On the Corner

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On the Corner
Miles Davis On The Corner.jpg
Studio album by Miles Davis
Released October 11, 1972[1]
Recorded June 1, 6 and July 7, 1972
Columbia Studio E, New York City
Length 54:49
Label Columbia
Producer Teo Macero
Miles Davis chronology
On the Corner
Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[3]
JazzTimes (favorable)[4]
Robert Christgau B+[5]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[6]
Spin 5/5 stars[7]
Stylus Magazine (favorable)[8]
Penguin Guide to Jazz 2.5/4 stars [9]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide 3/5 stars[10]

On the Corner is a studio album by jazz musician Miles Davis, recorded in June and July 1972 and released later that year on Columbia Records. It was scorned by established jazz critics at the time of its release and was one of Davis's worst-selling recordings. Its critical standing has improved dramatically with the passage of time; it is now widely considered one of Davis's most experimental releases and a strong forerunner of the musical techniques of post-punk, industrial, hip hop, drum and bass, and electronic music.[4][11][2]

Joining previous multi-disc Davis reissues of In a Silent Way, A Tribute to Jack Johnson, and Bitches Brew, On the Corner was reissued on the 6-disc boxed set The Complete On the Corner Sessions, released in September 2007.


Davis claimed that On the Corner was an attempt at reconnecting with the young African American audience which had largely forsaken jazz for such groove-based idioms as soul, funk and rock. Much to his chagrin, the album's commercial success was as limited as that of other albums since Bitches Brew, topping the Billboard jazz chart and only peaking at #156 in the more heterogeneous Billboard 200.[12]

While there is a discernible rock and funk influence in the timbres of the instruments employed, the album was a culmination of sorts of the musique concrète approach that Davis and producer Teo Macero (who had studied with Otto Luening at Columbia University's Computer Music Center) had begun to explore in the late 1960s. Both sides of the record were based around drum and bass grooves, with the melodic parts snipped from hours of jams. Also cited as musical influences on the album by Davis were the contemporary composer Karlheinz Stockhausen,[13][14] who later recorded with the trumpeter in 1980,[15] and Paul Buckmaster (who played electric cello on the album and contributed some arrangements).

Buckmaster and Davis also recorded the song "Ife" in a session during the same period. The song failed to make On The Corner but instead appeared on Big Fun in 1974; it is possible that it wasn't included on the previous because of time constraints.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Miles Davis.

Side one
No. Title Recording date Length
1. "On the Corner/New York Girl/Thinkin' One Thing and Doin' Another/Vote for Miles"   June 1, 1972 20:02
2. "Black Satin"   July 7, 1972 5:20
Side two
No. Title ... Length
3. "One and One"   June 6, 1972 6:09
4. "Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X"   June 6, 1972 23:18



  1. ^ Miles Davis.com
  2. ^ a b Reynolds 2011, p. 182.
  3. ^ Jurek, Thom (2011). "On the Corner - Miles Davis | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Chinen, Nate (October 2007). Review: The Complete On the Corner Sessions. JazzTimes. Retrieved on 2011-02-12.
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: Miles Davis". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Gleason, Ralph (2011). "On The Corner by Miles Davis | Rolling Stone Music | Music Reviews". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Hermes, Will (November 2007). "Review: The Complete On the Corner Sessions". Spin: 124.
  8. ^ Smith, Chris (2011). "Miles Davis - On The Corner - On Second Thought - Stylus Magazine". stylusmagazine.com. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Acclaimed Music - On the Corner". acclaimedmusic.net. 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Swenson, J. (Editor) (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 58. ISBN 0-394-72643-X. 
  11. ^ Tingen, Paul (October 26, 2007). The most hated album in jazz. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2011-02-12.
  12. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/on-the-corner-mw0000197892/awards
  13. ^ "Miles Davis first heard Stockhausen's music in 1972, and its impact can be felt in Davis's 1972 recording On the Corner, in which cross-cultural elements are mixed with found elements." Barry Bergstein "Miles Davis and Karlheinz Stockhausen: A Reciprocal Relationship." The Musical Quarterly 76, no. 4. (Winter): p. 503.
  14. ^ In Davis' autobiography he states that "I had always written in a circular way and through Stockhausen I could see that I didn't want to ever play again from eight bars to eight bars, because I never end songs: they just keep going on. Through Stockhausen I understood music as a process of elimination and addition" (Miles, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989, p. 329)
  15. ^ "In June of 1980, Miles Davis was joined by the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen in the studios of Columbia Records; the recording of this collaboration is still unissued." Barry Bergstein "Miles Davis and Karlheinz Stockhausen: A Reciprocal Relationship" The Musical Quarterly Vol. 76, No. 4 (Winter, 1992), p. 502

External links[edit]