Fight The Power (Part I)

Album: The Heat Is On (1975)
Charted: 4
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Songfacts®:

  • Often thought of as a song about the black experience, "Fight The Power" is more of a general statement on rising above the powers that be. The youngest Isley Brother, Marvin, explained in a 1976 interview with Blues & Soul: "We don't close ourselves away like some entertainers do – we listen to the radio, read the newspapers and generally get into what's happening out there in an attempt to reflect the world as it is. With The Heat Is On, we wanted to be as funky as possible musically, and yet for the lyrics to say something unusual. 'Fight The Power'? Well, we decided not to be passive, to take a stand. And we met hardly any resistance because that power could be anything – we all have our different conceptions of what it is to each of us. And just letting it out – about the bulls--t that does go down – is something that everyone wants to do."
  • Yes, there was a "Fight The Power (Part II)." It was the B-side of the single.
  • When Spike Lee asked Public Enemy to write an anthem for his 1989 movie Do The Right Thing, their leader, Chuck D, started his lyric with the title "Fight The Power," inspired by this song.

Comments: 10

  • Debra from Ky.Just graduated 1975 and now I can sing this song out loud. I spent the summer goofing off and then joined the army. Got out in 1979 and guess what?, I can sing this out loud again. I am now transgender and still sing this out loud. Am still jumping through hoops to get the same treatment as every one else. What excellent, inspiring, and meaningful words and music.
  • Markantney from BiloxeFeb 2015, It was the first song (I was in single digits age wise) I remember hearing a cursing reference. Not many could go from funk to dedroom like the Isleys.
  • Lee from Huntsville, Alr.i.p. marvin...a wicked bassists.
  • Rick from Belfast, MeI think this was the song that was big on AM radio back after I graduated from Parris Island,S.C.....was feeling a little "tough" after becoming a Marine
  • Gene from Chicago, IlHad this song existed during the American Revolution, it would have been the RALLY CRY for old George and his crew! "Burn baby burn" is PRECISELY what those early revolutionaries did, INCLUDING once burning American pro-Brits ALIVE in a barn. Yes, sir!!

    To be applauded are those who have the BALLS to speak against oppression. And I applaud the Isley Brothers.
  • Steve from Winnipeg, MbBuried in the mix, audibly altered to resemble a mumble, but easily distinguishable nonetheless is "Burn, baby, burn" sung as a backing.
    Like in Watts, Isley Brothers? That what you mean? Like the group is a member of the underclass with no options left except to take out as many innocent people as possible before killing yourself, or in your real world of pandering unhippie-ness, moving on to the next recording session.
    Truly disgusting, even for Americans.
  • John from Nashville, TnErnie Isley was taking a shower when the chorus for this song popped into his head. He immediately interrupted his shower and wrote it down.
  • Larry from New York City, NyThis song is timeless and perhaps even more relevant now than back in the 1970s when it first hit the charts!
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlI remember when this song was relased- I was only 11 and me and all my friends singing the chorus, trying to dare each other to say the obvious word that had to be bleeped out on the radio!!
  • David from New York, NyThis song, "Fight the Power", dominated the summer of 1975 in my home neighborhood, East Harlem, and really caught the spirit of seventies. Great, great song from an underrated mega group, The Isley Brothers.
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