“THE MOST IMPORTANT thing is to enjoy yourself… When you do, other people will,” offers Gil Scott-Heron, presumably musing on his own musical approach. His thoughts segue into a re-working of Alien (Hold On To Your Dreams), the original version of which appeared on the album 1980 (released in that same year) which he cut with long-time collaborator Brian Jackson.
This new version dates back to 2005 and the sessions he undertook with Richard Russell. Ultimately, this would lead to his final album, I’m New Here, released in 2010 – a year before his passing.
Featuring Gil accompanying himself on piano, this new version of the track is stripped down and more affecting for it. It also heralds the unexpected pleasure of a new album, Nothing New, which was announced today, April 1, on what would have been Gil’s 65th birthday.
Russell himself has also offered further context around the sessions by contributing detailed sleeve notes (see below).
As the title suggests, the album will feature interpretations of some of Gil’s most celebrated tunes. It will be released via XL Recordings in a limited run of 3000 copies (12” vinyl only), on Record Store Day (April 19).
Check out the new version of Alien (Hold On To Your Dreams) below: