Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Herbie Hancock - Future Shock
The Platinum selling album charted at number 51 in Japan, number 43 on the US Billboard 200 Album chart, number 27 in the UK, number 25 in France, and number 22 in Germany. It also reached number 19 in Sweden, number 16 in the Netherlands, number 10 on the US Billboard R&B chart, number 9 in Switzerland and number 2 on the US Billboard Jazz chart.
Side one takes off with “Rockit”, a single which charted at number 10 in Sweden, number 9 in Canada, number 8 in the UK, number 7 in Austria, the Netherlands and New Zealand, number 6 in Germany, and number 4 in Belgium and Switzerland. Here in the US, it charted at number 71 on the Billboard Hot 200, number 6 on the Billboard R&B chart and number 1 on the Billboard Dance chart. The song won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance while its innovative music video, directed by Godley and Crème, won a number of MTV Music Video Awards in 1984. This instrumental groove was a huge party track during my first year of college, both in the clubs and at campus events. With the volume cranked, the irresistible bass on this one shakes the house. D.S.T. (Derek Showard), a prominent Manhattan mix-master, provided the scratching turntable effects for the song and album.
“Future Shock”, featuring Jackson on vocals, is a cover of a tune by Curtis Mayfield from his 1973 album Back to the World. An edited down version of this eight-minute danceable track charted as a single at number 54 in the UK.
“TFS” closes out the side with a synth-prominent, up-beat instrumental. I like seeing the jazz improvisational elements played out on a new-wave/funk canvas.
Side two opens with “Earth Beat”. I like the eastern influence sounds to this one, as well as the scratching effects that approximate to some form of guttural language. It all adds up to a primeval performance.
“Autodrive”, the second single, went to number 53 in Germany, number 39 in the Netherlands, number 36 on the US Billboard Dance chart, number 33 in the UK, and number 26 on the US Billboard R&B chart. I like the introduction of the straight piano element about half-way through, allowing Hancock to give his long-time fans a bit of what he was most known for.
Wright has the lead vocals on “Rough”, the closing track on the record. The deeper, laughing voice always reminds me a vindictive genie.
While I was very much familiar with the lead hit single, the rest of Future Shock managed to escape my listening sphere. However, after one listen I knew this Herbie Hancock album was a must-have for my collection. It features solid R&B grooves that would have easily fallen into the dance-influenced listening habits of my college years.