17 May 1993
Funk, Acid jazz
| 55:22 (CD)
| 14 June 1993 (Japan/UK)
10 August 1993 (US)|
The Return of the Space Cowboy
Brit Award for MasterCard British Album of the Year
Jamiroquai albums, Other albums
Emergency on Planet Earth is the debut studio album released by British funk/acid jazz band Jamiroquai, released on 14 June 1993 in both Japan and the United Kingdom and 10 August 1993 in the United States. The album features strong elements of the mixture of funk and acid jazz genres.
The recurring theme on the album deals with lyrics about world issues and self-consciousness, along with several jazz instrumentals that made the album a success in the band's native country. The album produced several well-received singles, including "Too Young To Die" and "Blow Your Mind". The album was listed in the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die list. Entertainment Weekly described the album as helping the band "turn out gritty organic grooves with enthusiasm." Q magazine gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, describing it as "A funky and beautiful record, a contender for best British soul album of the '90s, and frankly better than anything Stevie Wonder has made since Hotter Than July." BBC Music claims - "...the album was an infectious, funk mezze of trumpets, saxophones, didgeridoos and flutes, spawning the hit singles Too Young To Die and Blow Your Mind which both entered the UK Top 10 in 1993.""When You Gonna Learn" was released as the lead single from the album on 19 October 1992 via Acid Jazz Records, and secured them a later deal with Sony Records. The lyrical themes, like many of Jamiroquai's early songs, speak of environmental awareness. The song was edited for the album release, whereas the version on the original vinyl record is the full length version, which is also included on the "When You Gonna Learn" and "Blow Your Mind" CD singles.
"Too Young to Die" was released as the second single from the album on 1 May 1993. The original version of the track runs at 10:18; however, both the single and album versions were cut, running at 3:22 and 6:05 respectively. The commercial single included all three versions of the track. The original vinyl version of the album includes the full 10:18 version of the song. The song's lyrics are about the fear of war and death due to political machinations. The music video for "Too Young to Die" was directed by W.I.Z., and consisted mainly of Jay Kay singing in what appears to be a desert military installation.
"Blow Your Mind" was released as the third single from the album on 4 June 1993. The single peaked at #12 on the UK Singles Chart. The single was also featured on the group's Greatest Hits album; however, in a substantially edited form. Two versions of the song exist: a heavily edited radio edit, running at 3:51, and the full-length album version, running at 8:35. The latter version has only ever been included on the group's debut album release. All other releases which include the track include the radio version.
"Emergency on Planet Earth" was released as the fourth single from the album on 2 August 1993. The song was written by Jay Kay, and has a marked environmentalist tone, urging the listener to "stop modernisation going on." The track peaked at #32 on the UK Singles Chart and at #4 on the U.S. Dance Chart. A new recording of the song, which uses a completely different bass track and intro, and includes some changes in the arrangements, was featured on the single and in the music video for the song. This version was later released on the group's Greatest Hits compilation.
"When You Gonna Learn" was re-released by Sony Records as the fifth and final single from the album on 13 September 1993. The re-release was slightly more successful than the original, peaking at #28 on the UK Singles Chart. The re-release was backed with an alternative music video to the original, but contained shots of the original in flashback scenes.
Jay Kay – vocals
Wallis Buchanan – didgeridoo
Toby Smith – keyboards, string arrangements
Stuart Zender – bass
Nick Van Gelder – drums
Gary Barnacle – flute, saxophone, brass arrangement
Simon Bartholomew – guitar
Glen Nightingale – guitar
DJ Dzire – turntables
Kofi Kari Kari – percussion
Maurizio Ravalico – percussion
Richard Edwards – trombone
John Thirkell – trumpet, flugelhorn
Andrew Levy – additional bass
Gavin Dodds – additional guitar
Mike Smith – additional saxophone, flute
Linda Lewis – additional background vocals
Vanessa Simon – additional background vocals
The Reggae Philharmonic Strings – strings
1When You Gonna Learn? (Digeridoo)3:47Emergency on Planet Earth Wikipedia
2Too Young to Die (12" Version)6:03