“Real Eyes” by Gil Scott-Heron - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1980Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s

TJR says

Released just in time for Christmas was the second album of the year from the 31-year-old singer-songwriter, a record which marked the dawning of a new era in that he was no longer working with Brian Jackson with whom he'd enjoyed a decade-long association, the two having been co-billed on all of the albums since 1974. The gorgeous front-cover featured the real eyes of Gia Louise alongside her daddy! Aw. The set was mostly produced, mixed and engineered by Malcolm Cecil at his Tonto Studio in Santa Monica, CA, in July, 1980, with some additional recording at B.I.D. Studio in Washington, D.C., a few weeks later. Scott-Heron co-produced himself and was backed by Robert Gordon (bass), Kenny Powell (drums), Ed Brady (guitar), Glen Turner (keyboards, harmonica), Ethan Ivy (percussion), Vernon James (saxophone, flute), Carl Cornwell (tenor sax, flute) and Kenny Sheffield (trumpet), known collectively as the Amnesia Express. Bet you'll forget that soon. It's just that little bit more funky, and that little bit better, than the year's earlier album with Jackson, but this is a relative statement as the overall vibe is one of the smoothly-sung jazz and r n b variety. The standout cut is delivered at the very start with “The Train From Washington”, a stinging criticism of how the people are being sold short by the politicians: “You can't depend on the train from Washington, It's one hundred years overdue”. “The Klan” (Inman and Ira, 1963) is best on a poor side two, sticking it to the Ku Klux brigade: “He who rides with the klan, Is a devil and not a man, For underneath his white disguise, I have looked into his eyes”. The front-cover touch was lovely but album closer “Your Daddy Loves You” goes and spoils it all by singing about it. Yuck.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [04:48] 6.5.png Gil Scott-Heron - The Train From Washington (Gil Scott-Heron) Soul
A2 [03:57] 4.2.png Gil Scott-Heron - Not Needed (Gil Scott-Heron) R n B
A3 [04:48] 4.4.png Gil Scott-Heron - Waiting For The Axe To Fall (Gil Scott-Heron) Disco / Funk
A4 [03:41] 3.1.png Gil Scott-Heron - Combinations (Gil Scott-Heron) Jazz
B1 [03:41] 3.9.png Gil Scott-Heron - A Legend In His Own Mind (Gil Scott-Heron) R n B
B2 [06:23] 2.8.png Gil Scott-Heron - You Could Be My Brother (Gil Scott-Heron) R n B
B3 [04:50] 4.6.png Gil Scott-Heron - The Klan (Alan Gray, David Gray) Disco / Funk
B4 [03:17] 3.0.png Gil Scott-Heron - Your Daddy Loves You [album version 1980] (Gil Scott-Heron) Disco / Funk

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