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Album Review

The Roots – ‘Do You Want More?!!!??!’ (Deluxe Edition) [Album Review]



Seminal neo-soul hip-hop band The Roots are re-issuing their 1995 major label debut album, Do You Want More?!!!??!, on vinyl for the first time, completely remastered, with two different editions featuring loads of bonus tracks and remixes curated by legendary member Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. While not the first music put out by the group, the album was their first release to bring their unique combination of elements of jazz, funk, and R&B with hip-hop to the broader masses, launching a storied career that has seen The Roots release nine more full-lengths and take on full-time duties as the house band for NBC‘s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Truly, none of The Roots’ contemporaries at the time of the original album’s release (and even now) could hold a candle to the grooves and lyricism found on this record. Classic tracks like “Silent Treatment,” “Mellow My Man,” “Proceed,” “I Remain Calm,” and “Distortion To Static,” shine just as brightly today as on the original release, and demonstrate the promise the group was showing early on in their career, though it would be their future releases like Things Fall Apart (1999) and Phrenology (2002) that really catapulted them into the international spotlight. This is music to sit back and chill to, to bob your head along to.

The Roots by Mpozi Tolbert

The group is offering two versions of the reissue–one 3LP and one 4LP. The 3LP version includes 5 bonus tracks exclusive to the reissue: “Proceed II Feat. Roy Ayers,” “Proceed III,” “Proceed IV (AJ Shine Mix),” “Proceed V (Beatminerz Mix),” as well as 5 remixes of their early hit, “Silent Treatment.”  The 3LP also includes a 24-page booklet featuring images taken by the late renowned photographer Mpozi Tolbert, essays by Questlove and fellow Roots member and wordsmith Black Thought as well as track-by-track commentary.

The 4LP version includes everything in the other edition, plus 8 more bonus tracks, “In Your Dreams Kid (I’m Every MC),” “The Ultimate (Original ’94 Version),” “……(dot dot dot…on & on),” “Pffat Time,” “Swept Away (Original Draft),” “It’s Coming,” “Lazy Afternoon (Alternate Version),” and two remix versions of “Distortion To Static.”

If you’ve ever wanted a glimpse into the creative minds behind some of the most virtuosic, groove-driven hip hop records of the past few decades, the commentary and essays included in both versions of the deluxe reissue will deliver. The variations and remixes of the original songs included as bonus tracks would each stand up on their own, look no further than the already-released “Silent Treatment (Street Mix).”

This doesn’t feel like one of those reissues for the sake of a money-grab, this feels like an update to a quintessential piece of hip-hop history. And it’s so well done–everything from the packaging to the added tracks and booklet are so well thought out. This is fan service, pure and simple–give the people what they want. Whether you choose the 3LP or 4LP variant, you won’t be disappointed.

4LP and Digital Deluxe Track Listing:

Side A:
A1. Intro / There’s Something Goin’ On
A2. Proceed
A3. Distortion To Static
A4. Mellow My Man
A5. I Remain Calm

Side B:
B1. Datskat
B2. Lazy Afternoon
B3. ? vs. Rahzel
B4. Do You Want More?!!!??!

Artwork for the 4LP-Box of ‘Do You Want More?!!!??!’ by The Roots

Side C:
C1. What Goes On Pt. 7
C2. Essaywhuman?!!!??!
C3. Swept Away
C4. You Ain’t Fly

Side D:
D1. Silent Treatment
D2. The Lesson Pt. 1
D3. The Unlocking

Bonus Tracks:
Side E:
E1. Proceed II Feat. Roy Ayers
E2. Proceed III – available for the first time digitally
E3. Proceed IV (AJ Shine Mix) – available for the first time digitally
E4. Proceed V (Beatminerz Mix) – available for the first time digitally
E5. Silent Treatment (Kelo’s Remix) – available for the first time digitally

Side F:
F1. Silent Treatment (Beatminerz Remix) – available for the first time digitally
F2. Silent Treatment (Black Thought’s 87 You And Yours Mix) – available for the first time digitally
F3. Silent Treatment (Question’s Mix) – available for the first time digitally
F4. Silent Treatment (Street Mix) – available for the first time digitally

Side G:
G1. In Your Dreams Kid (I’m Every MC) – unreleased
G2. The Ultimate (Original ’94 Version) – unreleased
G3. ……(dot dot dot…on & on) – unreleased
G4. Pffat Time – available for the first time digitally

Side H:
H1. Swept Away (Original Draft) – unreleased
H2. It’s Coming
H3. Lazy Afternoon (Alternate Version) – unreleased
H4. Distortion To Static (Freestyle Mix) [Clean] – available for the first time digitally
H5. Distortion To Static (Quest Jim Mix) [Clean] – available for the first time digitally

Run Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes
Release Date: June 25, 2021
Record Label: Geffen/UMe

When he's not out in the woods, clomping around in streams, or looking at shiny rocks, you can find our U.S. Managing Editor and contributing photographer Nathan Katsiaficas in the photo pit, covering everything from heavy metal to punk, alternative, indie, and hip-hop.