Soul Strut 100: # 34 - Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

RAJRAJ tenacious local 7,499 Posts
edited January 2013 in The Soul Strut 100
I will slowly be unveiling the Top 100 Soul Strut Related Records as Voted by the Strutters Themselves.

# 34 - Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back



The list so far:

# 100 - Jr. and His Soulettes - Psychodelic Sounds
# 99 - Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul
# 98 - Donny Hathaway - S/T (1971)
# 97 - Bernard Wright - ???Nard
# 96 - Tom Scott - Honeysuckle Breeze
# 95 - People Under the Stairs - Question in the Form of an Answer
# 94 - Harlem River Drive
# 93 - Black Moon - Enta Da Stage
# 92 - Marvin Gaye - Here, My Dear
# 91 - Muddy Waters - Electric Mud
# 90 - Les McCann - Layers
# 89 - Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland
# 88 - Leroy Hutson - Hutson (1975)
# 87 - ESG - S/T (1981)
# 86 - Can - Tago Mago
# 85 - Bohannon - Stop & Go
# 84 - WILLIAM DEVAUGHN - Be Thankful For What You Got
# 83 - Power of Zeus - The Gospel According to Zeus
# 82 - Gang Starr - Hard To Earn
# 81 - The J.B.???s - Doing It to Death
# 80 - Parliament - Osmium
# 79 - McNeal & Niles - Thrust
# 78 - The Lafayette Afro Rock Band - Malik
# 77 - Earth, Wind, and Fire (1971)
# 76 - Dr. Dre - The Chronic
# 75 - Black Sabbath (1970)
# 74 - Trap Door / An International Psychedelic Mystery Mix (2006)
# 73 - Bob James - One
# 72 - Matthew Larkin Cassell - Pieces
# 71 - The Beginning Of The End - Funky Nassau
# 70 - Big Bear - Doin??? Thangs
# 69 - Steely Dan - Aja
# 68 - Quasimoto - The Unseen
# 67 - Curtis Mayfield - Curtis/Live! (1971)
# 66 - Al Green - Im still in love with you
# 65 - The Beatnuts - Street Level
# 64 - Archie Whitewater - Archie Whitewater (1970)
# 63 - Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - Mecca & the Soul Brother
# 62 - Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die
# 61 - The J.B.???s - Food For Thought
# 60 - Don Blackman (1982)
# 59 - Niagara - (Tiddies)
# 58 - Can - Ege Bamyasi
# 57 - Whatnauts - On the Rocks
# 56 - The Mohawks - Champ
# 55 - McDonald and Giles (1971)
# 54 - Darondo - Let My People Go
# 53 - Dorothy Ashby - Afro Harping
# 52 - Beastie Boys - Paul???s Boutique
# 51 - Mulatu Astatke - Mulatu of Ethiopia
# 50 - Lyman Woodard Organization - Saturday Night Special
# 49 - Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul
# 48 - Lyn Collins - Think (About It)
# 47 - James Brown - In The Jungle Groove
# 46 - Bill Withers - Still Bill
# 45 - Stevie Wonder - Innervisions
# 44 - Silver Apples - S/T
# 43 - Mobb Deep - The Infamous
# 42 - Lyn Christopher (1973)
# 41 - Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire de Melody Nelson
# 40 - Gang Starr - Step in the Arena
# 39 - Diamond D - Stunts, Blunts, & Hip Hop
# 38 - Terry Callier - What Color is Love
# 37 - David Axelrod - Song of Innocence
# 36 - The Invaders - Spacing Out
# 35 - Leo Sayer - Endless Flight

Please discuss your reactions to this record. The thread will be archived later here.

About


It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back is the second studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released in April 1988 by Def Jam Recordings. Public Enemy set out to make the hip hop equivalent to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, an album noted for its strong social commentary. Recording sessions took place during 1987 at Chung King Studios, Greene St. Recording, and Sabella Studios in New York City. Noting the enthusiastic response toward their live shows, Public Enemy intended with Nation of Millions to make the music of a faster tempo than the previous album for performance purposes.[clarification needed]

The album charted for 49 weeks on the US Billboard 200, peaking at number 42. By August 1989, it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of one million copies in the United States. The album was very well received by music critics, who hailed it for its production techniques and the socially and politically charged lyricism of lead MC Chuck D. It also appeared on many publications' year-end top album lists for 1988, and was the runaway choice as the best album of 1988 in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics' poll, a poll of the leading music critics in the US.[2]

Since its initial reception, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back has been regarded by music writers and publications as one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time.[3][4][5] In 2003, the album was ranked number 48 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, the highest ranking of all the hip hop albums on the list.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Takes_a_Nation_of_Millions_to_Hold_Us_Back

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BEST ALBUM OF ALL TIME???
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Records that changed your life???.

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«13

  Comments


  • I expected this to be a lot higher. Groundbreaking production and lyrical content.

  • batmonbatmon 27,579 Posts
    Rebel W/out a Pause 12" > Rebel W/out a Pause Album version.

  • strataspherestratasphere Blastin' the Nasty 1,033 Posts
    This record is what made me start paying attention to beats.

  • JuniorJunior 4,853 Posts
    Think it's still the closest thing we have to an album that is universally loved on the Strut.

    Just noticed that it's 25 years old this year. I remember the 25th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper well and that seemed a lot more tired then than this does now, wonder if there's anything left to milk on this or anyone left to rediscover it.

    Fuck I feel old.

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    Freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitude.

  • asstroasstro 1,749 Posts
    Junior said:
    Think it's still the closest thing we have to an album that is universally loved on the Strut.

    Just noticed that it's 25 years old this year. I remember the 25th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper well and that seemed a lot more tired then than this does now, wonder if there's anything left to milk on this or anyone left to rediscover it.

    Fuck I feel old.

    Judging by that NPR article someone linked the other day, kids are finding this as dated and tired as we found Sgt. Peppers. Which makes mind boggle on so many levels I can't even think about it.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2012/07/05/156327372/youve-never-heard-public-enemys-it-takes-a-nation-of-millions-to-hold-us-back

  • JuniorJunior 4,853 Posts
    asstro said:
    Junior said:
    Think it's still the closest thing we have to an album that is universally loved on the Strut.

    Just noticed that it's 25 years old this year. I remember the 25th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper well and that seemed a lot more tired then than this does now, wonder if there's anything left to milk on this or anyone left to rediscover it.

    Fuck I feel old.

    Judging by that NPR article someone linked the other day, kids are finding this as dated and tired as we found Sgt. Peppers. Which makes mind boggle on so many levels I can't even think about it.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2012/07/05/156327372/youve-never-heard-public-enemys-it-takes-a-nation-of-millions-to-hold-us-back

    Ha I almost fell for it until he listed Drake as the artist who turned him on to the merits of hip hop.Listing 808s-era Kanye as well was labouring the joke a little IMO.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,517 Posts
    Good.

  • DJ_EnkiDJ_Enki 6,471 Posts
    Greatest rap album of all time. In contention for greatest album of all time--period. Absolute production masterpiece. All the superlatives about this album are true.

  • dj_cityboydj_cityboy 1,404 Posts
    HarveyCanal said:
    Freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitude.

    ^^ just recently saw a video from where that sample came from....

    this album changed my outlook on so many levels...dope tracks and ill production, classic!

  • My boy K.P. and I were 12 years old when this came out. I remember we went to the "Sam Goody's" at the local mall and put our money together to buy it on tape. We used to play the crap out of that tape while playing Nintendo Tecmo Bowl for hours on end.

  • batmonbatmon 27,579 Posts
    Justify My Love

  • SHE WATCH CHANNEL ZERO :hard_as_fuck:

  • batmonbatmon 27,579 Posts

  • "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" and "Night of the Livin Baseheads" so necessary.... the videos and the songs...

  • DJ_EnkiDJ_Enki 6,471 Posts
    Juan Cocktolstoy said:
    "Night of the Livin Baseheads"

    Amazing video.

    "Here it is--BAM!" (Bambaataa mugs for the camera)

    (Red Alert hands the newscaster a sheet of paper) "Just in, this red alert."

  • DanteDante 371 Posts
    this was the first hip hop album i took seriously, when i was like 15-16. i was already into records (kinda, mostly reggae, soul and R&B), but i used to watch a lot of movies back then. I saw Do The Right Thing and that's what led me to this album. Pure awesomeness. I was amazed by the raw energy and the ferocity of the lyrics.

    I think this, along with Paul's Boutique or some other BB shit falls under the 'hip hop album most likely to be top 20 on a Rolling Stone mag best of all time list" category. I don't know if that's good or bad. I also can perfectly imagine how a 15-18 year old now would find this outdated. I probably would if I was that age right now and seriously into music.

  • Production trauma:
    I do remember listening to this cassette for the first time as loud as possible in my parent's vehicle (too young to drive) and thinking WTF when "Flash's Theme" started cutting in and out, on the intro of Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic.
    I had already heard Jazzy Jeff transform scratch by then too, but for some reason that moment sounded crazier, and it still strikes me.


    You won't get the same effect Spotify-streaming to weak laptop speakers at age 20.

  • dj_cityboydj_cityboy 1,404 Posts
    my public enemy ticket from when i saw them here in 89, Jorun & Crew opened for them...


  • Tea kettle.


    There was some interview with Priemer a log time ago and he basically said if you don't know this record than you don't know shit. Kind of cracked me up because it was on his "perpetrating" sample snitch type of rant.

    Awesome record. I could see how kids these days think its dated. I'm sure breaks and James brown sound dated to them. Not enough weird ad libs, money talk, or slang words. No fault of their own, just probably sounds a little old schooly to them.

  • batmonbatmon 27,579 Posts
    Fuck the kids.

    This changed the game.

  • batmon said:
    Fuck the kids.

    This changed the game.

    batmon said:
    Fuck the kids.

    This changed the game.

    batmon said:
    Fuck the kids.

    This changed the game.

    batmon said:
    Fuck the kids.

    This changed the game.

    This.

  • bassiebassie 11,711 Posts
    Made me who I am type shit.

    My best girl at that time was a metalhead - she bought the new Iron Maiden and I got this tape. We agreed to listen to each other's tapes from front to back and later on, her Dad asked, "How come such pretty girls are listening to such ugly musics?" This was beyond amusing to hear, if for no other reason than us being total freaks at school as the South Asian rocker and Iranian rap fiend. In retrospect, it must have be quite a racket coming out of her room to parental ears.

    Anyway. This belongs in the Top Five and I still play this record out.

  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 2,276 Posts
    drbrownscelray said:
    batmon said:
    Fuck the kids.

    This changed the game.

    batmon said:
    Fuck the kids.

    This changed the game.

    batmon said:
    Fuck the kids.

    This changed the game.

    batmon said:
    Fuck the kids.

    This changed the game.

    This.

    THIS

    i've had this in the car for the last month.

    this was always my joint - had me wanting a solo lp at the time.


  • ElectrodeElectrode Los Angeles 2,602 Posts
    When I was 13 or so, I discovered this after a (black!) neighbor on my block informed me what a "basehead" is. As mentioned, the beats hooked me; an assault of samples.

  • HorseleechHorseleech 3,830 Posts
    batmon said:
    Fuck the kids.

    This changed the game.

    I was living in NYC when this came out and playing in various hard/heavy rock bands. Pretty much every dude I knew on the scene was down with this, and it was the first rap album I had to own myself. It still plays something like a rock album to me, even though it's obviously a rap record. Something about the density of the samples works like guitars for me (and the Slayer samples and such).

    Brilliant all the way through - production/lyrics/performance/concept, it's basically a perfect record.

  • DanteDante 371 Posts
    Horseleech said:
    It still plays something like a rock album to me, even though it's obviously a rap record.

    Totally. It was weird for me to enjoy so much a record that had ???apparently??? very little to do with what I was listening at the time (angry teen guitar music + 60s shit).

    I guess that's part of what made it go from great to absolutely fucking huge record. At least in 'rockist' circles. I might be way out here, but i think people who were into hip hop before getting into rock wouldn't say this is the best hip hop record ever, and people who were into rock earlier would probably say so.

  • DORDOR Two Ron Toe 9,764 Posts
    One of the first hip hop concert I ever went to was the DefJam tour (But I think it was under a different name here). I was going mainly for EPMD... PE was doing stuff off Yo! Bum Rush the Show. I remember thinking their shit was tight, but still wasn't a huge fan (I still bought all the singles and album tho).

    Not until my uncle gave me some promo tape for It Takes a Nation. From that very first moment to this very day I hold "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" as one of the greatest albums of my generation.

    I was able to hit up 3 PE concerts in support of that album (Any old school Toronto dudes will remember hip hop concerts & jams at the Concert Hall during those times and how special they were. And the PE shows were AMAZING).

    The summer of 88, it was almost impossible to go anywhere without the album blasting from cars, school yards and on the courts.

    I may hardly listen to this album much anymore. But when I do, I'm still in love with the production and presentation.

    "From a rebel it's final on black vinyl
    Soul, rock and roll comin' like a rhino
    Tables turn - suckers burn to learn
    They can't dis-able the power of my label
    Def Jam - tells you who I am"

  • dollar_bindollar_bin I heartily endorse this product and/or event 2,305 Posts
    Thanks to this album, whenever I walk by a live microphone I find it hard to resist the temptation to scream into it "HAMMERSMITH ODEON ARE YOU READY FOR THE DEF JAM TOUR?!?!?!?!?"

  • batmon said:
    Fuck the kids.

    This changed the game.

    Ignorance is at an all time high!
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