Monday, 11 March 2013

Top 102 Albums⁺ No. 39 It takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

Top 102 Albums No. 39 
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back - Public Enemy
"I got a right to be hostile, man, my people's being persecuted"
It must be one of the more surreal sights I've seen. Public Enemy, flanked by the S1W (Security of the First World replete with replica Uzis) doing an afternoon public appearance on the cricket pitch at Trinity College in advance of playing the Trinity Ball that night. Their actual gig that night is lost in a haze. I lost the power of making memories, or perhaps even consciousness, before they made their appearance.

Shame, because they certainly produced one of the most memorable albums of the era, crunching together sic-fi, horror, evangelism, politics and more over a soundscape of sirens, scratchy beats and concentrated confrontation. It's angry, it's funny, it's wrongheaded at times, at others spot on but all the time challenging.

There's an element of cartoon and bags of humour too. The politics was leavened. Much of this achieved by Flavor Flav asides interrupting Chuck D's impassioned rapping.

The 'hood'
Highlights include Bring the Noise and Don't Believe the Hype which open the album with a bang. And the whole album bursts with ideas and the energy of a live performance, emphasised through the use of intros and audience responses.

I can't claim to have anything other  than a nodding acquaintance with rap but this album still finds its way back onto my turntable with regularity.

The revolution will have to make do with being at 33rpm.


  1. Not for me I'm afraid to say Seamus.
    I never really got into the rap bag...

  2. I got this in the day but been years since I listen to it ,I must upload it next time I reefresh my ipod ,all the best stu