Monday, April 17, 2006

Gang of Four

In reviewing the last 300+ posts I don't think I have covered a single British band. Huh. I guess most of my Britpunk collection (GBH, Subhumans, Chaos UK, and way too much Oi) sounds stale to me these days. As I've grown older I've phased out much of my earlier British items for the more refined sounds of Wire, The Fall, Joy Division, Mekons, Gang of Four, and the like. I was into my last year of college when a friend introduced me to Gang of Four and their landmark Entertainment! LP. I was hooked instantly by the deft bass lines and the tense, jagged guitar. For years I had a tape of that included the band's first two albums (Entertainment! and Solid Gold) along with the tracks from 1978's Damaged Goods 7". I lost the tape awhile ago but was able to track down Entertainment! and! and Solid Gold. The 7" tracks I've been unable to smoke out until just recently. The versions on the single differ from those on later releases - I prefer the versions of "Love Like Anthrax" and "Armalite Rifle" on this record to those put out later. "Damaged Goods" doesn't quite measure up to the Entertainment! version, but it's such a remarkable song that it bears a listen in almost any form

from 1978's debut 7"
Gang of Four - Damaged Goods.mp3
Gang of Four - Love Like Anthrax.mp3
Gang of Four - Armalite Rifle.mp3