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Pieces of a Man

4.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Pieces Of A Man by Gil Scott-Heron

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
  2. Save The Children
  3. Lady Day And John Coltrane
  4. Home Is Where The Hatred Is
  5. When You Are Who You Are
  6. I Think I'll Call It Morning
  7. Pieces Of A Man
  8. A Sign Of The Ages
  9. Or Down You Fall
  10. The Needle's Eye
  11. The Prisoner


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 23, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Mod - Afw Line
  • ASIN: B000005MLZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,357 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tyler Smith on December 8, 1999
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is a terrific introduction to GSH's stuff and in my opinion his best album overall, edging out "Winter in America" and "South Africa to South Carolina," and the Flying Dutchman classic "The Revolution Will Not be Televised."
No, you will not hear Gil's poetry set to a spare percussion background, a la "Whitey on the Moon," "Brother," and "No Knock." That is a drawback, and be sure go to the Flying Dutchman record for that. But what you will get is beautiful writing backed by a strong band. And Gil's voice was in great form on this album; this is unfortunately no longer true.
There isn't a weak tune, but several stand out: the poignant "Home is Where the Hatred Is"; the uplifting "I Think I'll Call It Morning"; the spellbinding "The Prisoner"; and of course the classic "Revolution Will Not be Televised," which could teach any number of lame present-day rappers how it once was done.
Buy it, put it on, and then lean back and enjoy hearing one of the most compelling voices ever to come out of music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a superb CD that has only improved with age. Backed by a truly stellar ensemble including Brian Jackson, Ron Carter, "Pretty" Purdie, Burt Jones, and Hubert Laws - poet, composer, and singer Gil Scott-Heron showcases all his talents - in a diverse array of settings. If you're not sold after the first four songs - well - perhaps you'll enjoy Pat Boone's new box set, "A Musical Tribute To Turn-Of-The-Century Plantation Life."

Scott-Heron is consistently smart and with-it, yet, he is emotionally clear, brave, and open. Scott-Heron understands that songwriting requires deceptive simplicity, and he manages this nearly impossible trick effortlessly. There is beauty and feeling in every track, but there is also raw emotion - this is inspiring music. Songs like Save The Children, Lady Day And John Coltrane, Home Is Where The Hatred Is, and Pieces Of A Man, go straight to the heart. Scott-Heron is no Marvin Gaye (who is?) but his voice is a wonderful, expressive instrument and he applies powerful feeling to the words he crafted.

The album was marginalized because few people made it past the fabulous first track, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. While a few of the references have become obscure, this splendidly idiosyncratic track has lost none of its bite, wit, and irony. This is poet Scott-Heron in full flower - and don't think he's just another angry black guy - his intelligence is such that he casts his jaundiced eye at all 360 degrees of the circle. The comparison between this brilliant, minor masterpiece and what is referred to as "rap" or "hip/hop" is as inevitable as it is depressing. Put this work up against the best example of rap you can find and it's easy to see how terribly wrong things have gone.
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By A Customer on July 30, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This music ,these words, tell a story of despair, rage, outrage, and hope when the ghettos were still burning. It's in your face (The Revolution Will Not Be Televised), it's in your gut (The Needle), it's in your soul (Lady Day And John Coltraine), it's in your mind (I Think I'll Call It Morning). The times have changed but the message is still the same: The power of the human spirit will overcome. Thank you Gil for the light you brought to me on those many dark nights.
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Format: Audio CD
Although yes... Gil is probably better known to the acid Jazz generation for his funkier Midnight Band/Amnesia Express sounds a few years later, the truth is, Gil Scott Heron was a POET/ACTIVIST/STREET PERFORMER/ SONGWRITER first and "singer" second... though he did all of them well, I think as an unapologetic poet with something to say, this 1971 recording represents the ESSENCE of Gil. (- - Later albums were much "funkier" and "jazzy" in the "Roy Ayers"/flying dutchman 70's sense of the word and were just as politically aware, but I think this album features Gil the social/political troubador at his rawest.)

Naturally, the best known tune here is "THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED" (actually it was... saw it on CNN, and the sponsor was WHITE people... not sure about the white lightening, but I heard a report about a white Tornado.) That said... though REVOLUTION may be the best known of his tunes, listen to this album and you'll hear that he wasn't just an angry millitant. Gil has and had a lot of things to say to a lot of people about a lot of things... and over the years has never watered ANYTHING down. My favorites include HOME IS WHERE THE HATERED IS and LADY DAY, both musically driving, yet lyrically potent.

Featuring tunes about everything from revolution, personal aspiration, uniqueness, individuality, being for real, pain, hope and struggle, the album also features a near legendary Jazz ensemble... yet in a rare twist of fate, its actually GIL's lyrical story telling that puts them all in their place.
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