349

Eugene McDaniels: Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
This is soul. Not Al Green soul. Not Isaac Hayes soul (but perhaps a bit closer to that). This is the soul of the black man. It is the soul of a student of history who is sick and tired of force-feeding and ready to spit back. This is the soul of a man tired of the system and using his art to reframe and correct it.

When it first came out in 1971, Eugene McDaniels’ vitriolic statement irked and ired many, including Vice President Spiro Agnew, who personally contacted Atlantic Records to demand that the album be shelved. Despite this high praise from such a high post, the album’s music and message has survived in the hearts and minds of music lovers (including The Beastie Boys, who sampled a piece of McDaniels’ wisdom on Ill Communication ) and has now been revived in the equally aware hands of Producer Joel Dorn.

Though the abum may be a grand departure from McDaniel’s earlier hit, "Compared to What," its provocative soothe continues to reverberate. Predicting the coming of acid jazz and even gangster rap, McDaniels covers both the topics of his time — from the horoscopic groove of "Lovin’ Man" to the androgynous murder of "Jagger the Dagger" — and of times past and still present in sharp-eyed chronicles like "Headless Heroes," "Supermarket Blues," the subtly bomb-bastic "Freedom Death Dance" and "The Parasite" (which may be dedicated to Native American artiast and activist Buffy St.Marie). Wrapping his sharp words in cozy key lines and absorbent rhythms, McDaniels tells it like it is and rarely shirks the truth. Though "Susan Jane" is a jangly Dylan-esque exercise in simple rhyme, it acts as a necessary break from McDaniels’ torrential attacks of conscience.


Track Listing: 1. Lord Is Back 2. Jagger the Dagger 3. Lovin' Man 4. Headless Heroes 5. Susan Jane 6. Freedom Death Dance 7. Supermarket Blues 8. Parasite (For Buffy)

Title: Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Label M


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Without All the Chatter" CD/LP/Track Review Without All the Chatter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Transitions" CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge" CD/LP/Track Review Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin at Morey Baker’s...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Living In Twilight" CD/LP/Track Review Living In Twilight
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "For the Love of You" CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Saluting Sgt. Pepper" CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.