1001 Albums You Must Hear (and Blog about) Before You Die

My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die

623. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back – Public Enemy

I needed a break from the late seventies, so I opened the book to a random page and happened upon this album. 

Brief Background: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back is the second album from Public Enemy. It was recorded in 1987 (according to Wikipedia, but I would guess 1988 as well), the main group would be on tour and the Bomb Squad would be producing the tracks. When they came back from tours, vocal tracks would be added.  It was released in 1988.

What I think: I’ve never been a fan of Chuck D’s rapping, he’s just not quite smooth enough for me, and so I’ve never payed much attention to Public Enemy. So it was with that mentality that I went into this album and I was sure surprised by how well everything works together on each track. So you have these insane musical tracks with five or six samples per song that are all distorted and made to sound like an air raid, you of course have Chuck D’s shouted raps and then you have Flavor Flav with a sort of… not comic relief… but a release of the tension and it is really amazing how well it all works together. When I would hear a song by them it was just Chuck D’s vocals I would pay attention to and not everything else that would be going on. There really isn’t a bad track on the album, but those that stand out are the ones that break the mold a bit with “Cold Lampin’ With Flavor”, “Terminator X To The Edge of Panic”, the now ironic slam on television trash “She Watch Channel Zero?!” and the fast paced “Night of the Living Basehead”.

Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I love it, it’s aggressive, charged and angry which is the perfect album for how I’m feeling these days.

Rating (Out of 5) 5

Amazon Rating of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back: 5/5

Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (295/379)

Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 78%


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This entry was posted on January 22, 2017 by and tagged , , , , , , .

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