Gary Numan, Killing Joke, Helmet, Flea & John Frusciante, Tom Morello & Serj Tankian, The Sounds together in a compilation of newly reinterpreted tracks by Gang of Four celebrating the band's long-lasting influence.
It's hard to overstate the influence Gang of Four had on a generation of successful alternative rock acts throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea has stated that Gang of Four were the single most important influence on his band's early music. Kurt Cobain stated that Nirvana started as "a Gang of Four and Scratch Acid ripoff", INXS' Michael Hutchence once said that Gang of Four’s music "took no prisoners," and 'It was art meets the devil via James Brown". The four-decade of continuous creativity delivered some of the most praised post-punk albums, with their last album ' Happy Now' been praised by XSNoise as been "as intense as any ever released on their discography." Unfortunately, nothing good lasts forever and Andy Gill the band’s pioneering lead guitarist died in February 2020.
Previous to his death, Andy and his inner circle were working on and planning an upcoming album, which will now be released in May of this year, ‘The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four’.
The compilation was not originally intended as a postmortem tribute, according to Rey Roldan, music industry veteran, “It first started out as a covers record to celebrate the anniversary of the Gang of Four incendiary debut “Entertainment!” with different artists performing their takes on that great album. Gill had revised his vision in the months before his death. He was passionate about the project and continued to work on it, even after being hospitalized. His widow Catherine Mayer assembled a small team to expand and complete the album.
The first single, ‘Natural’s Not in It’, recorded by Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and Serj Tankian (System Of A Down), was released on 8 January. As Morello explains, “Andy Gill was one of a handful of artists in history who changed the way guitars are played. His band Gang of Four were just incendiary and completely groundbreaking with Andy’s confrontational, unnerving and sublime playing at the forefront. His jagged plague-disco raptor-attack industrial-funk deconstructed guitar anti-hero sonics and fierce poetic radical intellect were hugely influential to me.” As for Tankian, “It was a real pleasure to work on this track with Tom and honor the legacy of Andy and Gang of Four at the same time”.
The album’s artwork, Dog With Bone (2017) was created by Damien Hirst, a long-term Gang of Four aficionado. Andy chose the cover art from a selection of options provided by the artist. All physical formats feature different versions of the artwork from Hirst.
The album is available to pre-order in a variety of double vinyl and two CD formats, with a special “Dogluxe” version only available from the Gang of Four website.
The Problem of Leisure Tracklist
Vinyl One, Side A
1. IDLES – “Damaged Goods” (UK)
2. Tom Morello & Serj Tankian – “Natural’s Not in It” (USA)
3. Helmet – “In the Ditch” (USA)
4. 3D (Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack) x Gang of Four feat. Nova Twins – “Where the Nightingale Sings” (UK)
5. Hotei – “To Hell With Poverty” (Japan)
Vinyl One, Side B
1. Gary Numan – “Love Like Anthrax” (UK)
2. Gail Ann Dorsey – “We Live as We Dream, Alone” (USA)
3. Herbert Grönemeyer feat. Alex Silva – “I Love a Man in a Uniform” (Germany)
4. LoneLady – “Not Great Men” (UK)
5. JJ Sterry – “5.45” (UK)
Vinyl Two, Side C
1. La Roux – “Damaged Goods” (UK)
2. Everything Everything – “Natural’s Not in It” (UK)
3. Dado Villa-Lobos – “Return the Gift” (Brazil)
4. The Dandy Warhols – “What We All Want” (USA)
5. Warpaint – “Paralysed” (USA)
Vinyl Two, Side D
1. Flea & John Frusciante – “Not Great Men” (USA)
2. The Sounds – “I Love a Man in a Uniform” (Sweden)
3. Hardcore Raver in Tears – “Last Mile” (Mandarin cover of “Broken Talk”) (China)
4. Killing Joke x Gang of Four – “Forever Starts Now (Killing Joke Dub)” (UK)
5. Sekar Melati – “Not Great Men (live version)” (Japan)
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