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Public EnemyIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

Genre:Hip Hop
Style:Conscious
Year:

Tracklist

Side Silver
Countdown To Armageddon1:41
Bring The Noise3:47
Don't Believe The Hype5:20
Cold Lampin With Flavor4:13
Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic4:30
Mind Terrorist1:18
Louder Than A Bomb3:37
Caught, Can We Get A Witness?5:03
Side Black
Show 'Em Whatcha Got1:57
She Watch Channel Zero?!3:50
Night Of The Living Baseheads3:16
Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos6:25
Security Of The First World1:22
Rebel Without A Pause5:05
Prophets Of Rage3:15
Party For Your Right To Fight3:27

Credits (31)

Notes

Album Sales: 1,000,000+
First Release Date: April 1988

The second studio album from Public Enemy. It is considered one of their most commercially successful albums as well as one of the most influential rap albums. By August of 1989, it was certified platinum in sales by the RIAA, after shipments of one million copies in the United States.

"It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back" reached Number 42 in the Billboard Top 200 and produced five singles:
"Don't Believe The Hype / Prophets Of Rage"
"Night Of The Living Baseheads"
"Bring The Noise (No Noise Version)"
"Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos"
"Rebel Without A Pause (Vocal Mix)"

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Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CDIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
CD, Album
Def Jam Recordings – DEF 462415 2, CBS – 01-462415-10Europe1988Europe1988
Recently Edited
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
LP, Album, Stereo
Carrollton Pressing
Def Jam Recordings – BFW 44303US1988US1988
Recently Edited
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
LP, Album, Stereo
Def Jam Recordings – DEF 462415 1, CBS – DEF 462415 1Europe1988Europe1988
Recently Edited
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988-04-00, CDIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
CD, Album
Def Jam Recordings – CK 44303, Columbia – CK 44303US1988US1988
Recently Edited
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Def Jam Recordings – 462415 4UK1988UK1988
Recently Edited
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Opaque White Shell, Checkered
Def Jam Recordings – FCT 44303, Def Jam Recordings – CT 44303US1988US1988
Recently Edited
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
LP, Album, Stereo
CBS – DEF 462415 1Greece1988Greece1988
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Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
LP, Album, Stereo
Carrollton Press
Def Jam Recordings – C 44303, Def Jam Recordings – FC 44303, Columbia – C 44303, Columbia – FC 44303
+2 more labels...
US1988US1988
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
LP, Album, Stereo
Def Jam Recordings – 462415 1, CBS – 462415 1UK & Europe1988UK & Europe1988
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Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Def Jam Recordings – DEF 462415 4Europe1988Europe1988
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
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Carrollton Pressing
Def Jam Recordings – BFW 44303US1988US1988
Recently Edited
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Def Jam Recordings – BFCT-44303Canada1988Canada1988
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Transparent Shell
Def Jam Recordings – BWT 44303US1988US1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
LP, Album, Stereo
Epic – 177.180/1-462415Brazil1988Brazil1988
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Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
LP, Album, Stereo
Def Jam Recordings – 462415 1, CBS – 462415 1Australia1988Australia1988
Recently Edited
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
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Carrollton Pressing
Def Jam Recordings – BFW 44303, Def Jam Recordings – FC 44303US1988US1988
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Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
LP, Album, Stereo
Def Jam Recordings – DEF 462415 1Spain1988Spain1988
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Chromium dioxide
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CD, Album
Def Jam Recordings – 25DP 5209Japan1988Japan1988
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Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
LP, Album, Stereo
Carrollton Pressing
Def Jam Recordings – BFW 44303 US1988US1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
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Def Jam Recordings – C 44303, Def Jam Recordings – FC 44303US1988US1988
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LP, Album, Stereo
Carrollton Pressing
Def Jam Recordings – FC 44303, Def Jam Recordings – C 44303US1988US1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988-04-00, CDIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
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Def Jam Recordings – BFCK-44303, Columbia – BFCK-44303US1988US1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CDIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
CD, Album, Stereo
Def Jam Recordings – CK 44303, Columbia – CK 44303US1988US1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CDIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
CD, Album
Def Jam Recordings – CK 44303, Columbia – CK 44303US1988US1988
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Def Jam Recordings – DEF 462415 419881988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
LP, Album, Stereo
Def Jam Recordings – DEF 462415 1, CBS – DEF 462415 1, Columbia – DEF 462415 1
+1 more label...
Europe1988Europe1988
Recently Edited
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Transparent Shell
Def Jam Recordings – FCT 44303, Def Jam Recordings – CT 44303US1988US1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album, Stereo
Dolby System
Def Jam Recordings – DEF 462415 4, CBS – DEF 462415 4Spain1988Spain1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, VinylIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
LP, Album
Def Jam Recordings – DEF 462415 1, CBS – DEF 462415 1Europe1988Europe1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Opaque White Shell, Smooth
Def Jam Recordings – FCT 44303, Def Jam Recordings – CT 44303US1988US1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Transparent Shell
Def Jam Recordings – FCT 44303, Def Jam Recordings – BWT 44303US1988US1988
New Submission
It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Opaque White Shell
Def Jam Recordings – 462415 4Greece1988Greece1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988-06-28, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Transparent Shell
Def Jam Recordings – FCT 44303, Def Jam Recordings – CT 44303US1988US1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988-04-00, CDIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
CD, Album
Def Jam Recordings – CK 44303, Columbia – CK 44303US1988US1988
Recently Edited
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Cassette, Album
Matte
Def Jam Recordings – BWT44303US1988US1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Dolby System
Def Jam Recordings – BFCT-44303, Def Jam Recordings – BFCT 44303, Columbia – BFCT-44303, Columbia – BFCT 44303
+2 more labels...
Canada1988Canada1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Def Jam Recordings – 462415 4, CBS – 462415 4Australia1988Australia1988
New Submission
Cover of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, 1988, CassetteIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Cassette, Album
Beige Shell, Grid Bottom Panel, Dolby System
Def Jam Recordings – FCT 44303, Def Jam Recordings – CT 44303US1988US1988
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Mr-Record-Man's avatar
Mr-Record-Man
Fun fact: my copy was saved from a dumpster. A friend of my dad was dumpster diving in Nashville back in the 90’s and found some LPs thrown out behind a record shop (all of them had “not for sale” promo stickers on them).
darkswan's avatar
darkswan
I owned this and sold it. Flat and kind of muffled sound. Dont know if thats true of all copies. Sounds good if you crank it though because the vinyl is quiet. Seems like my CD was more dynamic back in the day.
domesticmachine's avatar
In case anyone is wondering (I couldn't track down the info anywhere online and finally bought a copy to find out) the DVD is likely region free. I can't confirm other regions but it works in my NTSC DVD player in the US.
hewitt2's avatar
hewitt2
Despite multiple spin clean cleanings I got some bad pops and skipping on the final track of side b. The track sounds horribly compressed too (like a bad cassette dub). Other than that a decent pressing.
dtheduke11's avatar
dtheduke11
Compressed and my copy was flat but dirty. A nice cleaning helped but have to really crank it to really hear it this really needs a 2 disc pressing
BigBeat25's avatar
BigBeat25
The success was not immediate for Public Enemy, who especially impressed on stage during the Def Jam Tour thanks to the paramilitary choreography of the S1W (Security Of The First World) and the two front men : the massive Chuck D which has one of the most beautiful voices of black music, and the clownesque Flavor Flav with his inimitable teenager voice.

Accelerating the tempo and abandoning any effect on the vocals, the Bomb Squad propels Public Enemy into a new noisy universe ("Bring The Noise") with sort of high-pitched drill sounds that are particularly used in "Don't Believe The Hype", and that will later be found in video games. "Jump Around" by House of Pain has the same arrangements.
The instrumentals also feature metal guitars in "She Watch Channel Zero" and saxophones in an avant-garde RnB like in "Night Of The Living Baseheads". Therefore there's an important diversity of instrumentals.
By reinforcing its radical discourse by abandoning all affordable musicality, Public Enemy is one of the founding fathers of modern noise and put a seminal album on the map.

I particularly like the skits "Mind Terrorist" and "Security Of The World" as such beats will be heard in lots of productions in the following decade, especially in electronic music. Also "Caught, Can We Get A Witness" is personally nostalgic for me as two of my favorite tunes are sampled from there : "Electro Cali" by Pretty Lights and "Freestyle Noize" by Freestylers.
This LP has been sampled as much as the AC Cobra has been replicated, and that's one of the numerous reasons "It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back" is worth the try, made by one of only 4 hip-hop groups that made the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Mad-Meex's avatar
Mad-Meex
For me it is simply the best rap album ever, amazing use of sampling, great creativity and raping, conscious lyrics and delivery from Chuck D. glad I bought the first original LP version when it came out. The tune "Night of the Living Baseheads" is just a KILLER!
Jota37's avatar
Jota37
Lot of calls for this to be a double. Can any owners comment on recording quality? Is none for sale a sign? Thanks!
britshickhouse's avatar
HMV exclusive, how did I buy it from Amazon then?
beechlander's avatar
beechlander
Agree with the comment that this would be better served by a double LP but for an affordable opportunity to pick up a bona fide classic this is a good place to start - the sound is clean and full and the yellow vinyl very pleasing to the eye.