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The Crusaders – Street Life (1979)

June 10, 2020

Learning to be anti-racist

“The common idea of claiming ‘color blindness’ is akin to the notion of being ‘not racist’ – as with the ‘not racist,’ the color-blind individual, by ostensibly failing to see race, fails to see racism and falls into racist passivity.” – Ibram X. Kendi

For years, I have been mistakenly under the impression that ‘racist’ and ‘not racist’ were opposites. I’ve since realized that ‘anti-racism’ is actually the opposite or ‘racism’ & I need to do a better job of being actively anti-racist.

As a starting point, I want to commit to doing two small things every week:

  1. Listen & Learn. Share resources that I’ve found helpful.
  2. Amplify Black Voices. Each Wednesday, feature a Black Artist from the 1001 list.


Last week, I looked at Curtis Mayfield’s There’s No Place Like America Today.

This week, The Crusaders’ Street Life.


[Album 780/1001]

How do you know when you’re listening to a really solid group of musicians?

When each track of an album features a different standout instrument.

With The Crusaders & Street Life, that would include:220px-Street_Life (1)

Guest vocalist Randy Crawford’s performance on the opening title track

My Lady‘s bassline

Rodeo Drive (High Steppin’)‘s mid-song guitar

The keyboard-driven chord progression on Carnival of the Night

The Hustler‘s anticipating cymbal hits (on the 4 +, rather than waiting for the downbeat)

The smooth saxomophone on Night Faces

I suppose there’s also another correct answer to the question, how can you tell when you’re listening to a really solid group of musicians?

When the band is listed as having been active during 7 (!) decades, as the Crusaders were from 1952-2010.

One would think that hitting a commercial peak 27 years after forming would be a late-career triumph – but it appears with Street Life in 1979, the Crusaders weren’t even at their halfway point yet!


Helpful Resources

As a longtime fan of Top 5 lists, I really appreciated Franchesca Ramsey (Chescaleigh)’s video, “5 Tips for being an Ally.”

There are some excellent analogies (wanting to help build a house but lacking any training, wearing horse blinders, different roles in Destiny’s Child) & I quite like the closing message of ‘ally’ being an ongoing verb, rather than a one-time statement.

From → 1970s

  1. Man, those are some serious collars the guys are sporting on the LP sleeve!

  2. Great stuff Geoff.

    • Much appreciated, Deke – I enjoyed this album, a lot smoother than I expected given the band name (Crusaders) and album name (Street Life)!

  3. Now, are they still the original members, now that would be impressive.

    • That I’m not sure – but they only have 8 total members listed as ‘past members’ of the group (as opposed to some bands have full timelines and separate pages devoted to keeping track of all the comings & goings).
      So it looks like the lineup was relatively consistent here, which is neat if that’s the case, playing with the same group for that long!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Cypress Hill – Cypress Hill (1991) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. Cee-Lo Green – Cee-Lo Green… Is the Soul Machine (2004) | 1001albumsin10years
  3. Maxwell – Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite (1996) | 1001albumsin10years
  4. Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Shaka Zulu (1987) | 1001albumsin10years
  5. Muddy Waters – Hard Again (1977) | 1001albumsin10years
  6. Fela Ransome-Kuti and The Africa ’70 with Ginger Baker – Live! (1971) | 1001albumsin10years
  7. Femi Kuti – Femi Kuti (1995) | 1001albumsin10years
  8. Shuggie Otis – Inspiration Information (1974) | 1001albumsin10years
  9. Gang Starr – Step in the Arena (1991) | 1001albumsin10years
  10. Jurassic 5 – Power in Numbers (2002) | 1001albumsin10years
  11. 1979 | 1001albumsin10years

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