Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Gil Scott-Heron - 1970 - Small Talk at 125th and Lenox

Gil Scott-Heron 
Small Talk at 125th and Lenox

01. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised 2:46
02. Omen 1:45
03. Brother 2:35
04. Comment #1 4:26
05. Small Talk at 125th & Lenox 1:23
06. The Subject Was Faggots 3:10
07. Evolution (and Flashback) 3:20
08. Plastic Pattern People 2:50
09. Whitey on the Moon 1:57
10. The Vulture
11. Enough 8:37
12. Paint It Black 0:30
13. Who'll Pay Reparations on My Soul? 4:20
14. Everyday 4:20

Gil Scott-Heron: poetry, lyrics, music
Eddie Knowles: conga
Charlie Saunders: conga
David Barnes: percussion, vocal

Where the legend that is Gil Scott-Heron started.  An excellent political and powerful live spoken word album.  Not quite as disturbing and menacing as The Last Poets or The Watts Prophets. There is only one of him, so you don't get that cross shouting and vocal layers that you got with the Poets and the Prophets.  Though the feel of the album is quite mellow the lyrics are very strong and still very relevant, except maybe for "The Subject Was Fagots" which seems out of place on an album about black politics and inner city struggle.

I have very strange feelings. While I love GSH's earnest delivery, I cannot forgive him for The Subject Was Faggots. There's nothing quite as pathetic as a straight man wondering what would happen were he to enter a gay bar (or in this case ball). I can tell you what will happen you ignorant little bitch - nothing. Gay men have no interest in your uptight, straight and narrow minded ass.

I suppose what gets me the most is that GSH is expressing such truths about oppression of a group of people simply because of who they are. The hypocrisy is a little ridiculous.

This being said, at this time GSH was a very angry 21 year old who was probably quite blind to the plights of others. It's a classic example of youth not knowing how to aim anger in the appropriate direction.

As an overall album, I find this to be good but not great. Yes, it's marred by an insensitive three minutes and eleven seconds, but this is still a great example of spoken word expression.

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