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Herbie Hancock

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Herbie Hancock Secrets album cover
3.14 | 52 ratings | 3 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Doin' It (8:00)
2. People Music (7:07)
3. Cantelope Island (7:06)
4. Spider (7:20)
5. Gentle Thoughts (7:01)
6. Swamp Rat (6:25)
7. Sansho Shima (4:50)

Total Time 47:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Herbie Hancock / piano, Fender Rhodes, Hohner D6 Clavinet, synths (Micromoog, Echoplex, Oberheim Polyphonic, ARP Odyssey, Pro-Soloist, 2600 & String Ensemble), co-producer

- Melvin "Wah Wah" Watson / guitar, synthesizer, bass & vocals (1), co-producer
- Ray Parker / guitar, backing vocals (1)
- Bennie Maupin / bass clarinet, saxello, tenor & soprano saxophones, Lyricon
- Paul Jackson / bass
- James Levi / drums
- Kenneth Nash / percussion
- James Gadson / drums & backing vocals (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Herb Greene (photo)

LP Columbia ‎- PC 34280 (1976, US)

CD Columbia ‎- CK 34280 (1988, Europe)

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HERBIE HANCOCK Secrets ratings distribution

(52 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

HERBIE HANCOCK Secrets reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Kazuhiro
3 stars After it concludes successfully "Head Hunters" whose Herbie is a historical masterpiece worldwide, he is absorbed in own world and work with other musicians. It takes charge of the music of the movie and the recording by "Native Dancer" of Wayne Shorter is famous. And, the album that places "Manchild" following "Head Hunters" and was produced in 1976 is this "Secrets". Herbie meets guitar player's "Wah Wah Watson" in the process of the production of "Manchild". And, this album did splendid work to Watson. Watson is guessed that the fact to be known as a session guitar player of "Motown" and to participate in the music that Herbie at this time creates was a natural act. Because "Head Hunters" concluded successfully indeed in the age that is called so-called "Electric Herbie" in the 70's, this album might give the listener a little vague impression by the process of evolution. However, Herbie works on this album with an original sensibility. The appointment of James Levi of the drum player who competes live with Jaco back blows a new wind from another angle compared with other works. It has the listener's tension with the sensibility besides the performance of Mike and Hervey obviously and it has the soothing effect. However, it acts on the tune of Herbie well and it is also true in the entire tune to give another tension and the excitement.

The element of reggae is taken, it is newly ..tune.. born, and a preeminent ..sense of the melody.. tune progressing .."Cantelope Island" to change.. slowly. 「People Music」

It will not be an exaggeration any longer to it the possession of the form of the band to call Herbie Hancock Group based on the route of "Head Hunters". And, the number of these albums to give a little tension and the relief by the performance which very much or power came off is one where each musician's technique shines.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Herbie Hancock started his second after "Mwandishi" experimental period establishing "Head-hunters" and playing jazz-funk fusion. If first albums were all very progressive gem ( I personally prefer "Thrust" from all Head-hunters period), he slightly changed direction to more commercial. And "Secrets" is a very first step in this way. If his previous album Man-Child was still very experimental, but with concentration on funk rhythm against any melodies, Secrets tried to attract listener with less complex compositions and much more dance oriented music.

It is still jazz-funk fusion, but you will easily fell disco influence. Even Hancock old standard Cantelope Island sounds there as accessible version for dance floor. Whenever Hancock has all collection of pop-oriented recordings, for me they are of two kinds. Some are almost unlistenable because of simplification and accented pop-accessibility, and another are still musically strong albums, even if commercially oriented. The Secrets depends to another group: I am not happy with it's musical direction, but still can enjoy some moments and musicians techniques and professionalism in total.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After three highly musical funk adventures, Secrets takes a big step towards mainstream accessibility. Sometimes the step is successful, sometimes it's a bit of a stumble.

As on all previous HH funk albums, we kick off with a killer track. It announces the arrival of more commercial leanings with its vocoder-processed vocals. The rhythms are still very complex and release their frantic tension during a rather disco poppy synth tune that serves as a kind of chorus. The effect is rather cheesy but still spot-on really. It must be one of the few bars of music where I admit to eating the cheese and enjoying it.

The remainder of the album hardly gets above decent background easy-listening jazz-funk, fit to be played in bars and clubs, but while there are some decent riffs and catchy grooves, the tracks are too repetitious and fail to be infectious enough to compensate for that. The bottom end of this must be Gentle Thoughts, some better tracks follow at the end.

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