Red Hot Chili Peppers members John Frusciante and Flea have teamed up for their first recorded material in over a decade, offering a funked-up cover of Gang of Four's Not Great Men.
The track – which appears on the newly released Andy Gill tribute album, The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four – sees Frusciante serve up an array of funky clean chords backed up by a plethora of energetic basslines from Flea. The cover also features vocals from members of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music.
The album plays host to a variety of other Gang of Four covers, including a rendition of Paralysed by Warpaint and a take on Natural's Not in It by Tom Morello and Serj Tankian.
“John Frusciante and I, along with the children's choir from the Silverlake Conservatory of Music recorded the song Not Great Men by the Gang of Four for this album,” writes Flea in an instagram post.
“It was a beautiful opportunity for me to connect with my friend, the innovative guitarist Andy Gill, before he shockingly passed away shortly after the recording was made. This was an act of love for him.
“Me, John and the kids, went and knocked it out in a couple of days raw style. John and I hadn't recorded together in about twelve years. It was fun as fuck. Long live the Gang of Four, long live Andy Gill.”
The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four was originally conceived to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Gang of Four's debut album Entertainment!, but following Gill's death in February last year, now stands as a tribute to the post-punk pioneer who influenced a generation of guitarists.
Says Andy Gill's former partner Catherine Mayer, “Andy was massively excited about the project. It wasn't, of course, conceived as a tribute album, but it's comforting to me that he lived to see artists he hugely admired enthusiastically agreeing to participate, signaling that the admiration was mutual.”
Fans are eagerly awaiting new original material from the Chili Peppers since John Frusciante announced his return to the group at the tail end of 2019. Drummer Chad Smith recently said the influential LA funk-rockers had "lots of new music" recorded and promised "we’re coming back and it’s going to be great" (opens in new tab).
- The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four is available now (opens in new tab) via Gill Music Ltd.