Wednesday, May 15, 2013

emergency on planet earth

Jamiroquai started a funky revolution with the ecological exhortations of this acid jazz exploration.   Jason "Jay" Kay started the group after unsucessfully auditioning to be the singer of the Brand New Heavies.  The name of the band combines jam session with the root of the Native American tribe Iroquois.  They released their first single 'When You Gonna Learn' on the Acid Jazz label, which led to an eight-album deal with Sony Music Entertainment. 'Emergency on Planet Earth' was produced by Mike Nielsen with Jay Kay on vocals; Wallis Buchanan on didjeridoo; Toby Smith on keyboards and string arrangements; Stuart Zender on bass; Nick Van Gelder on drums; Gary Barnacle on flute, saxophone, and brass arrangement; Simon Bartholomew and Glen Nightingale on guitar; DJ Dzire on turntables; Kofi Kari Kari and Maurizio Ravalico on percussion; Richard Edwards on trombone; John Thirkell on trumpet and flugelhorn; with Andrew Levy on additional bass; Gavin Dodds on additional guitar; Mike Smith on additional saxophone and flute; Linda Lewis on additional background vocals; Vanessa Simon on additional background vocals; and The Reggae Philharmonic Strings.  In the liner notes, Kay exclaims:   "At last! I finally get the chance to express myself and put some of my thoughts on vinyl."

'Emergency on Planet Earth'  grooved on up to number one hundred and one in France, seventy in Mexico, forty in Japan, thirty-three in Italy, twenty-one in Australia, seventeen in Germany, fifteen in the Netherlands, thirteen in Sweden, five in Switzerland, and number one in the UK. Kay reflected at the time:     "Has it been easier for me as a white artist?  From looking at what goes on , I'd say yeah. I know how black artists are treated in the business and it's diabolical. But I'd also say, look at techno and house, all that came from hip hop and house in Chicago and Detroit, it's a black thing. Look at Snow, 'Informer', what's that? It's all white people delving into heavy black roots, making dough out of it, keeping it going long enough to make a nice little scene. All of a sudden, you're blind to where it came from and it's a white scene!...The bottom line is, I like the music and I'm doing it out of respect. If someone's trying to do something crap and make money out of it, like Snow, that's one thing. I'M not doing it to say, 'Hey I'm white and I can do this.' I'm actually trying to make music for everybody, and it you look at the crowd at my gigs, you'll see black, white, Asian, Chinese, every type of person, which is sweet...I've got soul, a feeling for what I'm doing. That's what black people are good at. Look at Jimi Hendrix, look at James Brown Get Down. He's doing what he's doing, without worrying about anything else. But a lot of white artists, especially today, haven't got it, it just ain't happening for them...Soul is the energy and emotion you put into something. That's why black music from the Thirties onwards is so fucking good. 'Cause it's come out of shit, out of cotton fields and singing in church. When the only thing you've got left is your fucking voice...I look at myself as a little person and the people who run the Government as big people.  They hold all the cards and are saying, 'You can't do anything about it.' But I'm saying there's people who can't eat, we're having wars all the time, that the Government's taking the piss. And I'm trying to generate money which I can donate to Greenpeace and Friends Of The Earth and Oxfam, people who can help sort things out...I suppose I've got a bit of an ego on me; but I've lived on my own a lot, so you learn to look after yourself and you just can't change. Anyway, I'd rather be like this, 'cause you gotta have a bit about you to get on, to have the confidence to get through."

"When You Gonna Learn"

"If I Like It, I Do It"

'Emergency on Planet Earth' 

full album:

00:00 "When You Gonna Learn (Digeridoo)"  
03:50 "Too Young to Die"  
09:56 "Hooked Up"  
14:32 "If I Like It, I Do It"  
19:26 "Music of the Mind"  
25:48 "Emergency on Planet Earth"  
29:53 "Whatever It Is, I Just Can't Stop" 
34:00   "Blow Your Mind"  
42:32 "Revolution 1993"  
52:49 "Didgin' Out"  

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