The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Bring the Noise! Public Enemy’s Landmark “It Takes a Nation of Millions” to Be Expanded

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PublicLast year, UMe demanded that listeners “Respect the Classics” with a new series of multi-format reissues dedicated to landmark hip-hop albums from the vaults of labels including Def Jam, Interscope, Priority and Virgin.  One of last year’s releases was an LP reissue of Public Enemy’s 1988 release It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.  On November 24, Def Jam will revisit that title once again with a 2-CD/1-DVD expanded reissue.

The second album by hip hop group Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions only peaked at No. 42 on the Billboard 200, but has since been recognized as one of the most influential albums in the hip-hop genre.  With lead MC Chuck D ratcheting up the group’s social commentary via his pointed lyrics, It Takes a Nation took a cue from Marvin Gaye’s seminal What’s Going On and attracted attention from the mainstream that Public Enemy’s 1987 debut failed to receive.  It reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Black Albums list and made a Top 10 placement in the U.K. pop chart, as well.  The LP has since been declared platinum and has been considered in some quarters to be the greatest hip-hop album of all time.

It Takes a Nation of Millions was the result of extensive preproduction.  Rather than touring with the rest of the group Eric “Vietnam” Sadler and Hank Shocklee remained in the studio shaping the material for the Nation of Millions album, readying tracks for Chuck D and Flavor Flav’s return.  Produced by production team The Bomb Squad (including Chuck D) under the auspices of executive producer Rick Rubin, the sixteen tracks on It Takes a Nation blended rap with funk, electronica, pop, soul and rock influences to create a singular aural assault.  Music from the album has since been sampled by artists of various genres such as The Beastie Boys, The Game, Jay Z, Jurassic 5, Madonna and My Bloody Valentine.

After the jump, we have details on what you can expect from this set, plus pre-order links and the full track listing with discography!

The first disc of Def Jam’s deluxe package features the original album.  The second disc presents 13 rare bonus mixes and instrumentals as well as the unique soundtrack version of “Fight the Power” as heard in the Spike Lee joint Do the Right Thing.  The third disc, a DVD, has director Hart Perry’s 1989 film Fight the Power… Live, previously released on VHS and long unavailable for sale. The DVD also includes the original videos for “Fight the Power,” “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos,” and “Night of the Living Baseheads” along with several live performances.

This deluxe reissue of Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back is due in stores on November 24.  You can peruse the track listing and pre-order below!

Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back: Deluxe Edition (Def Jam/UMe, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Disc 1: Original LP (originally released as Def Jam Recordings 527 358-1, 1988)

  1. Countdown to Armageddon
  2. Bring the Noise
  3. Don’t Believe the Hype
  4. Cold Lampin’ with Flavor
  5. Terminator X to the Edge of Panic
  6. Mind Terrorist
  7. Louder Than a Bomb
  8. Caught, Can We Get a Witness?
  9. Show ‘Em Whatcha Got
  10. She Watch Channel Zero?!
  11. Night of the Living Baseheads
  12. Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos
  13. Security of the First World
  14. Rebel Without a Pause
  15. Prophets of Rage
  16. Party for Your Right to Fight

Disc 2: Bonus material

  1. Bring the Noise (No Noise Version) (12″ B-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-07545, 1987)
  2. Bring the Noise (No Noise Instrumental) (12″ B-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-07545, 1987)
  3. Bring the Noise (No Noise A Capella) (12″ B-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-07545, 1987)
  4. Rebel Without a Pause (Instrumental) (12″ B-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-06861, 1987)
  5. Night of the Living Baseheads (Anti-High Blood Pressure Encounter Mixx) (12″ A-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-08121, 1988)
  6. Night of the Living Baseheads (Terminator X Meets DST and Chuck Chill Out Instrumental Version) (12″ B-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-08121, 1988)
  7. Terminator X to the Edge of Panic (No Need to Panic Radio Version) (12″ B-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-08121, 1988)
  8. The Edge of Panic (12″ B-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-08121, 1988)
  9. The Rhythm, The Rebel (A Capella) (12″ A-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-07846, 1988)
  10. Prophets of Rage (Power Version) (12″ B-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-07846, 1988)
  11. Caught, Can We Get a Witness? (Pre-Black Steel Ballistic Felony Dub) (12″ B-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-68216, 1989)
  12. B-Side Wins Again (Original Version) (12″ B-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-68216, 1989)
  13. Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos (Instrumental) (12″ B-side – Def Jam Recordings 44-68216, 1989)
  14. Fight the Power (Soundtrack Version) (from Music from Do the Right Thing: A Spike Lee Joint – Motown MOT-6272, 1980)

Disc 3: DVD – Fight the Power…Live! (CMV Enterprises VHS 19V-49020, 1989)

  1. Countdown to Armageddon
  2. Public Enemy No. 1
  3. Miuzi Weighs a Ton
  4. Night of the Living Baseheads
  5. Fight the Power (promo video)
  6. Bring the Noise
  7. Don’t Believe the Hype
  8. Cold Lampin’ with Flavor
  9. Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos (promo video)
  10. Rebel Without a Pause
  11. Terminator X to the Edge of Panic
  12. Night of the Living Baseheads (promo video)
  13. Prophets of Rage

Written by Joe Marchese

November 20, 2014 at 10:32

Posted in DVD, News, Public Enemy, Reissues

6 Responses

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  1. This is great news. Also Public Enemy’s follow up to “Nation Of Millions”, “Fear Of A Black Planet”, is also getting the deluxe treatment and being released on the same day as “Nation”.

    Eddie Scott

    November 20, 2014 at 11:59

  2. do we have any word on remastering, and if so, by whom? I’ve preordered already anyway, because I need Def Jam to do more of these (Slick Rick’s Great Adventures LP, PE’s Apocalypse 91 with all those remixes intact, and dozens more)…


    November 22, 2014 at 18:03

    • Just got my copies of the Public Enemy Deluxe Edtions. They’ve both been remastered (by Kevin Reeves on “Nation” and Warren Sokol on “Black Planet”). Should be a substantial improvement in sound over the original CDs.

      Eddie Scott

      November 26, 2014 at 10:47

      • Thanks! Got my copy sitting here, but haven’t cracked the seal yet. Hoping for some time to mess with the neighbors this weekend.


        November 26, 2014 at 19:46

  3. And these are only a few weeks off. Crazy. I’d be very curious to see how these track listings stack up to the planned and then cancelled versions from a few years ago. These look like standard “collect everything commercially released” jobs, which is fine considering the age of the masters and the unavailability of the remixes in any comprehensive form. Chuck D inferred Uni backed off the original re-releases due to sampling issues, which makes me wonder if demos, etc were part of the mix. So many hip-hop records oop due to never having samples cleared, altho with everyone scrambling for $$ these days, I bet it’s a lot easier to get licenses than it used to be!

    Jeff Rougvie

    November 24, 2014 at 15:00

  4. I’m in anticipation of the Fear of a Black Planet release, but got the It Takes… edition delivered last week. I can tell you that the Fight the Power Live DVD isn’t the complete VHS version. A couple of minutes have been cut, which include for certain (not sure if it’s the only edit that was made) the part of the intro to the show were Professor Griff and the S1W’s are hyping the crowd over Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s It Takes Two beat. This has probably something to do with copyright issues, but I am bummed about this. For me it was an integral part of the first introductionarial minutes of the tape and still remember the goose bumps it gave me when watching it for the first time 25 years ago (and many more times since).


    November 25, 2014 at 12:10

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