Wednesday, June 27, 2012

40 Year Itch: Miles Visits The Corner


"It was with Sly Stone and James Brown in mind that I went into the studio in June 1972 to record On The Corner, " said Miles Davis. "During that time everyone was dressing kind of 'out on the street', you know, platform shoes that were yellow, and electric yellow at that, handkerchiefs around the neck, headbands, rawhide vests, and so on. Black women were wearing them real tight dresses that had their big butts sticking way out back."

Miles hoped to attract a young black audience with this funky album that features the kind of ethnic polyrhythms that would become the signature of 1980's Talking Heads. Like Zappa's albums of the same period, Davis cut snippets of melodic instrumentation during jams and pasted them in the places he saw fit. Critics and jazz stations didn't know what to make of the album , which became one of Davis' worst selling of his career.Now 40 years later, an appreciation for On The Corner has surged forth. On the collaborative musical database site Rate Your Music, it is ranked as the 28th best album of 1972.

In October of 1972, Miles would break both his legs in a car accident which would lead to a temporary halt in his recording a year and the beginning of his life as a recluse.

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