The Red hand of Communism bitch-slaps a funky bass line as Amiri Baraka flips his cards and changes his suit from black to red and back again to party with a capital Y—because we like to? Not this time. As Baraka says, “And when they said, ‘Party,’ they meant an Anti-Revisionist Revolutionary Communist Party.” The corrupt bourgeois politics of the 1970s led the country down the yellow brickhouse road to a pot of red, black, and our old friend green—not the green that will save the planet, but the one that will ruin it.
Amiri Baraka sets fire to a little black piece of wax with the longest title ever—“You Was Dancin Need to Be Marchin So You Can Dance Some More Later On”—and watches the smoke signal his revolutionary brothers. The problem lies with how to feed propaganda to the peoples' feet so their minds won’t trip on the ideology. Working with comrade Al Vanderbilt, who engineered albums for Joe Henderson and Benny Troy, Baraka fashions an undeniable groove that gets the people on the floor and subverts the need to think. All the while, Winston Sims, whose mighty Mean Machine saxophone blew gold for the Commodores, tears at the fabric of the Advanced Workers' funk with sharp claws and a heavy sickle as the catchy phraseology of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tze-tung rolls off the Anti Imperialist Singers’ tongues.
The flip, “Better Red Let Others Be Dead,” may have the more ominous title of the two tracks, but its jump-up disco bounce does a better job of infecting your mind through the soles of your shoes. Baraka tells the old story of the color blind leading the color blind. Where all roads lead to red, and somehow there are “Indians all over the city” that transform all men into red men. But as the record spins, the snake eats its own tail, leaving only the question of “What would red be without green?” Baraka feeds his party red people with the promise that, “The earth belongs to the people. The wealth belongs to the people.”