Future Shock (Herbie Hancock album)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Future Shock is jazz pianist Herbie Hancock's thirty-fifth album and the first of his Electro-funk era.


About the album

Composed in 1983, Hancock enlisted avant-garde bassist and record producer Bill Laswell to record an album that would go towards a postmodern direction, instead of his usual straight-ahead jazz. The result was a hip-hop influenced album, which combined Hancock's keyboard mastery with Laswell's innovative arrangements and Grand Mixer DXT's turntablism. According to 1999 re-issue's liner notes, when Laswell went to buy speakers at a music equipment store he would insist on testing them by playing the demos of "Rockit" and "Earth Beat". While those songs were played through the speakers, passing by customers apparently liked what they heard and danced to the music. Soon after Laswell let Hancock know about the incident, eventually telling him: "We got something good here."

Future Shock takes the title name from Hancock's remake of the Curtis Mayfield song from ten years earlier, also featured here.

"Rockit", the album's big hit, was accompanied by one of the most successful music videos ever. The video, directed by Godley and Creme of 10cc fame, featured dancing robots made by Jim Whiting, moving around to the beat of the music and the turntable scratching. Hancock won several MTV Music Video awards in 1984, as well as the Grammy award for best R&B performance.

Track listing

All songs written by Michael James Beinhorn, Herbie Hancock and Bill O. Laswell (except where noted).

  1. "Rockit" - 5:22
  2. "Future Shock" (Curtis Mayfield) - 8:02
  3. "TFS" - 5:15
  4. "Earth Beat" - 5:10
  5. "Autodrive" - 6:25
  6. "Rough" - 6:57
  7. "Rockit (mega mix)" - 6:18 (remastered CD only)

Production credits



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