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It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back Enhanced, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.6 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 April 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Virgin EMI
  • ASIN: B00004SRJ5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,319 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Countdown To Armageddon
  2. Bring The Noise
  3. Don't Believe The Hype
  4. Cold Lampin' With Flavor
  5. Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic
  6. Mind Terrorist
  7. Louder Than A Bomb
  8. Caught, Can We Get A Witness?
  9. Show 'Em Whatcha Got
  10. She Watch Channel Zero?!
  11. Night Of The Living Baseheads
  12. Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos
  13. Security Of The First World
  14. Rebel Without A Pause
  15. Prophets Of Rage
  16. Party For Your Right To Fight
  17. Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos (Cd-Rom Video)
  18. Night Of The Living Baseheads

Product Description

BBC Review

PE: The last great political act of our times? This album certainly seems to back the theory up. A year after the polemic of Chuck D, the sneer of Flavor Flav and the post-modern noise concrete of the Bomb Squad burst onto the public consciousness with Yo, Bum Rush The Show, Public Enemy really pulled out the stops with It Takes A Nation... Signed to Rick Rubin's Def Jam label on the basis of the vocalists' freestyling skills, what emerged, when backed by the sample-crazy methodology of Hank Shocklee et al was a furious squall of beats and righteous anger that still assaults the ears.

What makes ITANOMTHUB such a fresh sound to this day is the focus given to Chuck D's ire by the production. Whether he's addressing the issues of disenfranchisement in a racist society (Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos), political obfustication (Don't Believe The Hype), or just the soma-like effects of the modern media (She Watch Channel Zero?!) his lyrics are spat with a controlled rage that is mirrored by the Bomb Squad's beats. It could be argued that these beats are where the real political agenda is adressed. Most people remember PE as the band that liberated James Brown from parodic dotage; reminding the world of how explosive and subversive his (and his proteges such as the JBs and Bobby Byrd's) beats could be. But the samples and beats on offer here also came from labelmates, the Beastie Boys and Run DMC, as well as PE themselves and a fair smattering of free jazz and other early rap acts. The message was that black music could be reclaimed and re-tooled as a semantic crowbar - screaming to the world that rhythm was as eloquent as words when reminding us of the world's inequalities.

Of course, the Nation Of Islam spiel (mainly propagated by Professor Griff, who was soon to leave the band) gave detractors a toehold, by pointing at the band's potentially anti-semitic undertow. But a careful listen to Chuck D's flow shows the man to be asking for Farrakhan to be understood in context, not just espousing his more extreme views. A caucasian-controlled media were genuinely scared by this band.

In the end ITANOMTHUB is possibly the greatest rap album ever made. Balancing political incisiveness with rock dynamics, it crossed the race divide and almost instantly made all other rap acts sound tame. For a brief spell hip hop was about more than guns and bling. --Chris Jones

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
1988 - "Armageddon has been in effect....Go get a late pass. Step!" the opening cut from PE`s "Nation of Millions lp . Without a doubt, the greatest rap/Hip-Hop album ever with Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Griff, Terminator X, Johnny Juice, the S1Ws & the Bomb Squad in top form. All this & producer Rick Rubin behind the mixing desk overseeing the most revolutionary album ever made.

2014 - 26 years on & this masterpiece finally gets the deluxe treatment from Def Jam/Universal. There was talk of a 20th Anniversary set in 2008 but this came to nothing at the time. Pleased as I am that this set has finally been put out, & Ill get straight to the point here , there are some glaring omissions. Chad Jackson`s manic DMC mixes of "Rebel" & "Bring the Noise" are missing as are the Jam Master Jay remix of "Louder than a Bomb" & the remix for "Party for Your Right" - both available on "Greatest Misses" but certainly worthy of their inclusion here.

There really should have been a 4th disc of Chuck D`s home demos & alternate versions of the album (aka: "Soul of a Nation") as it has been rumoured that Chuck wanted these out years ago but Universal baulked at the idea of clearing samples for a second time! A complete disc of instrumentals - or even the un-released versions recorded by PE`s backing band, The Banned - might have swayed it for some fans to buy the cd again.

The dvd is a nice touch as the VHS tape has never been released officially in this format. "Cold Lampin` With Flavor" appears to be missing which if true, is a criminal omission. Some period era Yo!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
satsumauk's review was very comprehensive so the only observations I wish to add are concerning the sound quality of this new remaster.

This is the best *sounding* CD version yet. Certainly superior to the original disc and *far* superior to the 2000 master which just felt louder and slightly harsher but still lacked any proper low end weight.

The low end had been given some much needed weight and everything now sounds quite balanced. It's not an astonishing difference by any means but a worthwhile and welcome one. I tested all the CD's on an audiophile system vs an original vinyl pressing. Unsurprisingly the vinyl is the clear winner with more natural vocals but the new remaster was the closest to the vinyl in terms of sound quality over the previous CD issues.

Packaging for the set is excellent and the extra material and DVD are nice bonuses.

It's the best CD version we're ever likely to see....
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Format: Audio CD
There is a case to be made that this album is the greatest ever recorded. Period. I listen to it now and it still sounds awesome. Every song makes a valid statement on American society and the problems which exist. Contemporary, powerful, brilliant. Buy it now.
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By A Customer on 9 Jan. 2002
Format: Audio CD
In todays world of multiplatinum, woman clad,bling blinging hiphop there is no album that can match the raw power, agression, storytelling, in yer face attitude that nation of millions can offer. Chuck D and Flavour flav honour Terminator X's flawless production with the verbal onslaught that it deserves. "rebel without a pause" can take a claim to the greatest hiphop track ever written, while being supported by classics like "dont beleive the hype" and "night of the living baseheads". They even sample a gut churning riff from slayers "Angel of Death" for "she watch channel zero. All in all a true masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD
What can I say? If only hip-hop wasn't ransacked by gansta (similar thing that happened to grunge after Nevermind) then it would still be an essential music form. This album brims with more politics than 10 Houses of Lords and more funk than Aerosmith on a pub crawl. Countdown To Armageddon announces "This time the revolution will not be televised!" and you believe Chuck too! This track also gives birth to the Manic Street Preachers classic Repeat. The definitive hip-hop track comes next - Bring The Noise. Never has a song overflowed with so much content and brilliance, it is a screamed assault to everything that modern culture stands for and leaves you astounded. Ditto Don't Believe The Hype. So much manifesto and exchanges from Chuck to Flav, it fills me up with revolution. Falva Flav Cold Lampin' is hilarious (don't you just love this dude?), a light hearted interlude from the rhetoric and much appreciated. Not so for Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic: "Right the power is bold, the rhymes are politically cold/And who gives a **** about a Goddamn Grammy?". Fantastic. Mind Terrorist is just an interlude but we get back on the track again with Louder Than A Bomb, a seething attack on the FBI. Caught, Can I Get A Witness?! is another absolutely suberb beast of a funkster that has you singing along "Your singers are spineless/As you sing your senseless songs to the mindless/Your general subject love is minimal/It's sex for a profit". What other bands sing that, please? Another interlude in the form of Show Em Whatcha Got and then She Watch Channel Zero, which actually combines heavy metal riffs in with the verse to great effect - the ultimate moshing track!Read more ›
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