Vinyl LP £25.49 NUM1208LPDLX
Deluxe 180g vinyl, 50th anniversary edition LP on The Numero Group.
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- Is It Because I'm Black by Syl Johnson
8/10 Penrith Steve 22nd July 2015
"Is It Because I'm Black?" has been likened to Marvin Gaye's classic protest album "What's Going On". It challenges the listener to be aware of the plight of black Americans at the time, put up with what he has, gone through what he has gone through and for everybody to get along, essentially. The selection of the two covers, The Beatles "Come Together" and Joe South's "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" don't, therefore, need much explaining. The title track also requires little explanation, there's nothing implicit here, it's all out there. Musically, it is a beautiful, cool, slow groove which has been plundered for many a sample. The highlight however is "Concrete Reservation". The lyrics are a little more implicit, but not much, "Here in the ghetto it's a bad situation, call it what you want it's a concrete reservation". However, this makes it the best track on the album, it's easily up there with anything on "What's Going On". Lost classic? Yes, probably.
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