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UK three CD set. The three albums that Gil Scott-Heron recorded for Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman label are among the most important in black music history. They showed a multi-talented artist coming to full fruition with his first efforts on wax. The Revolution Begins contains every piece of music he released for the label from 1970-1971. In recent years Gil has become a lauded as one of the all-time greats. This music is the reason why. It includes classic performances, including both the spoken word and band versions of 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised', 'Home Is Where the Hatred Is', 'Lady Day and John Coltrane', 'Pieces of a Man', 'Whitey on the Moon' and 'Free Will' Taken from the original master tapes, the sound quality on this release trumps all previous reissues. The bonus material includes an alternate version of Gil's third album 'Free Will' and the previously un-reissued 'Artificialness', which Gil recorded with Bernard Purdie on his "Stand By Me" album. The in-depth sleeve notes contain previously unpublished interview material from both Gil and his songwriting partner Brian Jackson.
By the time Heron had finished reciting The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, he had unwittingly changed his life. He would no longer be seen as a writer, but a singer, voice of musical black radicalism, doomed junkie... and the man who invented rap. This three-disc reissue of everything Heron and his pianist partner Brian Jackson recorded on Thiele's Flying Dutchman label would probably not exist if Heron hadn't bid farewell to that world in May 2011. But for listeners who only know Heron through his final 2010 album I'm New Here, "b"The Revolution Begins... will be a revelation. Not just because it features some great music and poetry, much of which still sounds acutely relevant. But because the man who slowly killed himself with drugs, spent two lengthy periods in prison, and never quite came to terms with his chaotic childhood, prodigious intellect and hatred of white power, is as present and defined and agonized here, in his early twenties, as he is on "i"I'm New Here. Listen to The Vulture, or Who'll Pay Reparations On My Soul?, or "i"Home Is Where The Hatred Is and you can only come to the chilling conclusion that Gil Scott-Heron knew exactly where he was headed. --Uncut.com"br""br"Poet, singer, polemicist, the late Gil Scott-Heron wrote his ghetto 'manifesto' a little over 40 years ago, and it's still resonating. (4 STARS) --Mojo
The Revolution Begins... offers every last-known remnant of Gil's Flying Dutchman recordings, making it one of the most historic collections in the evolution of hip-hop. These are far more than building blocks, however; here's a place where jazz, soul, politics and a rare intuitive passion coalesced in one man, who ultimately proved as humanly fallible as his subjects. (5 STARS) --Record Collector