MELVIN VAN PEEBLES

RnB / Jazz Related Soundtracks • United States
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Melvin Van Peebles' status as a pioneering African American filmmaker likely obscures the fact that he also busted barriers and blazed trails as one of the forebears of rap music. If there's anyone who can draw from a large pool of life experiences, it's Van Peebles, a supremely creative individual who can also list Air Force bombardier, cable car driver, postal worker, portrait painter, journalist, novelist, playwright, and actor in his resumé. Not only that, but he has lived in several locations throughout the U.S., Mexico, France, and Holland. Most of the attention aimed at Van Peebles throughout the years has been through the films he has written, directed, and scored -- including The Story of a Three Day Pass (1968), The Watermelon Man (1970), and Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) -- but he also revolutionized black music with several albums that combined rapping with out-there jazz and funk.

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MELVIN VAN PEEBLES Discography

MELVIN VAN PEEBLES albums / top albums

MELVIN VAN PEEBLES Brer Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Brer Soul
RnB 1969
MELVIN VAN PEEBLES Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1971
MELVIN VAN PEEBLES Don't Play Us Cheap album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Don't Play Us Cheap
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1972
MELVIN VAN PEEBLES Ghetto Gothic album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ghetto Gothic
RnB 1995

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MELVIN VAN PEEBLES Reviews

MELVIN VAN PEEBLES Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

Album · 1971 · Jazz Related Soundtracks
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js
An intense movie deserves an intense soundtrack, and that’s what we get with “Sweet Sweetback’s Badass Revenge”. A controversial movie when it was released in the early 70s, “Sweetback” is considered one of the first of the “blaxploitation” genre and the first film to feature a militant African American man in confrontation with the authorities and succeeding. Whereas some soundtracks can stand alone musically with plenty of songs that you can listen to apart from the movie, not this OST. Much of this album features sounds, jarring noises and dialog from the movie, not just music. This is a very intense album, almost avant-garde in places when snippets of dialog overlap with gun shots, police sirens, snarling dogs, yelling, screaming, pure chaotic noise, sexual climaxes and gospel choirs. No, this one is not for the timid, and if played loudly in a dark room, it can be downright intimidating. But, boring it is not. Any collector of the unusual and the bizarre in music ought to check this one out.

Side one opens with main character Sweetback answering a gospel choir acting as a sort of ‘Greek chorus’ letting him know what he is up against if he takes on ‘the man’. There is plenty of noise interspersed as this soundtrack builds a hallucinogenic inner city nightmare of confusion. “Running Song” is a fast paced jazzy rock groove with Sweetback saying over and over to his feet and legs to get moving as he runs from the law. This side ends with a relentless jazz funk workout. The band on here is no other than Earth Wind and Fire making one of their first appearances and playing a lot of old school funk and soul that sounds nothing like the slick sophisticated style they would develop later in their career.

Side two opens with a couple of RnB numbers that are probably the closest to regular music that you will hear on here, but when the off-kilter sounds of “Sanra Z” enter, it sounds like the band is falling down drunk and we are back into chaos land. What follows is some of the most intense moments yet as sections of dialog are layered on top of each other with plenty of yelling, cussing and racial epithets to spare. This album is not for everyone, but those who seek the unique and unusual will find a goldmine here.

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