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It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us BackRanked 78/500 On Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.
I hated that record, said Public Enemy's Chuck D. Believe it or not, he's referring to Bring the Noise, the frenetic first track of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, the group's 1988 agit-rap masterpiece and breakthrough album. Public Enemy had recorded the song in October 1987 for the soundtrack of the forgettable Less Than Zero. When Chuck (a.k.a. Carlton Ridenhour) first heard the final version, he said, I practically threw it out the window.
He changed his mind later that year when Public Enemy were on tour in England. I kept hearing people ask, 'What's this record you've got out? People are going crazy over it,' he remembered. I was like 'OK, pull that acetate out, and let's play it [in concert].' People went berserk.
Bring the Noise, along with Rebel Without a Pause and Don't Believe the Hype - all conceived in 1987 at the group's Hempstead, Long Island, studio, Spectrum City - would become the foundation of It Takes a Nation of Millions, an album that's loud, obnoxious, funky, avant-garde, political, uncompromising and hilarious all at once. Chuck may have been disgruntled over Bring the Noise, but he always liked Rebel Without a Pause, the track that introduced Public Enemy's trademark sirenlike horn squeals. Hank Shocklee of PE's production team, the Bomb Squad, says that Rebel started out as a response to Eric B. and Rakim's I Know You Got Soul. We were going for something that had the same feel but with more aggression, Shocklee said. Because we were angry.
For Rebel, PE coupled piercing squeals (a snippet from the J.B.'s' The Grunt played backward) with James Brown's Funky Drummer (Because that song was my milk, said Shocklee). Then it fell on Chuck to write the lyrics. I remember locking myself in the house for 24 hours, Chuck said. He emerged with verses that emulated Rakim's off-the-rhythm flow but stayed true to his own booming-baritone persona (Soul, rock & roll, comin' like a rhino); Chuck also dropped the name of black activist Joanne Chesimard, hinting at the political direction that his rhymes would soon take.
Don't Believe the Hype, recorded just before Bring the Noise, was Chuck's first foray into full-fledged polemics, in this case against the media. The lyrics were inspired by a slight against Chuck by New York-area radio DJ Mr. Magic. PE had serious doubts about that song, too. We thought 'Hype' was just garbage, said Shocklee. Again, they saw the response the song got when DMC (of the group Run-DMC) blasted the track out of his Bronco in Harlem on a Saturday night. The whole block was grooving to it, says Shocklee.
In January 1988, it all fit together. You had the combination of the noise from 'Rebel,' says Chuck, the tempo of 'Bring the Noise' and the subject matter of 'Don't Believe the Hype.' It set off Takes a Nation pretty nice.
- Rolling StoneLP 1
1. Countdown To Armageddon
2. Bring The Noise
3. Don't Believe The Hype
4. Cold Lampin' With Flavor
5. Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic
6. Mind Terrorist
7. Louder Than A Bomb
8. Caught, Can We Get A Witness?
1. Show 'Em Whatcha Got
2. She Watch Channel Zero?!
3. Night Of The Living Baseheads
4. Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos
5. Security Of The First World
6. Rebel Without A Pause
7. Prophets Of Rage
8. Party For Your Right To Fight$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Following 3 studio albums with original material (all available on Music on Vinyl) Rage Against The Machine
offered a tribute to their musical heroes, showing a broad variety in their favourite artists and genres. The
album (rel. 2000) proved to be their latest studio album and includes songs originally made famous by artists
like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Minor Threat, Eric B. & Rakim, EPMD, MC5, The Rolling Stones, Cypress
Hill, Devo and Afrika Bambaataa.
Instead of just giving each song the hard-riffing-and-rapping treatment, each song is treated differently,
resulting in a musically varied album. For instance, Renegades of Funk and ´Microphone Fiend´ have never
been rocked so hard before, whereas The Ghost of Tom Joad is Rage Against The Machine more subtle than
youve ever heard before!Side A
Pistol Grip Pump
Kick Out The Jams
Renegades Of Funk
In My Eyes
How I Could Just Kill A Man
The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Down On The Street
Street Fighting Man
Maggie's Farm$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
City LifeCity Life, arguably The Blackbyrds' best album, hit #1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart and #3 on the Billboard Soul Chart upon its original release in 1975.
Produced by legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd, the album showcases The Blackbyrd's' unique jazz-funk crossover sound and includes the runaway
hits Happy Music and Rock Creek Park, which stand even today as pinnacles of the '70s jazz-funk movement. A testament to its lasting appeal, Rock
Creek Park from the City Life album has been sampled numerous times by groups such as De La Soul, Eric B. & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, N.W.A,
Massive Attack, Ice Cube, Heavy D, Nas and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Tone Loc and most recently, Wiz Khalifa. This often-sublime album
is primed for rediscovery by fans of '70s funk, soul, jazz and fusion.1. Rock Creek Park
2. Thankful 'Bout Yourself
3. City Life
4. All I Ask
5. Happy Music
6. Love So Fine
7. Flying High
8. Hash Aand Eggs$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Beyond UglyDomino is proud to present the third album, Beyond Ugly, from the Bristol, UK duo of Malachai.
Beyond Ugly is the last panel in the band's Ugly triptych and that it was completed at all came as a
shock to all concerned, least of all the group. After the conclusion of the campaign for their sophomore
album, Return To The Ugly Side, members Gee Ealey and Scott Hendy drifted apart with no definitive
plans to take up arms together. It was a chance meeting in Bristol that drew the two back into one
another's orbit and to the realization that there was some unfinished monkey business. The duo reengaged slowly, simply working up a track at a time, more for the cathartic act of creating good music
rather than the artificial construct of "delivering an album." Lo and behold, the creative process built
an inertia of its own and Beyond Ugly began to take shape.
And what a fine shape it is... Beyond Ugly recaptures the sonic stew of debut album, The Ugly Side
Of Love, a potent of brew of post-summer of love and some good ol' Bristol-fashion psychedelic
comedown. However, there's a healthy dose of renewed restlessness and anger emanating from Ealey
that permeates the album thanks to some spirited vocal performances, from the anthemic and vengeful
soliloquy of "Sweet Flower" to the civilly disobedient "I Deserve To No."
Of course, Malachai isn't a one-man show. As Rakim had Eric B... Hendy, the duo's musical director, has
truly outdone his past efforts and provides a sturdy musical platform from which Rev. Ealey delivers his
sermons, whether the occasion calls for an exotic sturm-und-clang ("I Deserve To No") or a genteel softshoe waltz ("Hear It Comes").
Malachai have always enjoyed // suffered the curse of being a "musician's band." Geoff Barrow of
Portishead originally released The Ugly Side Of Love on his Invada imprint before Domino swooped
in and there was no bigger proselytizer of Malachai's prowess than Sergio Pizzorno of Kasabian and
both take their support a step further with guest appearances on "Dragons Ball" and "The Love"
respectively. Additionally, "Segs" Jennings, bassist from punk legends The Ruts joins the fray on
The album concludes with a montage of hallucinations from across the band's discography before what
can be best described as the ominous twilight tranquility of "End." Is this really where the Malachai
story ends? As shown by the creative triumph of Beyond Ugly, sometimes it's best not to plan at all and
just let it happen. We'll do our best to let you know when it does.1. Sweet Flower
2. Don't Try This At Home
3. Dragons Ball
5. Hear It Comes
6. I Deserve To No
7. White Nuthin' Sky
8. The Love
10. Dark Before The Dawn
12. Down To Earth$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Tougher Than LeatherToo many people sleep on Tougher Than Leather, Run-DMC's fourth album. But hear us out as we plead the case for this amazing LP.
By 1988 there was a lot more competition in the rap game - Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Eric B. & Rakim, Ice-T and many more had given Hollis, Queens' prodigal sons lots of competition. But Joe, Darryl, and Jay were still at the top of their game, and hip-hop fans should never let this classic - chiefly produced by their Queens neighbor, DJ and multi-instrumentalist Davy D[MX] - get lost in their crates.
For starters, the album's first single, "Run's House" b/w "Beats To The Rhyme" is arguably the most powerful one-two punch of the trio's career, showing contenders to the rap throne that they could still destroy a beat, tag-teaming with power at any speed. Not to be lost in the shuffle, fans were also reminded on both sides that Jam-Master Jay remained one of the world's best DJs, flexing the pinnacle of what would be called "turntablism" a decade later. Both songs show a musical telepathy between all three that has rarely been equaled.
The second single, "Mary, Mary," driven by an infectious Monkees sample, took a different approach, shrewdly ensuring that pop fans who jumped on the Raising Hell bandwagon had something to chew on. But, like "Walk This Way," the song wasn't just bubblegum - there was an edge to it, and the lyrical gymnastics were very real. It wasn't selling out, it was allowing fans to buy in. "Papa Crazy," driven in concept and by a sample from the Temptations' "Papa Was A Rolling Stone," followed a similar pop-leaning path.
Overall, the lyrical content on the album was a step up from the group's first three LPs. It's easy to infer, looking back, that they were feeling the heat from their younger competitors in the rap game. The genre was changing fast, and they were up to the challenge. On cuts like "Radio Station," they bring substance to the grooves, by attacking Black Radio for its continual denigration of rap. "Tougher Than Leather" reminds the world that they were still the Kings of Rock, with hard guitars to drive the point home. And "They Call Us Run-DMC" and "Soul To Rock And Roll" both bring things back to their early days, with sure-fire park jam rhymes and killer cuts.
Tougher Than Leather, which went platinum up against a lot of competition, perfectly bookends the '80s output of one of the decade's most important groups. It encompasses the full range of the trio's capabilities and reminds us that Run-DMC should never be forgotten as both pioneers and party-rockers. And so, we say, long live Joe, Darryl, and Jay!1. Run's House
2. Mary, Mary
3. They Call Us Run DMC
4. Beats To The Rhyme
5. Radio Station
6. Papa Crazy
7. Tougher Than Leather
8. I'm Not Going Out Like That
9. How'd Ya Do It Dee
10. Miss Elaine
11. Soul To Rock And Roll
12. Ragtime$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now