The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (album)

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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
TRWNBT album.jpg
Compilation album by Gil Scott-Heron
Released 1974
Recorded 1970–72
Genre Jazz, funk, R&B, proto-rap, spoken word
Length 33:01
Label Flying Dutchman
Producer Bob Thiele
Gil Scott-Heron chronology
Free Will
(1972)
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
(1974)
Winter in America
(1974)
Alternative cover
1988 reissue cover

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is a compilation album by American recording artist Gil Scott-Heron, released in 1974 by Flying Dutchman Records. The album takes its name from Scott-Heron's 1971 song of the same name.[1] It features recordings previously featured on Scott-Heron's first three albums for the Flying Dutchman label, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox (1970), Pieces of a Man (1971), and Free Will (1972),[2] which were produced by jazz producer Bob Thiele.[3] The album's recordings feature musical elements of funk, jazz, and proto-rap.[4]

Release and reception[edit]

When The Revolution Will Not Be Televised was released in 1974, it charted on Billboard's Top Jazz Albums. It peaked at number 21 on October 12 after spending five weeks on the chart.[5] In a contemporary review, Ebony magazine's Phyl Garland called the album "mind-blowing" and said Scott-Heron "does not merely posture and pacify, but presses one to consider the uncomfortable truths of contemporary blackness."[6]

Since then, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised has positive reviews from publications such as The Washington Post and Los Angeles Daily News,[7] the latter of whom gave it an "A"[8] and stated, "the roots of rap run deep through this superb retrospective".[9] Robert Christgau gave it a "B+" in a 1981 review, writing that the compilation abandons the homophobia that plagued Scott-Heron's 1970 debut Small Talk at 125th and Lenox in favor of songs that show artistic progress, including agitprop that sounds less arrogant but still committed and improved singing that reveals his compassion.[10] In his book To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic (2007), William Jelani Cobb said of its significance in hip hop music:

While The Last Poets and This Is Madness pre-dated the beginnings of hip hop, Gil Scott-Heron's 1974 album The Revolution Will Not Be Televised was released as the art form took its first breaths of South Bronx air. Primarily a jazz album, Revolution's claim to the hip hop pantheon was anchored in a title track that found Scott-Heron delivering verse over a hypnotic, funk-indebted bassline—an approach that was so distinct at that point as to warrant classic status.[11]

In a five-star review for the Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (2002), writer Colin Larkin praised Scott-Heron's anger and passion in his spoken-word performances on "No Knock" and the title track.[4] AllMusic's Alex Henderson also gave The Revolution Will Not Be Televised five stars and recommended the album's "innovative R&B and spoken poetry" to listeners interested in "exploring his artistry for the first time".[3]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"   Gil Scott-Heron 3:03
2. "Sex Education: Ghetto Style"   Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson 0:48
3. "The Get Out of the Ghetto Blues"   Scott-Heron, Jackson 4:59
4. "No Knock"   Scott-Heron 1:27
5. "Lady Day and John Coltrane"   Scott-Heron 3:32
6. "Pieces of a Man"   Scott-Heron, Jackson 4:59
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. "Home Is Where the Hatred Is"   Scott-Heron 3:18
8. "Brother"   Scott-Heron 1:42
9. "Save the Children"   Scott-Heron 4:22
10. "Whitey on the Moon"   Scott-Heron 1:26
11. "Did You Hear What They Said?"   Scott-Heron 3:25

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Carmine Coppola – reissue artwork
  • Joe Lopes – remastering
  • Bob Simpson – engineer
  • Stephen Sulke – engineer
  • Bob Thiele – producer, remastering

Charts[edit]

Billboard Music Charts (North America) – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Release history[edit]

Information regarding the release history of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is adapted from Discogs.[12]

Region Year Label Format Catalog
United States 1974 Flying Dutchman Records vinyl LP BDL 1-0613
Spain 1975 RCA Records vinyl LP, Spanish edition DBL 1-0613
Germany 1988 BMG remastered CD 6994-2-RB
United States 1988 RCA vinyl LP NL 86994
United States 1988 BMG vinyl LP DRL 11798
Germany 1989 RCA CD ND86994
United States 1998 BMG reissued LP DRL11798

Sample use[edit]

The information regarding sampling of songs from The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is adapted from TheBreaks.com.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Taylor, Patrick. Review: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. RapReviews. Retrieved on 2009-07-31.
  2. ^ Dellar, Fred. Review: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2009-07-31.
  3. ^ a b Henderson, Alex. Review: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-07-31.
  4. ^ a b Larkin, Colin. "Review: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music: March 1, 2002.
  5. ^ a b "Best Selling Jazz LPs". Billboard: 36. October 12, 2004.
  6. ^ Garland, Phyl. "Review: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". Ebony: 30. December 1974.
  7. ^ Harrington, Richard. "Review: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". The Washington Post: June 30, 1998.
  8. ^ Columnist. "Review: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". Los Angeles Daily News: September 2, 1988.
  9. ^ Columnist. "Review: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". Los Angeles Daily News: December 30, 1988.
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Gil Scott-Heron". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. New Haven: Ticknor & Fields. p. 346. ISBN 0-89919-025-1. 
  11. ^ Cobb (2007), pp. 43–44.
  12. ^ The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Album, Comp). Discogs. Retrieved on 2009-07-31.
  13. ^ Rap Sample Search: Gil Scott-Heron. TheBreaks. Retrieved on 2008-09-25.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]