Pieces of a Man

Pieces of a Man

by Gil Scott-Heron


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Gil Scott-Heron's 1971 album Pieces of a Man set a standard for vocal artistry and political awareness that few musicians will ever match. His unique proto-rap vocal style influenced a generation of hip-hop artists, and nowhere is his style more powerful than on the classic "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Even though the media -- the very entity attacked in this song -- has used, reused, and recontextualized the song and its title so many times, the message is so strong that it has become almost impossible to co-opt. Musically, the track created a formula that modern hip-hop would follow for years to come: bare-bones arrangements featuring pounding basslines and stripped-down drumbeats. Although the song features plenty of outdated references to everything from Spiro Agnew and Jim Webb to The Beverly Hillbillies, the force of Scott-Heron's well-directed anger makes the song timeless. More than just a spoken word poet, Scott-Heron was also a uniquely gifted vocalist. On tracks like the reflective "I Think I'll Call It Morning" and the title track, Scott-Heron's voice is complemented perfectly by the soulful keyboards of Brian Jackson. On "Lady Day and John Coltrane," he not only celebrates jazz legends of the past in his words but in his vocal performance, one that is filled with enough soul and innovation to make Coltrane and Billie Holiday nod their heads in approval. More than three decades after its release, Pieces of a Man is just as -- if not more -- powerful and influential today as it was the day it was released. [BGP's 2014 reissue of the classic album features expansive new liner notes, crisp remastering and three bonus tracks. Taken from recording sessions made after Pieces was finished, the songs feature a reunion of Scott-Heron and Jackson's college-era band Blacks & Blues. With Victor Brown on capable vocals, the songs are less jazz-influenced and more straight-forward soulful, but hit just as hard lyrically. A different version of one, "A Toast to the People" was later included on the duo's From South Africa to South Carolina album , the other two, "Peace" and "Chains," have never been released previously.]

Product Details

Release Date: 03/04/2014
Label: Imports
UPC: 0029667527422
catalogNumber: 1124118
Rank: 24014

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