1980 Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson – 1980

1980 is a studio album by American vocalist Gil Scott-Heron and keyboardist Brian Jackson. It was recorded from August to October 1979 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 Sr, 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 played a number of instruments, including the T.O.N.T.O. synthesizer, which was featured in the album’s cover photo. Scott-Heron wrote the lyrics to all the songs, which explored societal themes, pressures in life, and fear of the future.

The album charted at number 82 on the Billboard 200 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 was Scott-Heron and Jackson’s last album together.


1  Shut ‘Um Down (Gil Scott-Heron) 05:14
2  Alien (Hold On To Your Dreams) (Gil Scott-Heron) 03:25
3  Willing (Gil Scott-Heron) 04:02
4  Corners (Brian Jackson; Gil Scott-Heron) 04:47
5  1980 (Gil Scott-Heron) 06:00
6  Push Comes To Shove (Gil Scott-Heron) 03:36
7  Shah Mot (The Shah Is Dead / Checkmate) (Gil Scott-Heron) 04:05
8  Late Last Night (Gil Scott-Heron) 04:26



DrumsHarvey Mason Sr
Electric PianoBrian Jackson
KeyboardsBrian Jackson
PianoBrian Jackson
PianoGil Scott-Heron
HornsBill Watrous
HornsGordon Goodwin
HornsDenis Sirias
Background VocalsJulia Tillman Waters
Background VocalsMaxine Willard Waters
VocalsGil Scott-Heron

Other Musicians

1 Shut ‘Um Down

DrumsBrian Jackson
GuitarMarlo Henderson

2 Alien (Hold On To Your Dreams)

GuitarMarlo Henderson

4 Corners

GuitarMarlo Henderson

5 1980

GuitarEd Brady
FluteCarl Cornwell
SaxCarl Cornwell

6 Push Comes To Shove

GuitarEd Brady
FluteCarl Cornwell
SaxCarl Cornwell

7 Shah Mot (The Shah Is Dead / Checkmate)

DrumsBrian Jackson

8 Late Last Night

GuitarMarlo Henderson

Liner Notes

Producer – Brian Jackson, Gil Scott-Heron, Malcolm Cecil
Producer (Assistant) – Malcolm Cecil
Arranged By – Brian Jackson
Engineer – Malcolm Cecil
Mixed By – Malcolm Cecil

Art Direction – Donn Davenport, Ron Kellum
Photography By – John Ford, John E. Barrett
Typography – Hal Fiedler

Recorded At T.O.N.T.O.
Phonographic Copyright (p) Arista Records, Inc
Copyright (c) Arista Records, Inc