Winter in America
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, The Bottle, without doubt Scott Heron's most well know song, continues to pack dancefloors to this day. A scathing attack on drinking and the society's double standards when it comes to the acceptability of alcohol.
The title track sets out Scott Heron's criticism of the state of America in the mid-1970s, a country he felt was in serious danger.
The album finishes off with H2O Gate Blues, again an angery attack, this time on the Nixon administration.
While some of the politics is dated (who cares about Nixon now?) the social concerns and the underlying humanity are as relevant in the 21st Century as they were then.
Underpinning Scott Heron's poetry is Brian Jackson's beautiful jazz-inflected music. To my ears much more sophisticated and interesting than some of Scott Heron's later musical accompaniment.
Compare H20 Gate Blues with Re-Ron from the early 80's to see my point.
The pair went on the record 'From South Africa to South Carolina', another record with a lyrical punch but musical kidd gloves.
Scott Heron is often described as a forefather of rap. When one listens to 'The Message' or 'Rebel Witout A Pause' one can see the link.
However, the tragedy is not only that rap today has lost any social comment other than 'keeping it real', but that all music seems to have been politically neutered.
Buy this album and be reminded of a time when musicians wanted to change the world and not just get a gold record.
This is one of Gil Scott-Heron's most mellow sounding albums with a very strong jazz sound, reflecting the influence of Brian Jackson, his 'best' and most important collaborator.
It is lyrically less overly political and angry than some of his albums but politics and anger are never entirely absent from Scott Heron's work. There is a strong social commentary (for example 'The Bottle; about alcohol and society) and political commentary (H2Ogate blues - a searing indictment of the Nixon administration - although more than 30 years later I'm not sure anybody really cares).
I'm not sure that this is Gil Scott Heron's best work although it does include the stand out track 'The Bottle' but it is one of my personal favourites and certainly the one I listen to most.
Gil has the rare ability of a social commentator not to judge or preach - but shows anger and humour. He breaks down problems by pitching himself as the victim. All these traits can be seen here.
Make sure you buy TVT Records re-released copy as this contains 4 bonus live tracks. Including the title track, which does not appear on the original but on the equally excellent 'First Minute of a New Day' album.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The themes of this album are still relevant which is simultaneously reassuring and depressing. GSH's turns of phrase are gold: warm, often very funny, and cutting - a visionary. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MikeNPip
Product was in excellent condition and was delivered ahead of schedule. Not as 5 star album but wonderful musicianship and well worth purchasing.Published 6 months ago by Stephen Keach
This is a masterpiece and should be required listening for everybody. What's to say about a work of genius? Read morePublished on 13 Nov. 2013 by Philip Boucherat
Contains many classic tracks, making this album a definitive representation of Scott-Heron's work. Warms the soul in a in a cold period in America's political history. Read morePublished on 24 July 2013 by mwandishi