The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gang Of Four



7-15-08 Gang Of Four

Having read that David Allen and Hugo Burnham have left the re-formed Gang Of Four…

CDx2 100 FLOWERS BLOOM (Collection) RHINO US R2 75479 1998 40 TRK Collection (70's/80's recordings)

12" ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER DOLLAR WARNER US MINI 3646 1982 5 TRK EP; with pic sleeve

LP ANTHRAX MARXISTS pirate PIRATE UK DR 002 1980 17 TRKS LIVE, February 1980

7" AT HOME HE'S A TOURIST / IT'S HER FACTORY EMI UK EMI 2956 1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

LP AT THE PALACE MERCURY UK MERL 51 1984 10 TRKS LIVE, May 1984

CD BRIEF HISTORY OF THE 20th CENTURY, A WARNER US 26448.2 1990 20 TRK Collection

12" CADILLAC POLYDOR UK PZ 152 1991 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" CALL ME UP / I WILL BE A GOOD BOY EMI UK EMI 5320 1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" DAMAGED GOODS / LOVE LIKE ANTHRAX / ARMALITE RIFLE FAST UK FAST 5 1978 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD ENTERTAINMENT! INFINITE ZERO 14502.2 1979/80 16 TRKS (4 x bonus tracks) (1st CD issue)

LP ENTERTAINMENT! TOSHIBA JPN EMS-81286 1979 12 TRKS 1st; insert

LP HARD TOSHIBA JPN EMS-81626 1983 9 TRKS 4th; insert

CD HARD / SOLID GOLD WOUNDED BIRD WOU 3936 1981/3 19 TRKS ('03 issue)

12" I LOVE A MAN IN UNIFORM EMI UK 12EMI 5299 1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" IS IT LOVE EMI UK 12EMI 5418 1983 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" IS IT LOVE (Live) MERCURY UK GANG 12 1984 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" LORD MAKE ME A COWBOY (Flexidisc) VINYL NL ? 1980? 1 TRK no pic sleeve, Flexidisc

CD MALL POLYDOR US 849124.2 1991 13 TRKS 5th

12" MONEY TALKS SCARLETT UK SCART 4T 1990 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" OUTSIDE THE TRAINS DON'T RUN ON TIME WARNER CAN MINI 3494 1980 4 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" OUTSIDE THE TRAINS DON'T… / HE'D SEND IN THE ARMY EMI UK Z1 1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD PEEL SESSIONS ALBUM, THE STRANGE FR UK SFRCD 107 1990 11 TRK Collection

CD SHRINKWRAPPED CASTLE US 100.2 1995 11 TRKS 6th

7" SILVER LINING / INDEPENDENCE EMI UK EMI 5440 1983 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD SOLID GOLD INFINITE ZERO 43035.2 1981/2 15 TRKS (5 x bonus tracks) (1st CD issue)

LP SOLID GOLD TOSHIBA JPN EMS-81416 1981 10 TRKS 2nd; insert

CD SONGS OF THE FREE INFINITE ZERO 43067.2 1982 11 TRKS (2 x bonus tracks) (1st CD issue)

LP SONGS OF THE FREE TOSHIBA JPN EMS-81503 1982 9 TRKS 3rd; insert

12" TO HELL WITH POVERTY EMI UK 12EMI 5193 1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" TO HELL WITH POVERTY (Remix) EMI UK 12EM 172 1991 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" WHAT WE ALL WANT EMI UK 12EMI 5146 1981 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

In 1979 – 1982, I was a huge fan of Gang Of Four. I never got the chance to see them play live. I bought almost all of the material I could ever find by them. The old 80’s 12” singles (like “To Hell With Poverty” or “Outside The Trains Don’t Run On Time”) sound mighty.

Their four contiguous EMI albums, “Entertainment”, “Solid Gold”, “Land of The Free” and “Hard” are a powerful body of work. I love many of their singles, from “Call Me Up” to “At Home He’s A Tourist”. I always thought it was a shame that their work was never all that readily available on CD, often only staying in print for a short time. I can heartily recommend the Rhino 2CD set, “100 Flowers Bloom” – there’s some really astonishing remixes on that set.

Also of note is the “Peel Sessions” CD – particularly the Peel version of “I Found That Essence Rare” – perhaps a better tempo than the EMI release?

I get the impression that GO4 are / were a band that would discourage a ‘cult of personality’ surrounding them – but I think they’re super musicians, and I agree with most of their political message(s). Odd that at least some of them seemed to gravitate to the U.S.

Is “Lord Make Me A Cowboy” still only on that Dutch flexi-disc?

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Unfortunately, I missed out on GOF for a decade because the only GOF I heard in context was the off putting "Anthrax." "To Hell With Poverty" is incredible, to say the least. And it sure looks like Capital IS failing us now!

You are the first person who likes the GOF who has ever said anything good about "Hard!" Congratulations! I have a Brazilian 7" of "Is It Love" and I like the contrast between the jagged guitar and the otherwise ultra smooth production. I can't believe critics at the time didn't find that dynamic as intriguing as I did. I only have a pittance of GOF: "Is It Love" Br 7", "To Hell" UK 12", "To Hell" UK CD5", "Solid Gold" US LP. I need a lot more.

5:24 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

I think the reason "Hard" gets a bad rap is because so few people know how to find it on the Wounded Bird CD easily! There's some great stuff on it.

Get "Entertainment!", then "Solid Gold", then "Songs Of The Free", then "Hard" - and you're through. I can advise that all original 12" singles sound great. A CD single of THWP is a re-issue, as CD singles did not exist when it was originally released.

Cheeseburger to go!

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Jim Donato said...

error: LP is Songs of the Free, not Solid Gold. And "Hard" got a bad rap for sounding like Duran Duran, as I recall!

11:23 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Jim-san,

I will fix you up for Go4 CD's!

I have no problem w/ "Hard" - and it doesn't sounds like DD to me!

RK

7:06 PM  

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