We’re very excited to announce today the release of Listen, Whitey! The Sounds of Black Power 1967 – 1974 (LITA 081 – CD | 2xLP | Digital) and the companion book Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965 – 1975 (published by Fantagraphics). For the time first ever, Black and White artists share space on a definitive anthology of the Black Power era that explores the era when revolutionaries were seen as pop culture icons: Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael – and musicians were seen as revolutionaries; Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and others. Listen, Whitey! is a cross-cultural overview that sees Bob Dylan’s out-of-print 1971 single “George Jackson” reissued for the first time along with several selections from Motown’s long forgotten ‘Black Forum’ label – Motown’s early 70’s Black Power militant imprint that has never been documented until now with provocative recordings from SNCC spokesman Stokely Carmichael, outspoken African-American poet Amiri Baraka, and Black Panther Party singer/songwriter Elaine Brown.
Intensive hours of research led to this 16-track anthology that not only brings together Dylan and Lennon on the same compilation for the first time (via John & Yoko’s 1972 song about Angela Davis), but presents the diversity of the Black Power Movement like never before. Despite their common goal of freedom and respect, many of these activists didn’t necessarily speak for or to each other. Eldridge Cleaver was living in exile in Algiers in 1970 when LSD guru Timothy Leary showed up seeking asylum. Weeks later, Leary was placed under ‘house arrest’ by Cleaver and that moment is presented here. The Last Poets quickly splintered into several factions not long after their debut and several recordings capture that tumultuous period. Comedian Dick Gregory was as into mocking the establishment as he was trying to make people laugh and his monologue reflects a time when ‘entertainment’ needed to be political to be relevant. There were regional private press 7 inch singles from the likes of the Shahid Quintet, and the Black Panther’s own band The Lumpen. Gene McDaniels’ Outlaw album has long been a cult favorite, and is represented by a 1970 live version of “Silent Majority.” No Black Power anthology would be complete without Gil Scott-Heron featured on a rare 1970’s solo piano take of “Winter in America.” The international significance of the times is reflected with a live 1969 recording of English folk singer Roy Harper’s “I Hate The White Man.”
Both CD (40-page booklet) and 2xLP (8-page booklet) feature book-deep liner notes by author and compiler Pat Thomas loaded with rare album covers, ephemera and unseen photos (including the cover photo of Huey Newton). CD features a heavy-stock and high UV gloss Digipak, while the 2xLP sports a deluxe old-school Tip-On gatefold jacket. Aces either way you go.
For more info, audio samples and to order Listen, Whitey! The Sounds of Black Power 1967 – 1974 (CD / 2xLP / Digital), click here. You may also pick up the 10″ x 10″, 200-page hardcover book, Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965 – 1975 here. We’re also offering exclusive package deals of the book + CD and book + 2xLP, which you can snag here.