sound of rap-funk, the sound of angry working class America, and in particular black America. Re-recorded from the sparse bongo drums version from his debut album in 1970, the definitive version was released right here, and was the only political song in the set; “the least inventive one on the album was the one that was the most heralded” rued Scott-Heron. Groan… I'd like to think he was secretly pleased anyway. His lyrical jabs and sneers were delivered stream-of-social-consciousness style, ducking like a butterfly, stinging like a bee, on his toes every round. The message is clear - do not get lost in the debilitating stupor of pop culture frivolity; wake up and smell the coffee, there's corruption all around and it's working against you, get active. Brothers and sisters, there will be no highlights on the 11 o'clock news, the revolution will be live. And you can dance to it. Bonus.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:59] 9.9.png Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised [album version ’71] (Gil Scott-Heron) Disco / Funk
A2 [04:55] 4.7.png Gil Scott-Heron - Save The Children (Gil Scott-Heron) Soul
A3 [03:10] 5.0.png Gil Scott-Heron - Lady Day And John Coltrane (Gil Scott-Heron) Jazz
A4 [03:15] 7.0.png Gil Scott-Heron - Home Is Where The Hatred Is [original album version] (Gil Scott-Heron) Disco / Funk
A5 [03:01] 6.5.png Gil Scott-Heron - When You Are Who You Are (Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson) Disco / Funk
A6 [03:45] 5.4.png Gil Scott-Heron - I Think I’ll Call It Morning (Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson) Soul
B1 [04:22] 5.1.png Gil Scott-Heron - Pieces Of A Man (Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson) Jazz
B2 [04:05] 4.6.png Gil Scott-Heron - A Sign Of The Ages (Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson) Jazz
B3 [03:08] 4.5.png Gil Scott-Heron - Or Down You Fall (Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson) Jazz
B4 [04:01] 5.8.png Gil Scott-Heron - The Needle’s Eye (Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson) Disco / Funk
B5 [08:39] 5.2.png Gil Scott-Heron - The Prisoner (Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson) Jazz

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