I’m not going to wade into the debate of whether or not Public Enemy actually belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (they do, by the way), but their recent induction is obviously the impetus for this latest collection of re-mastered hits. And if it took an induction to get these songs on vinyl again, well hell, it was worth it.
Yes, it’s frustrating that only 11 songs are represented and it largely ignores their first two albums (what, no love for the groundbreaking It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back?), but there is not a single track on this record that doesn’t deserve to be here. From the stellar opener “Welcome to the Terrordome” to the triumphant “Fight the Power” there is no filler on this album.
Lyrically the band could not be touched, deftly rapping about politics and social issues, and coming out with some of the most original samples. At a time when the genre seems to focus way too much on shout outs to luxury bands, a song like “By the Time I get to Arizona” – still remarkably relevant decades later – rings out like a clarion call for progressives.
Though it may have its faults, Planet Earth is still a superb celebration of one of the most important bands to come out of the 90’s – in any genre.
Top tracks: “911 Is a Joke,” “Welcome to the Terrordome” and “By the Time I get to Arizona”
Public Enemy – Planet Earth: The Rock and Roll hall of Fame Greatest Rap Hits /11 tracks/MVD Audio/ 2013
Public Enemy Planet Earth The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Greatest Rap Hits Review