1994 album re-release.
The legend that is Gill Scott Heron, who was one of the great poet/vocalists singer-songwriters of a generation released ’Spirits’ in 1994. Now it is being re-relased on Vinyl in celebration of it’s 25th anniversary. And it still sounds as fresh and relevant in modern day society as it did then, just a treat for the ears from this great orator!
When ’Spirits’ was originally released Gill had been on a studio hiatus for 12 years and this album was a heady release for fans. Though the politically charged R&B singer's voice had deteriorated, much of his soulfulness comes through. His songwriting is consistently excellent, and songs ranging from "Message to the Messengers" (which advises young rap artists to use their power wisely) to "Work for Peace" leave no doubt that his sociopolitical observations are as sharp as ever. One of the most riveting cuts is "The Other Side," an extended remake of his early-'70s classic "Home Is Where the Hatred Is" (which describes a drug addict's struggle). The East Coaster had been battling addiction himself during his absence from recording, and this heartfelt song isn't for the squeamish. Gill had successfully dabbled in jazz over the years, and in fact, among the CD's many strong points are the lyrics he adds to John Coltranes “Spirits” in short the album is powerful listening.
Gill with this politically charged themes, was a musical novelist, a political commentator, his music depicting his involvement as a black American just living his life and reflecting on his journey through it seen through his eyes at that period in time. He wrote and produced a catalogue of timeless albums; a historical cultural and political diary of tunes, coming back to the same references that threaded through his enrapturing jazz and R&B polemics. An inspiration to many musicians preceding him, leading the way for rap and countless hip hop incendiaries, Gill had it all in spades producing music the critics could never quite ‘classify’ in his own words said upon a fan enquiring how to find his albums, he replied “You’ll find us in the ‘alternative section' of the record shop.”