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Bert Jansch's debut single on heroin addiction

Bert Jansch

Needle Of Death

Released: April 15th, 1965

Tracks Bert Jansch

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1969.

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On April 16th 1965, Scottish folk singer Bert Jansch released his debut self titled album. The album was recorded using a single microphone in his London apartment, and it featured his most famous track titled "Needle Of Death".

"Needle Of Death" marked the increasing use of heroin amoung youths in London.

In 2010, Jansch said that the song was written about the death of his friend and fellow folksinger, Buck Polly, who had died of a heroin overdose.

Remarking on the incident, Jansch said that one day he was with Buck Polly, and the next day he was gone: "we went up to Goodge Street, a pub there called Finch's. Buck scored from a dealer. And the next day, I'd heard he'd died."

In 2014, "Needle Of Death" was included on Neil Young's album A letter Home, which was recorded at Jack White's Third Man Records in a 1947 Voice-O-Graph recording booth.

Bert Jansch's debut single on heroin addiction
Bert Jansch's debut single 'Needle Of Death' was written about heroin addiction.

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