Gil Scott-Heron – Mixed by Barry Adamson

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the death of Gil Scott-Heron, the great American poet and singer who released over 17 studio albums and inspired generations of artists to speak their truths.

Born in Chicago, Scott-Heron would move to Jackson, Tennessee before arriving in the city he would call home, New York. It was here that his love for Langston Hughes would inspire him to study at Lincoln University, and it was in Lincoln that he first saw The Last Poets perform, a group whose name often appears next to Scott-Heron’s. Lincoln was also where he met Brian Jackson, a frequent collaborator on many of his classic recordings.

With Pieces of a Man, and specifically The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Scott-Heron cemented his place as one of the most radical musicians of the 20th century early in his career. Later he released a staggering number of records in just over a decade, including the seminal Winter In America, Free Will and Real Eyes (with Brian Jackson). Sadly, years of relative obscurity followed as he struggled with addiction, but I’m New Here, the final album released before his death, was seen by many as one of the finest in his illustrious career.

One person who agrees is the solo artist, composer and film director Barry Adamson of The Bad Seeds and Magazine. In celebration of Gil Scott-Heron’s life, Adamson reflects on his work with a particular focus on his last album which, released 16 years after its predecessor, reminds us of his enduring genius. Hit play to hear his choice selections, mixed by Daniel Linke, and read what Adamson had to say about Scott-Heron below.

“I’ve always had an enormous amount of respect for Gil Scott-Heron. A defining sound and soul. The Bottle was the song that got me into [his music], but his last album I’m New Here sealed the deal of everlasting fandom for me. I wanted to base my playlist around this one album while also reminding us where his greatness comes from. Of course, I’ll always remember running late at an airport some 30 years ago and… smack, bang into the man himself, me falling over myself, and him towering above, glaring down with a defining look! Here’s to you Gil Scott-Heron.”

The Crutch
The Bottle
New York Is Killing Me
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Me And The Devil
Home Is Where The Hatred Is
Did You Hear What They Said
Your Soul and Mine
The Needle’s Eye
Winter In America
Peace Go With You Brother
I’m New Here
Fast Lane
New York Is Killing Me
My Cloud