On the Corner

Label
Legacy/Columbia
Release date
1972
Running length
15 tracks
Running time
147:42

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 On the Corner / New York Girl / Thinkin' of one Thing and Doin' Another / Vote for… 19:55 1,187
1 On The Corner/New York Girl/Thinkin' Of One Thing And Doin' Another/Vote For Miles 19:55 8,211
1 On The Corner 2:58 14,770
2 Black Satin 5:14 36,200
2 New York Girl 1:29 12,874
3 Thinkin' One Thing And Doin' Another 6:44 11,028
3 Thinkin' One Thing And Doin' 6:39 624
3 One and One 6:09 20,877
4 Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X (Unedited Master) 23:18 894
4 Vote For Miles 8:45 10,267
4 Helen Butte / Mr. Freedom X (Unedited Master) 23:18 811
7 Helen Butte 16:05 8,596
8 Mr. Freedom X 7:13 7,184

About this album

Could there be any more confrontational sound in Miles Davis’ vast catalog than the distorted guitars and tinny double-timing drums reacting to a two-note bass riff funking it up on the first track from On the Corner? Before the trumpet even enters the picture, the story has been broken off somewhere in the middle, with deep street music melding with a secret language held within the band and those who can actually hear this music — certainly not the majority of Miles’ fan base built up over the past 25 years. They heard this as a huge “f*ck you.” Miles just shrugged and told them it wasn’t personal, but they could take it that way if they wanted to, and he blew on his trumpet. Here are killer groove riffs that barely hold on as bleating trumpet and soprano sax lines (courtesy of Dave Liebman on track one) interact with John McLaughlin’s distortion-box frenzy. Michael Henderson’s bass keeps the basic so basic it hypnotizes; keyboards slowly enter the picture, a pair of them handled by Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, as well as Ivory Williams’ synthesizer. Finally, Colin Walcott jumps in with an electric sitar and there are no less than five drummers — three kits (Al Foster, Billy Hart, and Jack DeJohnette), a tabla player, and Mtume. It’s a four-tune suite, “On the Corner” is, but the separations hardly matter, just the shifts in groove that alter the time/space continuum. After 20 minutes, the set feels over and a form of Miles’ strange lyricism returns in “Black Satin.” Though a tabla kicks the tune off, there’s a recognizable eight-note melody that runs throughout.

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  • jefffq

    anyone know what corner this is?

    4 Jul 6:18pm Reply
  • bantha_fodder_

    Best goddamn album.

    14 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Brannu

    This album is incredible. Anyone who says this is Miles "selling out" needs to listen to this it again and compare it to any of the fusion that was being done at this time and you will realize that the greatest of all time was still "Miles Ahead".

    5 May 2013 Reply
  • zarqu

    The selling out part has always baffled me. Miles said that he wanted to connect with the young black audience which was listening to rock and funk, but c'mon... On The Corner was too weird for most people on the corner!

    24 Mar 2013 Reply
  • samtfrost

    Revisiting the album on The Complete On The Corner Sessions, one can only wonder who it was that critics felt Davis was selling out to.

    23 Jan 2013 Reply
  • boehj

    coolest album cover art ever.

    26 Sep 2012 Reply
  • Horakhty

    Diamanda Galás brought me here (http://thequietus.com/articles/09545-diamanda-galas-favourite-albums). I love the beat!!

    9 Aug 2012 Reply
  • mtw900

    Really nice and funky album, I just wish the bass line wasn't as repetitive on some of the songs.

    2 Jun 2012 Reply
  • robbyb0t

    the best avant-funk album to ever come from outer space

    27 Mar 2012 Reply
  • seniorweiner43

    Found this by complete accident. Got it simply for the cover! Funky as fuck!!!

    7 Mar 2012 Reply
  • 0lik91

    so sick so groovy

    21 Feb 2012 Reply
  • RussellChap

    5thDimensionalFunk

    25 Jan 2012 Reply
  • thybbuk

    i love this album, but hate when people call it "jazz rock"

    28 Aug 2011 Reply
  • Akayz7

    That tracklist is messed up... still a funky album though :)

    12 Apr 2011 Reply
  • ubermenschean

    If the track listing here is correct I am missing several songs on the version I've got O.o.

    19 Nov 2010 Reply
  • GoodnightLondon

    wicked album

    4 Aug 2010 Reply
  • BlackCoffeeDuck

    Got it! It's unbelievealbe!

    13 Jun 2009 Reply
  • vonWegen

    just discovered this album. jazzrock as it should be. just great.

    7 Apr 2009 Reply
  • loudyloudy

    wow.1972 album said to be inspired by Sly & the Family Stone..and what else?

    16 Feb 2009 Reply
  • innovativename

    This is INSANE, and I love it.

    18 Dec 2008 Reply
  • All 42 shouts

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