Here’s why this album should be in your collection!
The danceable quality of “The Bottle,” the hit single from Winter in America (1974) by Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson, makes it easy to forget three significant facts. First, the rest of the album is quite awesome. Second, “The Bottle” warns against alcohol abuse. And third, the lyrics reflect their composer’s own misery.
Scott-Heron was already a legend in Black Music because of his signature composition, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” His collaborations with Jackson began with this album and would advance the legend even more. Fortunately for several generations of rap artists, Scott-Heron’s lyrical talents stayed sharp despite a lifetime of substance abuse.
Scott-Heron’s unblinking insights are in full effect throughout the album. Especially check out “Song For Bobby Smith,” “Back Home,” “H2O Gate Blues (President Nixon resigned three months later),” and “Winter in America,” the title track.
In “The Bottle,” Scott-Heron ad-libs the most damning lyrics for himself: “Look around on any corner/If you see some brother looking like a goner/It’s gonna be me.” Gilbert Scott-Heron succumbed in 2011 from the effects of habits that by then had degenerated from alcohol into several other debilitating substances.
This album is available in CD and MP3 format from major vendors. Please consider purchasing it from a local independent record store.
Here’s an interesting fact!
April is Alcohol Awareness Month in the USA. Please be as proactive as possible with loved ones to avert the influences that facilitate substance abuse.