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Liquid Swords

4.8 out of 5 stars 313 customer reviews

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Vinyl, October 25, 2011
$21.86 $24.69
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Editorial Reviews

Liquid Swords is the second solo studio album by American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member GZA, released on November 7, 1995, by Geffen Records. Recording sessions for the album began mid-way through 1995 at producer RZA's basement studio in the New York City borough of Staten Island. The album heavily samples dialogue from the martial arts film Shogun Assassin and maintains a dark atmosphere throughout its course, while it incorporates lyrical references to chess, crime and philosophy. Liquid Swords features numerous guest appearances from the entire nine piece Wu-Tang Clan. Upon its release, Liquid Swords peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200 chart, and number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. On January 11, 1996, it was certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album initially received favorable critical reviews for its lyrical complexity and hypnotic musical style. Over the years, its recognition has grown, with a number of famous publishers proclaiming it as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. In 2007, the Chicago Tribune cited it as "one of the most substantial lyrical journeys in hip-hop history". Along with Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., Liquid Swords is often cited as the best solo work by a Wu-Tang member.
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (October 25, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Get on Down
  • ASIN: B005MIDE44
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (313 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,124 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is a classic. My desert island Wu-Tang pick, simply because everyone else would be packing '...36 Chambers.' And maybe they'd be right...
Liquid Swords- It's one of those albums that bring people into hip-hop, one of those albums that I buy used whenever I see a copy for under 5 bucks, simply so I can give it as a present to a friend who 'doesn't get hip hop.' It's also one of the few hip hop albums that I have on dual formats (CD and vinyl) and tracked down the instrumentals too. It's just that good. It's dark, macabre, over the top and surreal. The RZA's production is top notch, The samples and beats are spare, gritty, rambling, odd- this is ANTI-P.Diddy music. The myriad kung-fu interludes for once don't work against the overall thematic drive, in fact, they heighten the album's doomed theatrics. The whole thing works perfectly. My brother and I have played many games of chess to this masterpiece. Good also for jogging, lifting, washing dishes, playing cards, driving long distancxes with friends chanting the lyrics...
which reminds me- Lyrically, this is just on a different plane. NO ONE sounds like the GZA- he's one of those inimitable individuals who can't help but rock his own way. His flow and verbosity are seldom matched in the arenas of today. I'd say he's up there with KRS-ONE, Guru, Black Thought, Kool G Rap, early Ice Cube, and other originators of all vocal variety.
The GZA ties out with Ghostface as my fave Wu-Tang MC, but Liquid Swords is a far better, denser, tighter, diamond hard album than Ironman (even despite the Al Green samples). Now then- Supreme Clientelle... hmmmm...
In short- all of the best elements of early Wu-Tang, perfectly entwined. If you only have a handful of 'rap' Cds make this one of them!!!!
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Format: Audio CD
Gza is the most lyrically sound emcee in the entire wu tang clan, and im not picking favorites, he is not even my favorite member of the clan. There is almost no doubting his remarkebly easy flow and creavtive metaphors, which can either make you just want to hear more, or rewind it to hear what he just said. While listening to this album, and earing some of his unbelieveably creative rhymes, I wondered how does he come up with these, "Lyrics are weak, like clock radio speakers", is just an example of his creatvity. He has the ability to hit you in all types of places which has been a rare quality in an emcee since the beginning of hip-hop and is completely exstinct in today's rap. Aside from the lyrics, Rza, brings in some of his sickest and his most eerie for this album. Using experimentally spooky and out there sounds to create his unbelieveable beats which are always put together perfectly to allow Gza to flow right over them. Some of the best Wu tang beats of all time are on this album, perhaps many are. Gza also often credits Rza for his insane production, "my sword still remain imperial, Before I blast the mic, RZA scratch off the serial" showing he knows he is not the only reason this album is monumental.
As an emcee, Gza seems to make other rappers on his tracks better lyrically. Notably Inspectah Deck and Method Man. On the albums best song "Cold World", The inspectah virtually outshines Gza which is a complete shock considering how sick Gza's verse is. The inspectah seems to just be a bit hungrier,"No time to freeze undercovers roll up in grand prix and seize packages and pocket the currency, clicks control strips full clips are sprayed, Yellow tape barricades sidewalks where bodies lay". Aside from whose better on the track, the two make the best tag team wu record of all time.
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Format: Audio CD
"When I was litte, my father was famous. He was the greatest Samurai in the empire, and he was the Shogun's decapitator. He cut off the heads of a 131 lords. It was a bad time for the empire..."
With this intro, spoken by a small child over husky, scratched strings, Genius/GZA explodes onto what is possibly one of the finest albums in Wu-Tang's (and therefore hip-hop's) collection. The keyboard loop on the title track builds tension without releasing it, creating an (intentional) musical headache that GZA's voice cures like a double dose of aspirin. The album only goes on from there, with GZA and a few guests riding the dark horse of RZA's production into the sunset. Possibly the peak of Wu-Tang, 'Liquid Swords' still stands as one of the crown jewels of 90's hip-hop, still somewhat undiscovered as it doesn't have the flashy attraction of the other cubic zirconia on record store shelves.
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Format: Audio CD
I don't even know if kids nowadays know about this cd or even this rapper. Basically, this is the best east coast rap cd ever released. Non-commerical, so not many know about it. Listen to the samples on here. Lyrically, it crushes. The entire album is atmopsheric. It's a story. The Gza slashed up buttholes like Mexican food.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm gonna do a track-by-track analysis of Liquid Swords. That's the only way I could to this album justice. This is easily stacks up in the top 3 albums I own, and that' s saying A LOT as I own tons of albums... the only track I didn't like on this was hell's windstaff, which is ironically enough the only skit on this album...

Liquid Swords - 4.75/5

This is an outstanding track and does justice to the "title track" title. I'd have given it a 5/5 were it not for the obnoxiously long 1:33 minute intro. It's an interesting intro to the album, but couldn't that have been a completely separate intro track to begin with? Aside from that though, it's a flawless track. Great hook, great beat, poetic lyrics as deep as the ocean... everything.

Duel of the Iron Mic - 4.5/5

Were it not for Mastah Killah's merely okay verse, this would be my favorite track off the album. Why did he get a verse over Raekwon, Method Man or ODB? Hell, GZA could've done a lot more with the extra space... still, though, there was one big, big reason why this was still a great guest track: Inspectah Deck killed it with a mere 7 bars. So good, in fact, that I need to post them.
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