Needle of Death (3:18)

Cover of Bert Jansch

From Bert Jansch and 35 other releases

According to the Needle of Death Songfacts, This tune has been claimed to have influenced the drug-taking habits of a generation of British youth even though Jansch never touched them himself. He told the story behind the song to Uncut magazine January 2010: “It’s inspired by a friend called Buck Polly, a folk singer and one of the people I met when I first came to London. Buck used to drive (folk singer) Alex Campbell to gigs, because what he did for a living was repair gardens - we would drive along in these jalopies. About six months after meeting Buck and Alex, I was with them one day, Buck was in a bad mood: his wife wouldn’t let him see the kids or something, something to do with money. And 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.”


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Albums featuring this track (36)

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  • Oppressotron

    A good friend lost his sister to an overdose. She left two kids and was only 26. She looked real nice in that coffin... sigh. Heroin is terrible for you but does make some awesome song writing material.

    10 Nov 2014 Reply
  • Echos_Myron

    Tagged incorrectly on Spotify, but oh well. I first heard this song close to eight years ago when I was graduating high school, and I still get chills listening to it.

    24 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Skog-1

    Love the guitar!

    5 Jun 2014 Reply
  • jgpage43

    Weird-- just to inform anyone who comes across this around the time of post, what's playing is "Veronica", not "Needle of Death".

    6 Mar 2014 Reply
  • nicorebel


    24 Jul 2013 Reply
  • sting2901

    Super ...einfach schön ......... hören und nachdenken

    17 May 2013 Reply
  • wolfy76484

    A GREAT great guitarist

    17 May 2013 Reply
  • AshleyBovan

    great guitarist - v influential

    26 Apr 2013 Reply
  • ati1978

    right Tron....reminds to neil youngs "on the beach" ...was it "ambulance blues"?

    8 Feb 2013 Reply
  • Tron1276


    10 Jan 2013 Reply
  • Michele187

    i love this music. so beautiful

    8 Jan 2013 Reply
  • VooVoo2You


    27 Nov 2012 Reply
  • DonkeyHotai

    Leo Kottke, Nic Jones, and Bert - all from the same decade. Awesome...

    25 Apr 2012 Reply
  • Aberlass

    As a Scot, I wish our Culture would acknowledge our lyrical poets..... time for change...... or will we, in apathy, let them all die, to be replaced by English XFactor manufactured pop? WAKE UP SCOTLAND!

    19 Feb 2012 Reply
  • AbOD7

    British folk at its best ! <3

    23 Dec 2011 Reply
  • davidbowiegirl


    23 Dec 2011 Reply
  • jimboeck

    spooky...................... RIP brotha................

    9 Dec 2011 Reply
  • nsoares

    ''The lyrics are not related to his own passing away, but it does make you think.'' agreed

    24 Oct 2011 Reply
  • robinmoore25

    Thank you for the music Bert. R.I.P.

    21 Oct 2011 Reply
  • fastlane01

    The lyrics are not related to his own passing away, but it does make you think. R.I.P.

    7 Oct 2011 Reply
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