VARIOUS ARTISTS – ” A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four – The Problem of Leisure “

Posted: December 2, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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“Everybody who grew up with Gang of Four in their lives can remember how mind-blowing and forward-thinking and filled with creative energy it was at the time and guess what? It still is now. It’s art. Art that’s reaching out of this world yet somehow still down to earth. It’s so great be involved with this release and to see and hear a new generation of musicians paying tribute to Andy Gill’s incredible music. My artwork ‘Dog with Bone’, which Andy picked for the cover from a few ideas I had, is from a new series of giant pipe cleaner animals based on little ones made in my studio by kids. I think he wanted this work for the cover because it’s new and unexpected and in your face and hard not to like, they make adults feel like children and Andy always wanted to celebrate that.” – Damien Hirst A new Gang of Four tribute album has been announced. The double album, titled The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, will arrive in May 2021 and feature covers of Gang of Four and Andy Gill songs by a number of artists. The first single will be released on Friday, January 1st, 2021, which would have been Gill’s 65th birthday. It’s a cover of “Natural’s Not in It,” performed by Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and System of a Down’s Serj Tankian. Andy Gill was one of a handful of artists in history who changed the way guitars are played,” Tom Morello said in a statement. “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.”

“This new version of Natural’s Not In It is the first single from the album The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, set for release in May 2021. It’s a double album of tracks written by Andy Gill and Gang of Four, all newly reinterpreted and recorded by artists whose own unique contributions to music were enriched by listening to Gang of Four. Says Tom Morello: “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 ground breaking 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.” Serj Tankian says: “It was a real pleasure to work on this track with Tom and honour the legacy of Andy and Gang of Four at the same time.”

It is with pride, joy, excitement and a measure of sadness that we announce The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, a project Andy worked on right up to his death in February. This double album features tracks written by Andy and Gang of Four, newly reinterpreted and recorded by artists whose own unique contributions to music were enriched by listening to Gang of Four.

The first single has seen Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) collaborate with Serj Tankian (System Of A Down) to create an incredible cover of Natural’s Not In It. It will be released on Andy’s birthday, January 1st 2021. All the brilliant artists and bands participating in the album chose which track they wished to cover from across Gang of Four’s 40-plus year history. Details of the contributors and the full track listing will be revealed in January.

We can already tell you this: The Problem of Leisure is the dog’s bollocks. And so is the album artwork, created specially by artist Damien Hirst, a long-term Gang of Four aficionado. The album is available to pre-order now in a variety of different formats exclusively from our merchandise store. It will be released on 14th May 2021.

Andy Gill died in February of this year. According to press materials, he’d been planning the release of The Problem of Leisure to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of Entertainment! in 2019. “Andy was massively excited about this project,” Catherine Mayer said. “It wasn’t, of course, conceived as a tribute album, but it’s comforting to me that he lived to see artists he hugely admired enthusiastically agreeing to participate, signalling that the admiration was mutual.”

Damien Hirst made the artwork for The Problem of Leisure

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