Gil Scott-Heron – 1971 – Pieces Of A Man

Our favorite ever album from Gil Scott-Heron, a set that we’d easily rank as one of our favorite soul records of the 70s!

The mix of modes is mind blowing right from the start – as Gil’s poetry comes into play with his growing talents as a singer, and his warm sensibility for jazz – all at a level that’s light years ahead of anything any singer would have attempted a few years before – and which went onto have a huge influence for years to come. If you only know Gil from his protest work, there’s a lot more here to discover – the bittersweet blend of pain and power that’s always made him so fantastic. And yes, the record does include the groundbreaking “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”  but what we treasure even more is all the more personal numbers.

Tracks
A1 The Revolution Will Not Be Televised 2:59
A2 Save The Children 4:55
A3 Lady Day And John Coltrane 3:10
A4 Home Is Where The Hatred Is 3:15
A5 When You Are Who You Are 3:01
A6 I Think I’ll Call It Morning 3:45
B1 Pieces Of A Man 4:22
B2 A Sign Of The Ages 4:05
B3 Or Down You Fall 3:08
B4 The Needle’s Eye 4:01
B5 The Prisoner 8:39

Gil Scott-Heron is one of the great recording artists of the 20th century; it is a shame that he is relatively unknown. His work is always interesting and I would recommend (almost) all of his albums. Pieces of a Man is one of his best, if not the best, albums.

Gil Scott-Heron draws on a wide range of influences: the music of John Coltrane, the blues, the oral traditions of the American South and many others to create fantastic music in a variety of different styles from spoken word/rap to (almost) soul. He is perhaps best known for his searing political (and personal) lyrics that are often so good that they can be read as poetry. However, he is also an excellent musician and the music always complements his lyrics. Musically this album is wonderful, interesting and varied, at times it is simply beautiful. As with much of Gil Scott Heron’s best work a lot of credit must go to Brian Jackson his long time and best collaborator.

‘Pieces of a Man’ finds GSH at his most perceptive and penetrating, both politically and personally.

 

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘ is probably his most famous song – remarkably it works almost as well as poetry as it does as a song. Some of the references may now be a little obscure but it is an amazing, powerful piece of work that has lost little, if any, of its bite or relevance. ‘Save The Children‘ is a beautiful, uplifting plea to care for and nurture the next generation. ‘Lady Day & John Coltrane‘ is simply beautiful and a personal favourite. ‘Home Is Where The Hatred Is‘ is haunting and wonderful, it is particularly poignant if you know anything about his personal life.

I could go on but it is almost a shame to highlight individual tracks because there isn’t a bad track here and the album deserves, almost demands, to be listened to in its entirety.

GSH is unique: he combines a penetrating intellect with wit & wisdom and a talent conveying emotion and pain succinctly, often beautifully. A righteous anger permeates his work but he never descends into bitterness or becomes overly preachy. His work is tempered with optimism and a desire for change. It is this combination that defines his work and sets him apart for all others.

This album is GSH at the peak of his powers and should be a part of everybody’s collection.

Buy it and treasure it

Buy the Album

Download the Album

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23 Comments
  • Rafael
    Posted at 21:25h, 23 March 2018 Reply

    He doesn’t get the recognition he should from the new generation. Excellent.

  • BostonBoy
    Posted at 02:18h, 24 March 2018 Reply

    BEAUTIFUL!!!! Timeless classic.

  • Helen Young
    Posted at 12:03h, 24 March 2018 Reply

    Nothing beats old skool songs these.

  • MJF
    Posted at 12:05h, 24 March 2018 Reply

    Let me tell ya, I’m 29 and this is one of my favorite vinyl I own. They really don’t make jams like this anymore. Myshit right here forever.

  • Roy
    Posted at 16:58h, 24 March 2018 Reply

    Another subliminal sound that really does stand the test of time in my humble opinion.

  • valvebone
    Posted at 17:24h, 24 March 2018 Reply

    It is amazing how many very good to great musicians came from this period. GSH was so damn deep and talented. Thank you for this share.

  • DeaconBlues
    Posted at 18:01h, 24 March 2018 Reply

    Still can’t get enough of this music after 40 years of listening.

  • Dorothy
    Posted at 18:04h, 24 March 2018 Reply

    I have loved this song for years

  • Nikos
    Posted at 11:11h, 25 March 2018 Reply

    i can never stop listening to this record

  • Nelson Barbon
    Posted at 01:22h, 26 March 2018 Reply

    Awesome.. Haven’t head this in a while….

  • Trevor
    Posted at 10:09h, 26 March 2018 Reply

    We Called him ‘The Godfather of Rap’ for a reason…He was, and still is, the first to put poetry to music in a sensical form…
    Bob Dylan tried…and Woody Guthrie before him…but Gil saw a way and made it his own.

  • Mark Gibson
    Posted at 10:31h, 26 March 2018 Reply

    Oh Yeas. This dude was such a fine innovastor he was pre rap and hip hop do listen to his whole catalogue.

  • Lee
    Posted at 13:11h, 26 March 2018 Reply

    Just Wow ma brodas, WOW!!

  • Duane A
    Posted at 13:08h, 27 March 2018 Reply

    Respect and appreciation for uploading this. We need his spirit today.

  • MudFlapp
    Posted at 19:36h, 27 March 2018 Reply

    One of the best albums in the history of sound
    darn near created rap with the opening track
    Gil Scott Singer Song Writer, Performer, Revolutionary, God of Soul
    If you don’t know, start here!

  • Tracey Reynolds
    Posted at 01:13h, 28 March 2018 Reply

    Thank you Gil for your skills and enlightenment, your powerful messages, your real humor, and beautiful chords.
    You have inspired me, uplifted me, awakened me and serenaded me almost all of my life.
    I thank the universe for sharing your precious time with us all. 

  • Galen
    Posted at 08:47h, 28 March 2018 Reply

    Poetic prophet. Absolutely top class.

  • Ray
    Posted at 13:06h, 28 March 2018 Reply

    I was lucky to grow up when this was on the radio. I don’t think anybody will ever be able to duplicate this type of music. Musical brilliance.

  • Benjamin
    Posted at 22:26h, 28 March 2018 Reply

    Kudos. Fantastic share. Gil The Man. RIP.

  • R.M.B.
    Posted at 11:12h, 29 March 2018 Reply

    AMAZING POST. BRAVO.GREETINGS FROM LATVIA.

  • S. James
    Posted at 12:38h, 30 March 2018 Reply

    Perfection! Peace and love…

  • Derek
    Posted at 12:45h, 30 March 2018 Reply

    Masterpiece. Simple as that.

  • Adam E. Garfield
    Posted at 02:09h, 05 April 2018 Reply

    I remember hearing this song when it first came out and thinking that this was the best song I had ever heard. Now it’s magnificence has cooled to where I can properly place it, but it is still one of my favourites ever.

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