Pieces of a Man – Gil Scott-Heron


There is so much to say about this record that I scarcely know where to begin. Gil Scott-Heron was a pioneer. He blazed a musical trail that would come to be known as hip-hop. He was a poet and musician, and he wrote songs that gave voice to truths many others were afraid to speak. (See Whitey on the Moon, for example.)

This album contains The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, perhaps his most famous work, but it also contains the gut wrenching Pieces of a Man, Lady Day and John Coltrane, Home is Where the Hatred Is, and many others.

It is a masterpiece. It belongs in every record collection.

From Wikipedia:

Pieces of a Man is the debut studio album by American poet Gil Scott-Heron. It was recorded in April 1971 at RCA Studios in New York City and released later that year by Flying Dutchman Records. The album followed Scott-Heron’s debut live album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox (1970) and departed from that album’s spoken word performance, instead featuring compositions in a more conventional popular song structure.

Pieces of a Man marked the first of several collaborations by Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson, who played piano throughout the record. It is one of Scott-Heron’s most critically acclaimed albums and one of the Flying Dutchman label’s best-selling LP’s. Earning modest success after its release, Pieces of a Man has received retrospective praise from critics. Music critics have suggested that Heron’s combination of R&B, soul, jazz-funk, and proto-rap influenced the development of electronic dance music and hip hop. The album was reissued on compact disc by RCA in 1993.

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Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Scott-Heron 3:10
2. “Save the Children” Scott-Heron 4:28
3. “Lady Day and John Coltrane” Scott-Heron 3:37
4. “Home Is Where the Hatred Is” Scott-Heron 3:23
5. “When You Are Who You Are” 3:24
6. “I Think I’ll Call It Morning” 3:31
Side two
No. Title Length
1. “Pieces of a Man” 4:55
2. “A Sign of the Ages” 4:04
3. “Or Down You Fall” 3:14
4. “The Needle’s Eye” 4:51
5. “The Prisoner” 9:26