Album: Future Shock

"Future Shock" is the 35th album launched by American jazz legend Herbie Hancock. Released on August 12, 1983, the album marked a significant departure from Hancock's previous works by diving deep into electronic, funk, and hip-hop sounds. Co-produced by Hancock and the band Material, the album was significantly influenced by the underground dance and electronic music scene in New York City during the early 1980s. It went on to accomplish fantastic industrial success and stays one of Hancock's many renowned works to this day.

In the early 1980s, Herbie Hancock was already a well-established jazz musician and band leader with many effective albums under his belt. However, he was also continually looking for brand-new musical directions and had actually started explore electronic keyboards and synthesizers. This desire to explore new noises eventually led him to work together with Bill Laswell, the bassist, and producer of progressive NYC band Material. Together, the duo put together a skilled lineup of artists to craft "Future Shock".

The album's name was motivated by the 1970 book of the very same name by Alvin Toffler, which handled the principle of a significantly hectic, technology-driven society and its impacts on human culture and psychology. This style was carried throughout the album, mixing in magnificently with the electronic and futuristic sounds that Hancock and his partners created.

Music and Composition
"Future Shock" is identified by a blend of jazz, funk, electro, and hip-hop components. The album has a heavy emphasis on electronic synthesizers, sequencers, and drum machines, with Hancock's hallmark keyboard playing taking a rear seat to the advanced sounds being produced at the time. This caused an ingenious mix of genres and a futuristic vibe, which resonated with listeners and changed Hancock's profession.

Among the standout tracks on the album is the hit single "Rockit", which included innovative scratching and turntablism by pioneering hip-hop DJ Grandmixer D.ST. The tune ended up being a major hit on the dance and R&B charts, and its cutting-edge music video, featuring surreal dancing robot sculptures and haunting visuals, became an MTV staple and a popular culture phenomenon.

Other notable tracks on the album consist of the dark, brooding title track "Future Shock", the fiercely funky "Earth Beat", and the calming, atmospheric "Autodrive". The album concludes with the haunting and atmospheric "Rough", showcasing Hancock's continued capability to straddle multiple genres and state of minds on a single record.

Reception and Legacy
"Future Shock" received a mixed action from music critics upon its release, with some praising its ingenious noises and category blends, while others slammed it as a departure from Hancock's more conventional jazz roots. Nevertheless, the album discovered success amongst a broader audience, reaching number 43 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart and earning a gold accreditation for sales of over 500,000 copies. The single "Rockit" made Hancock a Grammy award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance in 1984.

The legacy of "Future Shock" can still be felt today, as it not only sealed Herbie Hancock's location as an innovator in electronic music but likewise functioned as a prominent milestone in the development of hip-hop, electro, and dance music. Its unique noise and forward-thinking method assisted pave the way for many artists and manufacturers and has protected its place as a landmark album in the history of popular music.

Artist: Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock Herbie Hancock, pianist, composer, and bandleader. Uncover his biography, quotes, discography, and five-decade career.
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