A new compilation album featuring major artists with original artwork by Damien Hirst entitled “The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four” is to be released in May 2021. After the sad passing of guitar legend and post punk trailblazer Andy Gill (suspected to be among Europe’s first victims of Covid), the project represents the end of a creative process which Gill himself had started in 2019 and one which has taken on a bittersweet new direction.
Set for release in May 2021, the 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. The album features songs from across Gang of Four’s 40-plus year career, each individually chosen by the artists’ who covered them. Gill’s dedication to the project is explained by his widow Catherine Mayer in this moving clip:
Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) has collaborated with Serj Tankian (System Of A Down) to create an incredible cover of Natural’s Not In It, which will be the first single from the album, released on Andy’s birthday, January 1st 2021. This track, like many on this album, first appeared on the band’s extraordinary 1979 debut long player, Entertainment!, an album universally heralded as a classic, and as “the fifth best punk album of all time” by Rolling Stone magazine. In 2006 the track gained new audiences when writer-director Sofia Coppola used it for the opening of her film “Marie Antoinette”.
The album is being released in a variety of different vinyl, CD and cassette formats featuring different versions of the artwork from Damien Hirst. All formats are available to pre-order now from gangoffour.uk/store, with the strictly limited edition “Dogluxe” double gatefold vinyl version exclusively available there.
Pic: Damien Hirst, Dog with Bone, 2017 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.