Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Soul of the Movement: Another Opposite View

Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

"You will not be able to stay home, brothers.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised."

With that call to arms, writer/singer Gil Scott-Heron's funky masterpiece "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" leapt from the opposite direction of many soul and funk tunes of its era. Although the bass, drum and flute weave a funky web that leaves one's head nodding, the criticisms of race and pop culture cut sharply and by the time he says "women will not care if Dick finally got down with Jane on 'Search for Tomorrow' because black people will be in the streets looking for a brighter day" the militant message is clear. Along with the works by the Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron's recordings of the early '70s provides strong glimpses of the darker themes that would eventually inform hip hop.

2 comments:

fshurrat said...

Got a question. I certainly don't disagree about Scott-Heron and his amazing "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," but why use the second recording of it by Scott-Heron (from Pieces of a Man) instead of the much more powerful first recording, with just percussive accompanyment, from his first lp, Small Talk at 125th and Lennox Avenues?

The Stepfather of Soul said...

Here's the easy (but sad) answer ... this is the version I have handy, and the not-so-easy (and not sad) answer is that I like this version also.