Forgotten Treasure: Gil Scott-Heron “Angel Dust” (1978)
Gil Scott Heron is justifiably recognised as one of the most unique black music artists of all time. His music transgresses all musical barriers in the same way that Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye did, although never crossing over to that realm of mainstream recognition. Along with co-producer Brian Jackson he recorded some of the most memorable songs of the 1970’s, songs which combined a message with powerful rhythms.
‘Secrets’ their 1978 (Arista) album continues the journey started in the ‘Bridges’ album of 1977 and is another of their best albums. Secrets again features Brian Jackson on Synthesiser Bass which along with Harvey Mason’s drums underpins the deep sound. As with all their albums the lyrics are poignant and informative of society in the 1970’s.
‘Angel Dust’ warns of the dangers of drug abuse (the irony being that drugs turned out to be a pretty big problem in his personal life) and it actually peaked at No.15 on the R&B charts in 1978. In an era of LMFAO’s and Flo-rida’s could you imagine this making it to the charts?
This album is another of my all time personal favourites, and we believe it deserves greater recognition, which a proper reissue through Soul Brother Records (it originally came out on Arista) and “Angel Dust” has also been given a second life through the use of sampling. Kanye West used it on The Game’s “Angel” and it was also used by Hassan Salaam (links below)Gil Scott-Heron - Angel