May 14th will see the release of a new Gang of Four tribute album, The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, in honor of the post-punk band’s pioneering lead guitarist who died in February 2020.
On Wednesday, the full tracklist for the compilation was announced, featuring renditions of Gang of Four’s songs from Tom Morello, Serg Tankian of System of a Down, Idles, Gary Numan, Flea, John Frusciante, La Roux, the Dandy Warhols, Warpaint, and more. Additionally, the compilation’s cover, designed by artist Damien Hirst, was unveiled.
Last week, Morello and Tankian released their version of “Natural’s Not in It” as the lead single for the double album compilation.
“Andy Gill was one of a handful of artists in history who changed the way guitars are played,” 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.”
Tankian added: “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.”
Other classic Gang of Four tracks to be featured on The Problem of Leisure include “Damaged Goods,” performed by Idles; “Love Like Anthrax,” performed by Gary Numan; “Return the Gift,” performed by Dado Villa-Lobos; and “Not Great Men,” performed by Flea and John Frusciante. Certain hits from the band will receive multiple renditions on the compilation.
The idea for the compilation was originally conceived while Gill was still alive, to mark the 40th anniversary of Gang of Four’s landmark debut Entertainment! Gill continued to be highly involved in the project even after he was hospitalized in January 2020.
“There was never any doubt in my mind that I should finish what Andy had started,” Catherine Mayer, Gill’s widow, said. “He took so much pleasure from hearing from artists which track they had chosen and why. He was delighted by the tracks he lived long enough to hear. Even in what turned out to be his final days of life, he listened to mixes on a laptop in his hospital bed and asked me to send notes and responses to the contributors on his behalf. He also talked to me about further musicians he hoped to coax to come on board. After he died, I made contact with several of these. All said yes.”
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)