Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth (Remastered) The 24-Carat Black
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- 1Synopsis One: In The Ghetto / God Save The World08:39
- 2Poverty's Paradise12:43
- 4Synopsis Two: Mother's Day02:05
- 5Mother's Day09:45
- 7Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth03:45
- 824-Carat Black (Theme)07:15
Info for Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth (Remastered)
A one-off concept album that’s a big fat Soul-R&B gem: Craft Recordings will reissue the definitive version of one of the most ambitious, groundbreaking records in the Stax catalog: The 24-Carat Black Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth.
Composed, arranged, and produced almost entirely by longtime Isaac Hayes collaborator Dale Warren, the album draws marked comparisons to the lush, transformative arrangements penned by Warren for the seminal trio of Hayes albums, Hot Buttered Soul, The Isaac Hayes Movement, and …To Be Continued. Often cited as one of the first concept albums in the soul, funk and R&B genres at a time when such boldly artistic statements were reserved for progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd, this ‘soul opera,’ featuring just eight tracks, is an entrancing mixture of lush, orchestral soul ballads and Blaxploitation-era funk grooves, split into vignettes dealing with aspects of everyday life in some of America’s poorest areas. Its unique blend of immaculately arranged grooves and socially conscious narrative launched the album into cult-classic status among DJs and producers who have sampled it for tracks, most recently by Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Digable Planets, Dr. Dre, and many others.
More about The 24-Carat Black Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth: Composed of Larry Austin (bass); Tyrone Steels (percussion); Jerome Derrickson (saxophone); Ricky Foster (trumpet); James Talbert (electric piano); William Talbert (organ); and Princess Hearn, Kathleen Dent, and Valerie Malone (vocals), The 24-Carat Black was helmed by Dale Warren who famously orchestrated the strings for Isaac Hayes' albums Hot Buttered Soul, The Isaac Hayes Movement and ...To Be Continued. This reissue of their lone studio album for the Enterprise label follows a 2009 archival compilation from the Numero Group entitled Gone: The Promises of Yesterday (2009), which collects previously unreleased material from the group.
Embraced in the early 90s by Britain’s rare groove scene and later sampled by Digable Planets and Jay-Z, Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth has since been known as 24-Carat Black’s first and final chapter, barely a footnote in the well documented history of Stax. Producer and songwriter Dale Warren’s dark urban concept album, released in the fall of 1973, challenged even its target audience to embrace it. A downer message to the emerging black middle class and too heady for a populace basking in the afterglow of the Wattstax festival held a year prior, the record didn’t approach radio’s pop standards and wasn’t near white enough for the mainstream press. Warren’s brainchild band simply pushed past their concept’s conclusion, piling up dozens of reels for an intimate follow-up album that no one in the world wanted to hear. Yet. With their ambitious debut LP downgraded to cutout status when Stax finally shuttered in 1975, 24-Carat Black found themselves watching their moment recede in the rearview.
For 35 years, the sketches for 24-Carat Black’s sophomore release hibernated in Dale Warren's protoge', keyboardist and session engineer Bruce Thompson’s basement below the south side of Chicago. Abandoned by Warren when the studio bill darkened his mailbox, the tapes, over decades, had fallen into soggy disrepair, useless save for the six tracks featured on our release. Because Gone: The Promises Of Yesterday is by no means a sequel to Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth. Missing are the poignant and bleak sermons on the pain of inner-city existence, replaced by dusky, sensuous re-workings of tainted love songs Warren had written as far back as 1965 during his time as a songwriter at Shrine and Motown. Still, his unfinished self-reinvention, even heard through the prism of these skeletal remnants, delivers on a remarkable purity of vision: one man’s corner of black culture, 24 carats pure and mishandled perhaps until now, finally a bit less misunderstood.