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Reality of My Surrounding

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B000026GI2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,841 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Fishbone - Reality Of My Surroundings - Cd

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
Fishbone are one of those bands you read about as a crucial reference point on the musical family tree, specifically by journalists, but equally by the likes of Flea and Anthony Keidis of the RH Chili Peppers. Why? Well, as a reference point, this is as good a starting point as ever.

This album kind of emcompasses the swathe of styles that Fishbone took on, from furious ska, to bone shaking rock, all are represented here in style. The songs are held together with immaculate musicianship and most importantly, of course, real drive.

The highlights are many and varied from the monster opening Fight the Youth, through my favourites Housework, Behaviour Control Technician which is a brutal track and the more pop orientated Everyday Sunshine and Sunless Saturday.

They are one of those bands you really need to hear, even if you missed out when they were at their mad best, in the live arena. No matter, these albums are living documents of a brilliant swathe of work that will remain relevant as long as there are lovers of fine music out there.
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10/10 v good would use again & recommend
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Great album by a fine band !
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A near religious experience!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x931a6f3c) out of 5 stars 41 reviews
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x931acad4) out of 5 stars The Reality of My Surroundings(1991) 4 Mar. 2005
By Mr. S. St Thomas - Published on
Format: Audio CD
For anyone who walked in on Fishbone at the Truth & Soul party of 1988, the shock and disturbing qualities that now enter the landscape of The Reality of My Surroundings (TROMS) is most certainly a party let down. It's like your parents coming home earlier than expected, and reality sets in. Truth and Soul is certainly their most accessible work, and often hailed as their masterpiece. But that is only in terms of how approachable it is by the general consumer. The suburbanite and middle class citizen. The record buying public. In my opinion, with TROMS, one of the most important black bands in America's recording history set about writing their manifesto. And anyone who had heard Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet, and the pronouncement by Chuck D. in Thin Line Between Law & Rape, `' You can't take whatcha want, Dont cha know We aint got nuttin left? Cause you took the rest, We aint got jazz, rock & roll , Rappin the lose. Wit a few fat ladies left singin da blues.''

Fishbone set about taking it all back when they released their first E.P. in 1985. By TROMS, reggae, ska, funk, rock, punk, jazz, hip hop, and folk music had all been rescued from what Chuck D. saw as a detainment cell for black culture. Rescued by Team Fishbone in a daring plan. TROMS is an album that does have to be taken song by song, track by track, because it is worthy of any description of its contents. Fishbone albums are celebrations of Black History Month, in a perpetual state. The history and influence of Black society on American culture is so undeniable, but gracefully brushed under history's rug. Without Black society, there would be no rock and roll. No jazz. No soul. No rhythm and blues. America would be a virtual, cultural, wasteland. With no SPIN magazines.

At the time of TROMS, Fishbone was comprised of Angelo Moore (Vocals / Sax), Chris Dowd (Vocals / Trombone / Keyboards), Walter Kibby II (Vocals / Trumpet), Kendall Jones (Guitar / Vocals), John Bigham (Guitar - before Fishbone he was with Miles Davis), and brothers Phil Fisher `'Fish'' (Drums), and Norwood Fisher (Bass / Vocals). Whether this is their quintessential line-up is up to the listener.

Fight the Youth (K.Jones / J.N.Fisher / P.Fisher)
`'And now another story of stolen faith and tragic glory'' - Heavy Metal with a Funk edge, the opening song sets the tone for the album and its topics to be explored. It states that a generation fed with anger, will make a future where nightmares come true. This chooses to fight against that, and to inform those whose minds have been poisoned by these corruptions, that they will soon find themselves at war.

If I Were A . . I'd (A.Moore / C.Dowd)
`'If I believed everything I saw on television'' opens up the segmented `If I Were A ... I'd', which is scattered throughout the album. This first part questions the life believed `reality' as told by media and commercial advertisers. The final solution is to be a Cop, or succinctly put here, a Power Trippin' Robot. So far this album would make those who thought Truth & Soul was a friendly bunch of people throwing a party, realise something quite quickly. Party's over. Sped up James Brown.

So Many Millions (J.N.Fisher / A. Moore)
`'Your education will do me no good, in my neighbourhood'' - Musically like Parliament / Funkadelic on a Bad Trip, So Many Millions illustrates with no holds barred, the problems of growing up Black in America. How can education be of any service, when the only thing it teaches about Black people is about their enslavement, and then their emancipation. They are like a footnote to someone else's history. Meanwhile, Dizzy Gillespie can't get into a club to play Be Bop because of its rules, and Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers are refused entry into Studio 54, where their songs are in heavy rotation. So little changes over too long a time.

Asswhippin' (Fishbone)
Relentless Jungle drums underscore the public whipping of the screaming.

Housework (W.Kibby / A.Moore / K.Jones / J.N.Fisher / P.Fisher)
`'Pops is gone and Mom's workin' 5 and 6 days a week'' - No options outside of what your friends and you can get up to while you're not at school, doing chores at home, having to start working because life isn't being good to you and yours,where you is. Everything explored in So Many Millions is summed up here, in the Ska mode. With bits of Gospel, Ragtime and Rock thrown in. This song might remind buyers of Truth & Soul of what they were expecting to find.

Deathmarch (A.Moore / C.Dowd)
A visit to New Orleans along the way. (Instrumental)

Behavior Control Technician (J.N.Fisher / P.Fisher)
`'Sheltering will restrict your baby's mind'' - Heavy Metal Funk with a good nod to George Clinton. Question Authority or remain a Little Zombie. Ordered Chaos music.

If I Were A . . I'd (A.Moore / C.Dowd)
`'If I were a Kernel(sic) in the United States Marine Corps `' - namedrops Vietnam, Nicaragua, lying, cheating, the trading of hostages for missiles, corporate wars.

Pressure (A.Moore / K.Jones)
`'Fear is the curse and today's word is pressure'' - Frenetic Ska Punk Chaos. Fishbone caught `pressure' musically for all to hear.

Junkies Prayer (A.Moore / C.Dowd / K.Jones / J.N.Fisher / B.West)
`'My pusher who art in the Krack House'' - truly one of the most disturbing pieces on TROMS, a loop of a laughing man, a lone tambourine, bongos, all underscore the twin readings (Left speaker / Right speaker) of the junkies prayer. ``Yea though I walk through the valleys of Harlem, Bronx, Manhattan . . . `' . Nightmare vision.

Pray To The Junkiemaker (A.Moore / C.Dowd)
`'You're on the road to the Tombstone Commode'' - The happy go lucky Reggae / Ska signified by the music harkens back to Truth & Soul Fishbone, but this is merely an extension of Junkies Prayer. An anti-drug statement accented with brutal honesty, it might be one of Angelo Moore's best vocals on the album.

Everyday Sunshine (Chris Dowd)
`'And no one wants or needs, nor sign of greed, could rule our soul'' - One of the songs that was released as a single from TROMS, Chris Dowd's `Sunshine' steps back to `Truth & Soul' accessibility, and is paralleled later by Kendall Jones's `Sunless Saturday'. The music is pure Soul / Gospel, with leanings toward Sly & The Family Stone. It almost becomes a Baptist Revival by its end.

If I Were A . . I'd (A.Moore / C.Dowd)
`'If I were a society'' - attacks the whole condition in which human beings are ignored for the sake of the ruling majority, and the powers that be. `Majority society just ain't right for me'.

Naz-tee May'en (J.N.Fisher / P.Fisher / A.Moore / K.Jones)
`'Aint nuthin' I'd rather be doin', than sweatin', chewin' and spewin'.'' - An ode to heterosexual fornication. The music can be described as `Fun Funk', very up and jolly. It's almost Bubblegum Funk.

Babyhead (Walter Kibby II)
`''Givin' up the goo to the bones groove'' - If the previous song approached the subject with a sense of humour, this song is an altogether different story. This is not Barry White's bedroom of romantic seduction. It's somewhere in his basement, or some part of the house you didn't know he had. Quite a few Fishbone fans don't rate this song highly. I personally think it's great. Descends from Light Cosmic Syrup into Heavy Metal Molasses.

If I Were A . . I'd (A.Moore / C.Dowd)
`'If I had a choice'' - concludes the If I Were A . . . I'd series. Switches the power back to the person, who ends up doing the same things everyone else is doing, but at least knows it.

Those Days Are Gone (C.Dowd / J.N.Fisher)
`I had a dream once. There was a wall inside my head. You all had put it there.'' - Psychedelic Hard Rock that swirls around your head if one's wearing headphones. Another accessible track for those who enjoyed Truth & Soul, totally disturbed by what they had heard on TROMS so far.

Sunless Saturday (Kendall Jones)
`Perhaps the charcoal grey and brown around me, is just the mirror image of my tainted soul?' - Jones's `Sunless Saturday' was the other single released from TROMS. An acoustic opening makes its way into heavy metal thrash. It is giving up hope personified, where the person doesn't see any chance of sunlight returning to his world. It's a prayer amongst pestilence.

This album stands as a document and diary of one of America's most important bands, who mixed almost 100 years of African-American musical culture into one form, called Fishbone. Purchase the album just to say `I own a Fishbone album'.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x931acb28) out of 5 stars When You Are Fed Up With Commercial & Uninspired Music... 11 Feb. 2000
By Nathan Andes - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Than check out this title and this band. Fishbone is easily the most underrated band of the early 90's thrash/funk/punk genre. While their peers Primus,the Red Hot Chili Peppers,and Jane's Addiction got big, Fishbone was sort of lurking in the shadows, yet making killer records nonetheless. (Angelo Moore and Charles Dowd actually played on Jane's Addiction's classic 'Nothing's Shocking). This actual album is a great melange in the Fishbone canon- It combines their funk filled thrash fest with both humor and lucid social consciousness, perhaps better than any other title in the Fishbone catalog. My personal favorite song on here is 'So Many Millions.' They also use the Parliament/Funkadelic inspired method of layering tracks until it just goes into your subconscious, making this album an intense listen. Buy this, and you won't be let down by Fishbone's musical prowess and keen lyrical savvy. Peace.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9387e234) out of 5 stars This Album touches your soul! 4 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The first time I heard Fishbone was when they appeared on Saturday Night Live. The first chords of Sunless Saturday were strummed on an acoustic guitar. Then the music just exploded of the screen. They later followed with Everyday Sunshine and I was hooked. I bought every album they had. I needed to hear that music again and I had an epiphany. Black music was rap or R & B. Now I could play air guitar with a band that looked like me. This album hits on many levels, it plays deeply even though some of the lyrics seem whimsical. Spike Lee recognized this bands genius by directing the Sunless Saturday video. If MTV and the brainwashed masses can follow the Red Hots and ignore fishbone, then they deserve the prison of their ignorance. Just give me this album and I am happy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x931af66c) out of 5 stars One of the greatest bands 12 Jan. 2005
By Redhead Janet - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Fishbone is an absolutely amazing band. They are the complete package- awesome albums, legendary live shows, and a one-of-a-kind and charismatic frontman (frontmen depending on what Fishbone era we're talking about). "The Reality of My Surroundings" is probably my favorite album from Fishbone- it is the bridge from the old-skool, more 80s sounding pop/ska/alternative rock (remember when alternative rock really was alternative) to the darker, heavier, more abrasive albums that they released after this. If you're looking for a funky, catchy yet musically impressive Fishbone album I recommend "Truth and Soul". If you're looking for a more aggressive Fishbone album, I recommend "Give a Monkey a Brian and He'll Swear He's The Center of The Universe". If you're looking for a Fishbone album that has all of these elements, buy this album! Seriously, Fishbone is one of the most original, impressive, and most-underrated bands of modern music. They appeal to all different types of musical tastes. They Rock.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x931af00c) out of 5 stars My all time favorite album, hands down! 28 Dec. 2013
By A. Davidson - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Nothing comes close...nothing. Buy it, listen to it, worship it, get all your friends to buy it then go see Fishbone and have your atoms disintegrated and reformed, stronger, faster, smarter. You will be transmogrified into a higher being. Check out all of their works, all are awesome.
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