The recording, a funked-up take on Not Great Men featuring vocals from The Silverlake Conservatory Youth Chorale, features on the album The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, a project Gill originally conceived to mark the 40th anniversary of his band’s 1979 debut album Entertainment!, but later tweaked when some participating artists asked permission to record songs from from different albums and periods.
Following Gill’s death on February 1 last year, it stands as a tribute album of sorts to a singular talent, whose playing was a huge influence on the UK and US underground scenes. Gill went on to produce albums for Therapy?, The Jesus Lizard, The Stranglers and more, including Red Hot Chili Peppers self-titled 1984 debut.
Posting about the album on Instagram, Flea wrote, “John Frusciante and I, along with the children’s choir from the Silverlake Conservatory Of Music recorded the song Not Great Men by the Gang Of Four for this album. It was a beautiful opportunity for me to connect with my friend, the innovative guitarist Andy Gill, before he shockingly passed away shortly after the recording was made. This was an act of love for him. Me, John and the kids, (directed by SJ Hasman) went and knocked it out in a couple of days raw style. John and I hadn’t recorded together in about twelve years. It was fun as fuk. Long live the Gang of Four, long live Andy Gill.”
“Andy was massively excited about this project,” says Gill’s former partner Catherine Mayer says. “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.”