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Gil Scott-Heron — The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Album: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Avg rating:
7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 301









Released: 1970
Length: 3:01
Plays (last 30 days): 0
You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
Blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Mendel Rivers to eat
Hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
Thinner, the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie Mays
Pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
Or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
On reports from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
Brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
Run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the right occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so god damned relevant, and
Women will not care if Dick finally screwed
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
Will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock
News and no pictures of hairy armed women
Liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb or
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash or Englebert Humperdink.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back
After a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
Bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
Will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.
Comments (104)add comment
This tracks's twin by another mother (of invention) is Zappa and the Mother's Trouble Every Day. 
 peter_james_bond wrote:
He's right, these days the revolution will not be televised, it will be tweeted and facebooked.

 
may each of tRump's tweets lead him and his entire crew of ass kissing hench-men into prison, then the healthcare rights of women, working people, our children and the state of the environment can be a priority

Great Artist GSH 
what an interesting song, first time hearing it. Not as out of date as you'd think

strong artist (only experienced when psd'ing), imo this is historically vital music
When in college, I listened to this with awe. It was always brilliant, always will be.  Next: his jaw-dropping Johannesburg. 

Poor man and his junk habit. 
 
love the psd option and how I get the strong spirit of GSH, important history in his songs
right on!
got GSH on a psd today and I thank you, this is vital music from an inspiring artist made at a historically important time

 
I see that GSH was played a year ago, would so love to actually re-experience him and his awesome music here on RP
PEACE 
The revolution will be fought by internet bloggers.
Will anyone else know it? 
 Shesdifferent wrote:
Too bad we don't have a you tube video of this
 
ha ha that would be ironic {#Clap}
Not into it.
Yes, thank you Bill...
Thanks Bill
Too bad we don't have a you tube video of this

The revolution will not be re-run brothers 
The revolution will be live 
 


RIP Brother.
Great musician, great music.
Have a lovely day Gil.

Yes and all I really wanna say
Is that the problems come and go,
But the sunshine seems to stay
Hey

Just look around
I think we've found
A lovely day

Sometimes it rains
And I feel kinda strange
Because it seems like my problems begin
Without the sunshine on which I depend
And all that make me feel like I need to hear the sun say

Hey, just look around
I think we've found
A lovely day

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-HnVvAxabc




RIP Gil....released in 1970...it had a huge impact at the time....great music...
MORE.
Rest in peace Mr. Scott-Heron
Man, this is some kinda wonderful.

the revolution will not be right back after a message about a white tornado....
whoa! what ever happened to peace, love and understanding?  {#Eek}
He's right, these days the revolution will not be televised, it will be tweeted and facebooked.
This is one huge P.O.S.

1
Oh so THIS is where Wesley Willis got his style from... interesting
{#Clap}
great song!
Doesn't he mention CNN in this song?  And didn't CNN come after 1974?

Totally random connection - but check out the bass line on "Metronomic Underground" by Stereolab. The inspiration is evident!
Musical coincidence:  This song came up on our 12k song iPod this morning and now again here.

Play it again Sam!


 tonypf wrote:
Wow, Gil!  Actually the revolution wasn't televised, but it did happen... more quietly and persistently than we could have imagined at the time.   Look around.
 
You're thinking of the coup? That happened back in '00 and '04. Word. {#Cool}
Those lyrics are awesome.
Okay, I'm over the fact this song is from the 70's and it was an original Rap song.  This song just sucks!  Of course, I can't stand Rap music.
Wow, Gil!  Actually the revolution wasn't televised, but it did happen... more quietly and persistently than we could have imagined at the time.   Look around.
Lets give a HOORAY! for RP playing something different.

Credit due to Gil for being instrumental (so to speak) in the creation of 'Rap" as a genre.

Unfortunately, his message on this track and personal story haven't blossomed as well as they might.


Thank God that playlist is over. I'm leaving to get some aspirin... I'll be right back (maybe not...Bill's now playing cosmic Love Child... good-bye)
 fran_tarkenton wrote:
How Ironic.  If the revolution is not televised it will be irrelevant.  Case and point the many protests during the Bush Era which received little to no press coverage.  Lots of people out there were pissed off and were letting the government know.  The evening news conveniently forgot to cover them for the most part, likely due to the risk of appearing unpatriotic!  Chicken Sh*#**t's
 

What's even more ironic is now that we have a President in the White House who falls on the opposite side of the party line of Bush, et al, we find the conservative "revolution" (in the guise of the Tea Party and the like) all over the television, all the time.
One of the first Rap songs?   From 1974 - sounds a lot like Rap of today.   Hopefully Rap dies a quick death!  Along with boys underwear showing out of every wannabe rapper's back side!

Long before there was rap, there was Gil Scot-Heron.

I saw him several times in various Chicago venues.  One time, in a rather small club, he came out by himself, so unobtrusively that, at first, no one paid any attention to him, thinking he was a stage hand fiddling with the equipment.  Then he sat down in front of the mike and began (something like):  "They say I'm a protest singer. But I'm not a damn protest singer.  If you put your hand in my pocket and grab my wallet, and I say, "What the f*** are you doing?" That's not a protest."    

We've come a long way since then. (But not all the way)
Wait..........what?
How Ironic.  If the revolution is not televised it will be irrelevant.  Case and point the many protests during the Bush Era which received little to no press coverage.  Lots of people out there were pissed off and were letting the government know.  The evening news conveniently forgot to cover them for the most part, likely due to the risk of appearing unpatriotic!  Chicken Sh*#**t's
Classic.

In this age of 24/7 cable news coverage, it is even more apparent that the Revolution will NOT be televised. We are all lulled to sleep by what we see on television and believe to be true, while the true reality happens behind the scenes and off camera.
The revolution won't just be televised, it will be streamed, podcasted, tweeted, Facebooked, YouTubed and blogged. What remains to be seen is whether there will be a revolution, and what it will revolt against.

These days? The revolution will be a reality show on FOX.

Who is going to break it to him that the revolution was, in fact, televised?


Whoa, Zappa and this. Instant flashback to college and that friend everyone has that always knows the latest, coolest music. He was a big Zappa fan, and turned me on to this. It was pretty avant garde at the time.


Wow, it's not very often that I want to turn of RP, but now is one of them.
Well, it was a great thought. But instead becoming irrelevant, TV just morphed into the internet, ipods, and video games.
Woof.  Tuning out.
I remember this from being a pre-adolescent interested in "what's going on" - the song grabbed me and, I gues, never let me go - I didn't know who had written / performed this piece unhtil, in my twenties, I heard a performance of Last Poets' "niggas Are Scared of Revolution", which lead to "Jones Comin' Down", and others... I thought it was wonderful to see Gil on Def Poetry (during the last of their three seasons on HBO, I believe) - he was looking good!
Damn, I missed hearing this one. I was shocked to see it in the current playlist. I love this piece if for nothing more than looking back to what it represented in its day. Heron, along with The Last Poets were originators in the stylings of spoken word performance and spoke powerfully to the black experience of the 60's. So cool to hear this here at RP.
Darkmatter wrote:
Time has proven this song wrong, the revolution will be televised for sure. Or maybe posted on Youtube. :rolleyes:
Or maybe "The Revolution" will do in television altogether! Maybe the revolution will not have occured until television (among many other things, of course) have been disposed of first?
Darkmatter wrote:
Time has proven this song wrong, the revolution will be televised for sure. Or maybe posted on Youtube. :rolleyes:
I agree with that! Everything is televised--especially if it is violent. The peaceful revolution is what is not being televised--the teachers, counselors, etc. working behind the scenes to make life better for all.
Another cut from my vinyl collection lives! This really isn't rap. GSH is more of a poet/spoken work performer backed by a jazz group. FYI - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gil_Scott-Heron
Good lyrics. To bad about rap. SIDS?
Time has proven this song wrong, the revolution will be televised for sure. Or maybe posted on Youtube. :rolleyes:
Hedwig wrote:
television is the opiate of the masses
or perhaps the Coliseum? What ever this song freakin' kicks! 9
10. An absolute classic. And not only will the revolution not be televised, neither will the war. They didn't expect that when this one came out. I, for one, would love to hear more hip-hop here. Seriously doubt that will happen.
milehighYinzer wrote:
I agree that some rap sucks, but this is good. Listen to the bass and flute in this song, it is awesome.
Guess that was an "over-generalization". I do like some of what GSH does; just not this track. Eminem & the like I can live without.
ramette wrote:
Did he say the theme song would not be written by Jim Webb? As in senator Jim Webb from Virginia? (I must say I would not mind if he did write the theme song. I really like JW.)
I think he's referring to Oklahoma native/Nashville songwriter Jimmy Webb. He wrote a number of country hits and has recently teamed with Vince Gill to write the Oklahoma State Bicenntenial song, "Oklahoma Rising." I wouldn't expect to hear it on RP anytime soon. :naughty: :naughty: :naughty: Long live the revolution.
queenjill wrote:
You said it. I think television is what's preventing the revolution.... That said, I'm all psyched about Grey's Anatomy this week! Do you think she's gonna die?
i wouldn't know. i like to think i walk my talk
I hate Rap music, but I can appreciate that fact that he is not talking about shooting cops, dealing drugs, slapping ho's, or rollin 24's on his escalade. Also no cursing. Current rap "artists" should take notes.
On_The_Beach wrote:
Rap sucks, whatever the decade.
I agree that some rap sucks, but this is good. Listen to the bass and flute in this song, it is awesome.
Hedwig wrote:
television is the opiate of the masses
You said it. I think television is what's preventing the revolution.... That said, I'm all psyched about Grey's Anatomy this week! Do you think she's gonna die?
I like this a lot. Noted the 70s flute. Some lines cracked me up. Its important to remember that all the TV that's on now, was on in the past or that will come later can be saved for the nursing home years from now. It's important to live now, enjoy all the people and experience you can in your life while you're young and vibrant.... PS-this has been a great set in a blah workday. Heron, Franti, Wonder and now Welch...
So let's get off our asses and make it happen!
Rap sucks, whatever the decade.
Did he say the theme song would not be written by Jim Webb? As in senator Jim Webb from Virginia? (I must say I would not mind if he did write the theme song. I really like JW.) Edit: never mind, I found the answer: (click here)
-snap- -snap- Diggit!
Nice retrospective of an idealistic era. Considering what's going on nowadays, we could use an updated version of this piece. :guitarist:
Right on, man.
Wow! I have not heard this in ages. Got any H2O blues?
the revolution will be streaming on RP.
television is the opiate of the masses
P.E. in 'da house in full effect booooooiiiieeee. -smirk-
Stop shouting at me!
thermion7 wrote:
Aw Jeez... this is an artifact. a slice of '70's culture - funny, every freaking thing is televised in the new millenium.
Uhh, I think your not gettin' the point.
:cool:
"The revolution will put you in the dirver's seat" Kind of sums up the niavety of that era, eh?
Aw Jeez... this is an artifact. a slice of '70's culture - funny, every freaking thing is televised in the new millenium.
Sorry, must reconsider and demote. Had in mind another song, maybe called "Ain't Really a Life"? This one . . . is not as good.
jadewahoo wrote:
This song, this artist, is seminal in much more than Rap music, a genre I particularily do not care for, but for the expression of thought and perception that was then, as it remains, counter to everything the corporate mindset seeks to perpetrate against true freedom of speech. All this "I like it, it deserves a 10....I hate it it deserves a 1" mindset is of that same corporate demeanment of anything that isn't hip and current and postured. The ratings that we (I include myself and my own ratings contributions) NEVER speak of the actual value of the music, but rather reveal our own preferences. nothing more. And comments such as this that I write, or that you write, are nothing more than one person's opinion. Just like the music... it is an artistic expression, and there is no empiracle scientific measurement for good music. Thankfully.
"Art, all art, is merely the expression of something." - Woody Allen
Wow! I was just thinking today that's it's about time this song got played. Because you can already bet that whomever is elected or appointed by however small a margin will claim a mandate. As the man says, "Mandate, my ass."
This song, this artist, is seminal in much more than Rap music, a genre I particularily do not care for, but for the expression of thought and perception that was then, as it remains, counter to everything the corporate mindset seeks to perpetrate against true freedom of speech. All this "I like it, it deserves a 10....I hate it it deserves a 1" mindset is of that same corporate demeanment of anything that isn't hip and current and postured. The ratings that we (I include myself and my own ratings contributions) NEVER speak of the actual value of the music, but rather reveal our own preferences. nothing more. And comments such as this that I write, or that you write, are nothing more than one person's opinion. Just like the music... it is an artistic expression, and there is no empiracle scientific measurement for good music. Thankfully.
The reveloution will not go better with Coke.... ROFL.
8)
Well that ruined a good two hour run. /sigh
KevinM wrote:
Sounds more like a speech by Jesse Jackson, Don King or Al Sharpton - either way it sucks. Edit: I had no idea who this Gil Scott-Heron was so I looked him up in AMG. He is billed as "One of the most important progenitors of rap music". So we can blame him for all this CRAP coming out now? - now it really sucks.
respect the culture man, as you obviously have no clue what you're talking about.
I seem to remember it was Gil Scott Heron and the Last Poets (is that right?) that truly introduced rap music as we know it. This song is a landmark in music. --Shari
AugieK wrote:
You can feel all of the rage, with none of the posing.
Oh, please. This song is all about pose.
awesome song. awesome sentiment. i only wish it were true. every time i hear this song, i start singing along, then i start yelling "but it was!". MTV saw to that pretty well. Woodstock 2 (and subsequent sequels) anyone? the lessen of the modern "counterculture" and "alternative" movements, in their various permutations, is that pretty much anything can be bought, sold, and marketed, including the idea that not everything can be bought, sold, or marketed. it's sad, but the revolution is not only televised, it's an AOL keyword and the next-up reality TV show. as ani said, hip-hop's tied up in the back room with a logo stuffed in its mouth.
Sounds more like a speech by Jesse Jackson, Don King or Al Sharpton - either way it sucks. Edit: I had no idea who this Gil Scott-Heron was so I looked him up in AMG. He is billed as "One of the most important progenitors of rap music". So we can blame him for all this CRAP coming out now? - now it really sucks.
WTF?
Originally Posted by oneworld: Wow. This is a classic, along with "Lady Day and John Coltrane".
That one was rejected. I tried...
Wow. This is a classic, along with \"Lady Day and John Coltrane\".
The Revolution Will NOT Be Televised. But, you know, 25 years later, he was pretty damn close... :clap:
ahhh......been quite a while since I\'ve heard this one....may have to drag out my vinyl copy of this again.... :-)
Thanks for this flash back. My afro is gone and I'm still waiting for the instant replay.
Originally Posted by AugieK: Since I uploaded it, I suppose it is unfair to rate it, but niggling details like that never stopped me before. This is an excellent song from one of the pioneers of what became rap. You can feel all of the rage, with none of the posing. And I like the dark humor in it as well.
:lol:
Great tune! Another good Gil Scott tune is \"Winter In America\".
Cool! Haven\'t heard this in 15 or 20 years. Great!!
Since I uploaded it, I suppose it is unfair to rate it, but niggling details like that never stopped me before. This is an excellent song from one of the pioneers of what became rap. You can feel all of the rage, with none of the posing. And I like the dark humor in it as well.