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Release Date 1980

1980 is a studio album by American singer-songwriter Gil Scott-Heron and keyboardist Brian Jackson. Their ninth album together, it was recorded from August to October 1979 during a period of creative tension between the two musicians and released in February 1980 by Arista Records.

Scott-Heron and Jackson produced 1980 with Malcolm Cecil and performed with a host of studio musicians, including drummer Harvey Mason, guitarist Marlo Henderson, and trombonist Bill Watrous. They incorporated sounds from contemporary pop music, such as disco, dance, and new wave, into their established jazz-funk style. Jackson arranged the songs and played a number of instruments, including Cecil's TONTO synthesizer, which was featured in the album's cover photo. Scott-Heron's lyrics explore contemporary concerns in US society, such as nuclear power and racism, as well as pressures in life and fear of the future. Several songs address the idealism held among African Americans amid the declining Black Power movement.

The album charted at number 82 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tape chart while also impacting the R&B and jazz charts. A critical success, it received praise for its musical qualities and Scott-Heron's subject matter. 1980 proved to be Scott-Heron and Jackson's last album together.


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