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Nuclear War

1 Jan 1982 | Format: MP3

£7.92 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for £13.59 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
7:47
30
2
5:43
30
3
5:03
30
4
4:28
30
5
5:35
30
6
5:17
30
7
4:01
30
8
4:24


Product details

  • Original Release Date: 30 Nov 1981
  • Label: Unheard Music Series / Atavistic
  • Copyright: (c) 2001 Atavistic
  • Total Length: 42:18
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001FTATGK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,148 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Monti Alessandro on 28 Jun 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most accessible recordings by Sun Ra (formerly refused by a major like Columbia) but the Maestro is in total command of his art and the Arkestra in full glory! So if you need one essential recording of their eighties output this is it...Anyway there's no experimental free music here but mostly beautiful synth/organ driven grooves in a space-jazz context, very listenable and full of ideas. The title track, originally issued as a 12" maxi-single on the Y label (UK) is a pure masterpiece of black popular art: a sort of jazz-hip hop anthem sung by Ra that was a classic in the Arkestra live sets during the eighties (see "Live at Praxis 84" or the "Mystery Mr.Ra" video) inspiring later recordings like Guru's Jazzmatazz and others. The cover versions here are fantastic examples of how Ra & his Arkestra could send Duke Ellington or Charlie Chaplin flying on a magic carpet! And now the bad news: the source is the original vinyl and not exactly in the mint condition. The problem is that obviously we are not talking about a low-fi acetate from the 20's but a 1982 recording; even the original Saturn masters from the late fifties sound great (see the Evidence discs). The liner notes say that the Unhear Music Series used the best possible LP for this remastering. The cd label is a replica of the Italian LP label and you can even read "Distribuzione Dischi Ricordi" on the cover. It's a real mystery (or a spell by Mr.Ra himself?) that the masters don't exist anymore because Ricordi (now BMG) was one of the biggest Italian labels, publishings & distributors not exactly a small indie company. A strange fact indeed: this is the only reason I gave it 4 stars...Maybe the original masters will see the light someday...
I can only add that as usual with Ra this great black music stands above all technical imperfections and even if you're not a big fan you'll find Nuclear War a real pleasure! Ultrarecommended!
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By Jazzrook TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Jan 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This wonderful album was eventually issued in 1984 by the British independent label Y RECORDS but had limited circulation. It was recorded in New York during September, 1982 with Sun Ra(piano, synthesizer, organ, vocals); June Tyson(vocals); John Gilmore(tenor saxophone); Marshall Allen(alto saxophone, flute); Danny Ray Thompson(baritone saxophone, flute); James Jacson(bassoon, infinity drum); Walter Miller(trumpet); Tyrone Hill(trombone, vocals); Vincent Chancey(French horn); Hayes Burnett(bass); Samarai Celestial(drums) & Atakatune(conga, percussion).
The eight varied tracks are a mix of Ra originals and standards. 'Nuclear War', simultaneously hilarious and chilling, is an early protest rap("If they push that button your ass gotta go") which Sun Ra offered to COLUMBIA RECORDS who declined. It was released in 1982 by Y RECORDS as a 12" single b/w 'I Want To Be Happy' featuring underrated vocalist June Tyson.
This is one the most enjoyable and accessible albums in Sun Ra's bewilderingly vast catalogue and deserves to be much better known.

BTW ~ The Y RECORDS master tape for this album was lost so the cleanest possible vinyl copy was used for remastering.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Monti Alessandro on 10 Feb 2009
Format: Audio CD
My review of "Nuclear War" cd was automatically copied & pasted by Amazon from the ATAVISTIC cd version. I never heard the Japanese version of this album, hopefully was taken from the master tape... any update is welcome!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An apocalyptic anthem & some shufflin' old boogie. 26 Nov 2002
By Funkmeister G - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Nuclear War itself as catchy as Space Is The Place, & significantly less annoying. The profanity comes as a surprise from a bandleader who gaves lectures on morality but is appropriate to put across a point. 20 years later that point is more valid than ever, w/ paranoia all around, a good enough reason for Yo La Tengo to cover it now. The song is somehow both gospel soul & minimalist hiphop. Legendary stuff. Tell 'em 'bout it, Tyrone. Anyway the rest of the album is some of the most LISTENABLE stuff of Ra's career, quite enjoyable, even though I usually enjoy the abstraction of something like Cosmic Tones For Mental Therapy. The sound quality only adds a certain aura to it all, a smokey jazz club 'round midnight, all quite quiet. There's 2 June Tyson vocals that seem to be standards in Smile & Sometimes I'm Happy. Not as revolutionary as the title track but good stuff. Overall I do really think it's a terrible shame for something to be so ignored as this is. RA LIVES!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great! 25 Jan 2002
By Marc Rehula - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This should have been a breakout hit, rather than an obscurity to even Sun Ra fans. The title cut walks a line between frightening and hilarious, a line that few can walk as well as Sun Ra. The other tunes, which mix originals and covers, instrumentals and vocals, make this album a surprisingly good introduction to new fans, as well as providing sonic pleasures for old fans. The only negative is the sound quality, since it was recorded from a good quality record, rather than the original tapes, which are lost.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An album that should be in everyone's collection.... 27 July 2005
By Michael Stack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
... I suspect it would open some ears!

In 1982, Sun Ra thought he had a hit on his hands. He went to Columbia Records with a bizarre nearly eight minute recording called "Nuclear War", featuring a piano trio over playing some lilting jazz over which SUn Ra intoned lyrics rife with vulgarity ("nuclear war / it's a motherf***** / don't you know / if they push that button / your a** got to go") in a time, pointed out in the liner notes, before gangsta rap made it commercially acceptable to do so. Of course, Columbia rejected it and Ra went with an indie British label. That recording, alng with its b-side (the lovely "Sometimes I'm Happy") and several other recordings, make up this release.

What's probably most amazing is how commercially viable this is, seeped largely in swing tradition. Even "Nuclear War", vulgarity aside, is really a commercial sound. The other real standout on this collection is the Ellington cover "Drop Me Off in Harlem", featuring fantastic organ playing from Sun Ra and some great collective work from the orchestra.

All in all, one of the best of the Sun Ra releases I own (about two dozen) and well worth the investment. Highly recommended.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Nuclear War...it's a mother f..... 23 Jun 2005
By Joseph P. Ulibas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Nuclear War was originally a 12-inch single that Sun Ra thought was going to be a hit. But a track filled with foul language wasn't going to fly with mainstream America during the early 80's. Eventually the disc was pressed but only a few copies hit the streets. Years later, this single (along with a lot of rare Sun Ra music) was finally released with several other original tracks and a handful of covers.

The title track (Nuclear War) has to be the best song ever recorded about the subject matter. It's straight and to the point about the severity of a thermonuclear conflict. Duke Ellington's "Drop Me off in Harlem" and Charles Chaplin "Smile" are some of the other high lights from this disc. You'll be singing Nuclear War in no time. Just remember, whatcha gonna do without yo' a$$? Nuclear War's a mother

f.....! Don't you know?

Highly recommended, Sun Ra's the man!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
About time for this re-release, and a good place to start 20 Sep 2001
By potchytuckis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm too lazy to get into the characteristically snarled release history of this album, which first saw daylight in 1982; you've got liner notes for that. Sufficient to say that for anyone wondering what all the fuss is about Sun Ra, this is a fine place to dip in and begin, even though he'd been recording for about 30 years before he made this. Title track is a classic, with call-and-response vocals that manage to be frightening and hysterically funny AT THE SAME TIME! YES, I SAID AT THE SAME TIME! Rest of the disc is an effective mix of wild soloing, abstract big-band dirges, and a couple of fine standards...I find Charlie Chaplin's SMILE particularly affecting at this point in history...Only one entity could pull off this range of performances, and his name was Sun Ra. He was never in fashion, so he can never go out of it. Peace.
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