The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is a poem and song by Gil Scott-Heron. Scott-Heron first recorded it for his 1970 album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, on which he recited the lyrics, accompanied by congas and bongo drums. A re-recorded version, with a full band, was the B-side to Scott-Heron’s first single, “Home Is Where the Hatred Is”, from his album Pieces of a Man (1971). It was also included on his compilation album, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (1974). All these releases were issued on the Flying Dutchman Productions record label.
The song’s title was originally a popular slogan among the 1960s Black Power movements in the United States. Its lyrics either mention or allude to several television series, advertising slogans and icons of entertainment and news coverage that serve as examples of what “the revolution will not” be or do. The song is a response to the spoken-word piece “When the Revolution Comes” by The Last Poets, from their eponymous debut, which opens with the line “When the revolution comes some of us will probably catch it on TV”.
It was inducted to the National Recording Registry in 2005.
In 2021, it was ranked at No. 258 on Rolling Stone’s “Top 500 Best Songs of All Time”.
About Anthony R. Parnther
Hailed by the Huffington Post as “the ultimate in tonal purity” and praised by the L.A. Times for his “effortless phrasing”, Anthony Parnther is a multi-instrumentalist who is equally committed…