After the trio of David, Bobby, and Dannis Hackney were at down in front of the television for The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, they were immediately inspired to create music. Their father having been of extraordinary urban influence had fostered their love for exhibiting their souls. What ensued was the predecessor project Rockfire Funk Express, Death.

It was a trip to Alice Cooper, and then The Who that finalized the transformation from funk-masters to rockers. What remained to be terribly demoralizing was that Detroit was ironically the funk/soul mecca for young black artists, but there was no sign of opportunity for Rock & Roll musicians in sight!


Despite a unique perspective that David had concerning a name change; the conceptualization of turning “Death from negative to positive,” many left him to feel alone on the general consensus. It was also a further alienation from the record industry they were trying so fervently to break into.

Death’s debut album, “…For The Whole World To See” was met with severe opposition. The presentation being helmed by three unapologetic-ally loud black men served to be the primordial “elephant in the room.” This album undoubtedly would be met with pop cultural skepticism by all walks; considering that demographics dictated the albums. Nervously implied; the white kids were into modified blues, and the black kids were predominately helmed into Motown. There was little room if any conceptualization to an aggressively contained and politicized voice before the punk movement; and yet this was the band that unintentionally crossed the sound barrier.


While the album consisted of only seven tracks, the determination that was required to self-produce this magnum opus was a risk that fell equivalent to these artists’ lifetime ambitions. If one had only a single opportunity to have their voice heard; you’d hope that they have the aplomb to be heard loudly; this is so not to question the passion that was present in their message.

Original 1973 7 track vinyl copies of …For The Whole World To See are now going for hundreds of dollars on the web but can also be heard and purchased as a re-release from 2009.


“Keep On Knocking”, stood alone as their first and only love track on the album, “Rock N’ Roll Victim” follows how with the intensity of being an outcast solely by exercising an alternative perspective.

“Let The World Turn” begins with a cerebrally ambient tone; the words were fit to be ordained from a pulpit. “If your dream is shattered, pick up the glass. Don’t let your head keep running. Whatever is behind you leave it past. Can’t you see what’s coming?”

[LISTEN] Death – … For The Whole World To See (Full Album)

“You’re A Prisoner” is equally unapologetic, a reminder that we are all captive to time and space, making no individual’s existence more valuable than the next man’s.
“Freakin’ Out” is another extension to noticing the signs of daily routine demonstrating removal from ones’ self-awareness of their spatial nature. This removal from our indigenous connection to the cosmos renders us incapacitated in being able to fulfill our dreams. “Where Do We Go From Here?” is a continuity for the listener. It embellishes that the time it takes for one to finally observe and create awareness of these earthly incarcerations will serve our debilitation in the pursuance of our dreams.

The last track on the album is “Politicians In My Eyes.” This is a run and gun track, taking jabs at the motivations of war, and the corruption that lies in the political establishment. What intrigues me most about this track is how surprisingly amazing it would have been for radio airplay. The reverb was so tastefully played on the effects pedal so as to match the syncopation of the drums. It really was an exercise that demonstrates their composure as musicians.

Death whether you want to believe it or not, is the reason why studio executives probably entertained signing punk bands; ironically enough they probably could have done it better than most of the mainstream. I guess the age-old question remains. Are you ready for Death? Will people ever be ready for Death?

[WATCH] A Band Called Death – Documentary (Trailer)

A BAND CALLED DEATH [Trailer] from Drafthouse Films on Vimeo.