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Real Eyes Import

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, October 26, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered edition of this 1980 release. Gil Scott Heron is justifiably recognized as one of the most unique black music artists of all time. His music transgresses all musical barriers in the same way that Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye did. In 1980, Gil re-signed with Arista Records as a solo artist, following on from the successful partnership with Brian Jackson with whom he had co-written, performed and recorded since 1969. Real Eyes was the first of three albums which he would record under the new deal, the album featured a new band, the Amnesia Express, who would be Gil's band both in the studio and on the road for many years. It was co-produced by Gil with Malcolm Cecil who had been involved in the recording and mixing of the three previous albums. Soul Brother.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 26, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: 101 DISTRIBUTION
  • ASIN: B004301EN0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,947 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A prominent goal in my "1992 CD Music Collection Strategy" was to own all of the original recordings by Gil Scott-Heron. The 2010 release of "Real Eyes" makes my collection complete. A superb artist that was always ahead of his time, Gil's music was often overlooked and frequently dismissed as an angry and inaccurate reflection of life in America. One listen to a few tracks on "Real Eyes", and one can easily see that Gil was so right-on with his perspectives. I can now honestly say that we have not made much progress in the thirty years since this music first came to light. A couple of real examples: Listen to the powerful lyrics on "The Train From Washington", and then try to rationalize why so many people in 2010 are still waiting for the politicians in DC to deliver their share of the American Dream. Listen to the cutting words of "Not Needed" and "Waiting For The Axe To Fall" and then reflect on the number of friends and relatives in your circle who have lost their jobs and homes during this latest economic nightmare. These words were written 30+ years ago! Most music today becomes irrelevant within a year of being released. But here comes Gil again to remind us that WE still have a lot of work to do to move forward. That's the real magic that makes Gil Scott-Heron a jewel of an artist.

But all messages on "Real Eyes" are not gloomy and gray. One listen to the beautiful words of "You Could Be My Brother" and especially the uplifting "Your Daddy loves you", restores my hope and replenishes my Soul. You have to love the contrast between the in-you-face tracks and the optimistic and hopeful songs. The band that Gil called The Amnesia Express really snaps and crackles on these recordings. The horns are especially razor sharp on "Waiting For The Axe To Fall" and "The Klan".
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Format: Audio CD
Gil Scott Heron's split with Brian Jackson after 1980 really made Gil take stock quickly about how to operate in his second decade as a recording artist. Basically this album found him taking a step back somewhat in his musical approch. Similar to his formation of the Midnight Band in the early 70's he had a new band now,the almost Crusaders-like Amnesia Express. While it featured a man named Glen "Astro" Turner on keyboards and synthesizers the idea of this album musically is a far more live and organic flavor yet again. This not only places more emphasis on the material as opposed to coloring the spaces between them but brings the songs messages more into your face. Not in an aggressive way but more in the sense of having to confront them with left "thoughtful" side of the mind the the right "emotional" end. When all's said and done,a great balance is found. And aside from his early half sung approch this aspect during this era probably represents one of his many links to hip-hop,which was just enjoying it's very first tastes of commercial success when this came out I should add.

The first three songs have a very strong and effective message. "The Train From Washington" is a very direct zing at the capitol,then his adopted city for it's racial neglect despite it's overwelming black population. "Not Needed" takes a look at the countries questionable neglect of it's elders and "Waiting For The Axe To Fall" rails at the recession based unemployment crisis. They're all set to that locked tight,back to basics Crusaders like funk crunch-live sounding but slicker than you wanna be all the same.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In my view this is GSH at his best. Always the keenly insightful social critic/commentator, he's much less angry and pessimistic than virtually all of his later works. The poetry, lyric cleverness and social conscience is there but as a part of the overall artistic endeavor not the centerpiece of it.

The music smoothly spans numerous genres-Jazz, Soul, Blues, Rock, Pop and Funk. If "Legend In His Own Mind" doesn't make you knowingly smile and rythmically bob your head and snap your fingers you're either far too young or far too old for this music; and if "The Klan" (penned by Richie Havens) doesn't send a chill down your spine you have some history to study.

Well worth the listen.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Happy I could fine this on mp3.
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