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Miles Davis

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Miles Davis You're Under Arrest album cover
2.72 | 51 ratings | 2 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. One Phone Call/Street Scenes (4:34)
2. Human Nature (4:30)
3. Intro: MD 1/Something's On Your Mind/MD 2 (7:17)
4. Ms. Morrisine (4:57)
5. Katia Prelude (0:40)
6. Katia (7:37)
7. Time After Time (3:37)
8. You're Under Arrest (6:14)
9. Medley: Jean Pierre/You're Under Arrest/Then There Were None (3:23)

Total Time 41:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Miles Davis / trumpet, Oberheim synth (5,6), "Police Voices, Davis Voices" (1), arranger & co-producer

- John McLaughlin / guitar (4-6)
- John Scofield / guitar (1-3,7-9), arrangements (8)
- Bob Berg / soprano sax (1), tenor sax (8,9)
- Robert Irving III / synthesizers (Oberheim OB-XA, Korg Poly 6), celesta (9), Yamaha DX7 organ (5,6,8), clavinet (8), arranger & co-producer
- Darryl "The Munch" Jones / bass
- Al Foster / drums (1,7-9)
- Vince Wilburn, Jr. / drums (2,3), Simmons electronic drums (4-6)
- Steve Thornton / percussion, Spanish voice (1)
- Sting / French policeman's voice (1)
- Marek Olko / Polish voice (1)
- James Prindiville / Fx ("handcuffs") (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Miles Davis (inner sleeve) with Anthony Barboza (cover photo)

LP Columbia ‎- FC 40023 (1985, US)

CD Columbia ‎- CK 40023 (1985, US)

Thanks to darkshade for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MILES DAVIS You're Under Arrest ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

MILES DAVIS You're Under Arrest reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars You're Under Arrest marks the beginning of the last phase of Miles Davis' lengthy career. With this album he finally lays to rest the free rock jams that served him so well from the early 70s on and becomes a sophisticated and worldly purveyor of his own unique brand of pop/jazz. Although this album may seem like a commercial sell-out, in many ways Miles is returning to the days when he get could bring a tear to people's eyes with his quirky and ironic, yet sentimental versions of My Funny Valentine and Porgy and Bess, only now he is playing hits by Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper, plus a few popish instrumentals he wrote himself.

After a pointless incidental album opener Miles heads straight into Human Nature, a beautiful pop ballad by Michael Jackson. Miles' version does the original justice and his trumpet playing is sweet and melancholic as he stays true to the innocent nature of Michael's original recording. This is followed by two nice pop-jazz instrumentals that find Miles mixing popular 80s influences such as Prince and Weather Report. This is pop-jazz with a unique and personal flavor and has nothing to do with the sort of pabulum served up by the likes of Kenny G.

Side two opens with Katia, a world beat influenced fusion number with poly-synth horn stabs galore that mines a sound and style that was also popular with Weather Report at the time. Katia also features some great guitar work from John McLaughlin who returns to work with his old boss one more time. Next up is Miles' version of Cyndi Lauper's sentimental ballad, Time After Time. Once again Miles plays it straight and delivers a direct and unflinching version of Cyndi's bittersweet tune. I saw Miles perform this song in concert just a few months before his death. At that point in his career the song had been slowed down and spaced out to the point of being some sort of mystical connection to the beyond. Davis' trumpet would hang on to, and stretch, every note and when the two main chords that announce the chorus slowly rolled by they were like massive tsunami waves of emotion. I wish I had a recording of that concert because people were so moved during the performance that many spontaneously yelled out to him during the tense quiet moments. So much for people who felt Miles was a sell-out for recording pop tunes. The rest of side two is taken with another funky world beat fusion number, You're Under Arrest, which features great guitar work from John Schofield.

The 80s was a hard time for Miles, at the beginning of the decade he returned to his hard jazz-rock roots from the 70s, but soon wore that approach out on Decoy. You're Under Arrest is an improvement as Miles begins to turn to sophisticated pop and modernized world beat to break from the past and create a more mature and elegant music to take him through his last days.

Review by J-Man
2 stars The 1980's were not the greatest time for Miles Davis, and like many seasoned jazz artists were doing at the time, he exchanged his ambitious musical attitude for a much more safe eighties' pop-jazz sound. You're Under Arrest is one of the low points in the trumpeter's vast discography, and even though there are a few decent numbers here, the album as a whole comes across as pretty uninspired and safe. Miles Davis lets his genius shine through occasionally, but not nearly enough to justify a purchase for those who aren't die-hard fans of his music. You're Under Arrest is not a bad album in my opinion, but it's so formulaic and generic that I can only recommend it to people who've already heard the vast majority of Miles's discography.

Even though this is first and foremost a commercial-tinged eighties' pop-jazz album, You're Under Arrest does actually vary quite a bit from track to track. The funky "One Phone Call/Street Scenes" opens up the album, only to be followed up by the (surprisingly enjoyable) cover of Michael Jackson's pop tune "Human Nature". On this album, you'll also find a cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time", as well as some pretty good fusion in the title track. While the entire album is inoffensive and pretty catchy, it lacks any truly spectacular moments and I'm left with a rather lukewarm feeling when the CD ends. There just isn't anything all that powerful or special here, and the shallow songwriting fails to impress me aside from its initial "catchiness".

Maybe part of the reason why You're Under Arrest sounds so uninspired is the weak production; cheesy synth tones, generic eighties' drums, and a rather weak mix all plague the album. Factor in the unadventurous songwriting and you have an album that sounds pretty safe and clichéd to these ears.

You're Under Arrest is often cited as one of the weakest Davis albums out there, and it's not that difficult to understand why after giving it a few spins. Even though the excellent musicianship and decent songwriting save the album from being terrible, the music is just so uninspired and clichéd that it's difficult for me to regard this as part of Miles Davis's essential canon. Still, You're Under Arrest is not a terrible purchase for die-hard fans of Miles Davis and eighties' jazz music so I guess 2.5 stars are deserved. You're probably best off purchasing almost every other Miles album before this one, though.

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