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Band: Gang of Four

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Gang of Four?

Crap
6
5%
Not Crap
127
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Total votes : 133

Band: Gang of Four

Postby Severance Package on Tue Aug 03, 2004 3:09 am

Gang of Four
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Postby the Classical on Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:36 am

Not Crap. Great band. Sure did suck up a storm toward the end there, but still not crap
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Postby placeholder on Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:27 am

i'll be surprised if someone gives them a crap vote. gang of four made two near-perfect albums, another pretty great one, and one pretty bad one. to be honest, i haven't bothered with the '90s reunion stuff, but none of it can be worse than hard.

easily NOT CRAP.
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Postby Dylan on Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:57 am

Andy Gill seems to know what he's talking about when he writes about music, which is refreshing.
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Postby DanH on Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:17 am

she doesnt think so, but shes dressed for the H-bomb!

for the h-bomb!


gotta love a bikini

love vance
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Depends on the rhythm section (just like everything else!)

Postby joshsolberg on Tue Aug 03, 2004 12:35 pm

GoF w/ Dave Allen and Hugo Burnham=Not crap, one of the most unbelievable bands any time, anywhere. "Fast R&B", for sure.

GoF w/o Dave Allen and Hugo Burnham=Crap. "Hard" I think not. Agit-prop disco (?) from two intellectuals, a drum machine, and Sarah Lee.
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Postby horsewhip on Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:51 pm

I'm torn. While "Entertainment!" and "Solid Gold" are two of the best records in the history of recorded music, I wasn't very impressed with "Songs Of The Free," and "Hard" truly defines crap.

Then of course, not one, but TWO half-assed reunion albums.

Gang Of Four are almost directly responsible for the Red Hot Chili Pepers. Flea even said so.

Without Gang Of Four, all those shit "dance-punk" bands in striped stockings that are always all over whatever issue of my girlfriend's copy of Paper that I'm reading while I'm taking a shit would not exist.

Andy Gill overproduced "Blue" by the Jesus Lizard, among several other albums.

It's tough for me to vote on this one.
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Postby the Classical on Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:58 pm

horsewhip-

you make some excellent points, but I think that for the most part you can't really blame a band for the shit that comes in their wake.
Though I for one would like to blame someone, anyone for the existence of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and hold them accountable.




plus, dude that guitar! holy crap! not crap!
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Postby horsewhip on Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:16 am

I'll have to vote NOT CRAP because those first two records are truly amazing.

Still, as great as those records are, GO4 are not nearly as untouchable as people make them out to be.

Maybe I'm just playing devil's advocate. I don't know.
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Postby Andrew L. on Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:59 pm

Nothing to add here. It's like I'm watching a discussion between me and me. What a swell board!


PS. Very Embarrasing Disclosure: I hadn't given this band the time of day until spending time on this board. Bought the first two albums in rapid succesion after the 'great guitar albums thread' and went on to read everything I could about em. Convert, in less than a minute.

PPS. My 1st taste of the band was "Desire" while watching Karate Kid. It took 15+ years to get that taste out of my mouth alright?
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Postby Severance Package on Thu Aug 05, 2004 1:22 am

I actually really like Songs of the Free (still very challenging music, despite its commercial sheen), but I agree that the first two albums are definitive Gang of Four. Those unassailable records still sound brilliant.

It's too bad that the original three albums (including the version of Solid Gold with the Another Day/Another Dollar EP) aren't still in-print, especially with so many bad groups today ripping them off.

I can't believe that Hard got reissued, though... that's one of the worst albums I've ever heard.
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Postby horsewhip on Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:31 pm

Severance Package wrote:I actually really like Songs of the Free (still very challenging music, despite its commercial sheen), but I agree that the first two albums are definitive Gang of Four. Those unassailable records still sound brilliant.

It's too bad that the original three albums (including the version of Solid Gold with the Another Day/Another Dollar EP) aren't still in-print, especially with so many bad groups today ripping them off.

I can't believe that Hard got reissued, though... that's one of the worst albums I've ever heard.


Isn't it a two-fer with "Solid Gold?" That probably means they've got an "Entertainment!/Songs Of The Free" two-fer in the pipe.

Pretty smart from a business standpoint. If they did a "Entertainment!/Solid Gold" two-fer and a "Songs Of The Free/Hard" one, they'd sell thousands of the first one, and none of the second one. This way, people gots to buy both.

I couldn't bring myself to vote Crap, but I'm glad somebody did.
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Postby Severance Package on Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:47 pm

horsewhip wrote:
Severance Package wrote:I actually really like Songs of the Free (still very challenging music, despite its commercial sheen), but I agree that the first two albums are definitive Gang of Four. Those unassailable records still sound brilliant.

It's too bad that the original three albums (including the version of Solid Gold with the Another Day/Another Dollar EP) aren't still in-print, especially with so many bad groups today ripping them off.

I can't believe that Hard got reissued, though... that's one of the worst albums I've ever heard.


Isn't it a two-fer with "Solid Gold?" That probably means they've got an "Entertainment!/Songs Of The Free" two-fer in the pipe.

Pretty smart from a business standpoint. If they did a "Entertainment!/Solid Gold" two-fer and a "Songs Of The Free/Hard" one, they'd sell thousands of the first one, and none of the second one. This way, people gots to buy both.


You have a good point. I was just thinking of the original CD edition of Solid Gold, which had a great five-song EP included as bonus tracks. To me, that's musically more appealing than Hard followed by a bonus-less Gold. But it is nice to know that the second album is available.

I do hope they have an Entertainment!/Songs of the Free CD reissue. The Peel Sessions is pretty good too, though the two reunion albums are not very impressive. (For what it's worth, Shrinkwrapped is a decent $2 bargain bin find.)
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Postby SchnappM on Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:11 pm

The Infinite Zero issue of Entertainment came with the Yellow EP as bonus tracks, and the Infinite Zero reissue of Solid Gold came with the Another Day Another Dollar EP as bonus tracks. These are definitely preferable to the official reissues or imports being sold today but good luck tracking down copies of them for under 30 bucks. Infinite Zero released a lot of awesome crap but now it's all rare.
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Other great GoF stuff

Postby joshsolberg on Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:06 pm

Have you all heard the Peel Sessions they did? Maybe their best stuff ever, in my opinion.
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Re: Other great GoF stuff

Postby placeholder on Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:16 pm

joshsolberg wrote:Have you all heard the Peel Sessions they did? Maybe their best stuff ever, in my opinion.


the peel stuff definitely rivals the albums, i think...
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Postby xero on Sun Sep 11, 2005 6:34 pm

Such a vexing Crap/Not Crap! Is so hard to tell!

The teenage female reptile brain said NOT CRAP. Assaultive disco-funk with THAT guitar sound? English marxist art guys? We are approaching the very definition of NOT CRAP, quaint 70s ayatollah-esque feminism and all.

The forty-two-year-old, having disliked nearly everything they’ve done since 1983, including the show I saw last spring and especially the soon-to-be-released rerecordings, says CRAP.

NOT CRAP. Teenage Female Reptile Brain 1, Rational Adult 0. Shocker.
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Re: Other great GoF stuff

Postby Mazec on Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:28 am

joshsolberg wrote:Have you all heard the Peel Sessions they did? Maybe their best stuff ever, in my opinion.


Right on. The production is so much better than that on Entertainment, it has some real weight that's missing on the first albums, none of the cheesy overdubs, etc. I actually got ahold of the Peel Sessions way before I ended up finding Entertainment (Entertainment was hard to find on vinyl 12 years ago- you couldn't just walk into any record shop and find it back then - The Peel Sessions records were floating around all over the place, though.)

Another day/Another Dollar has got to get its props, too. In terms of
amazing :mediocre song ration, this one is 5:0, which I don't think any other GoF release could touch. I mean, all of there other records had a couple tracks that weren't so hot. I may be putting my head on the chopping block here by suggesting that "Anthrax" was one of them.

Anyway, I am guessing that their involvement with Warner had a lot to do with the short longetivity of their actual great music producing period.
I can picture a Warners exec saying, "We want a little more of that danceable sound, maybe some female backing vocals, and it'll sell like hotcakes," and POOF! THe golden years of the Gang of Four went up in smoke. Although it has some ok tracks, I maintain that Songs of the Free was still a shite album, since it took the bar for GoF standards way the fuck down in one fell swoop. Subsequent releases of course lowered it further, but Songs of the Free struck the first grievious blow.

Still, despite their disappointing and rapid descent into mediocrity and later total shite, they came out with a legendary style, proving (as did Wire and a bunch of other guys) that punk does not have to be some boring fast distorted shit devoid of interesting qualities.
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Re: Other great GoF stuff

Postby xero on Mon Sep 12, 2005 4:22 am

The production [on Peel Sessions] is so much better than that on Entertainment, it has some real weight that's missing on the first albums, none of the cheesy overdubs, etc.


People always say this. I actually prefer Entertainment! on the whole. I will say that the bass and drums sound great on the Peel Sessions, and the Peel version of "Guns Before Butter" is definitely way better.

What are these cheesy overdubs you speak of? If you mean the double-tracked vocals in spots, be advised that, far from "cheesy," that is what insiders refer to as "cool." Otherwise I am at a loss to understand.

Another day/Another Dollar has got to get its props, too. In terms of amazing :mediocre song ration, this one is 5:0, which I don't think any other GoF release could touch.


It is Awesome and Rocking, that one. Except I kind of hate "Cheeseburger." That's still 4:1.

I mean, all of there other records had a couple tracks that weren't so hot. I may be putting my head on the chopping block here by suggesting that "Anthrax" was one of them.


Try "Glass" or maybe "5:45." Everything else on there is indispensable and "Anthrax" is stone cold classic.

Anyway, I am guessing that their involvement with Warner had a lot to do with the short longetivity of their actual great music producing period. I can picture a Warners exec saying, "We want a little more of that danceable sound, maybe some female backing vocals, and it'll sell like hotcakes," and POOF! THe golden years of the Gang of Four went up in smoke.


I've had the economics of Gang of Four's career patiently explained to me by someone with much more knowledge about it than I've got and I think they were WAY less manipulated than your account implies. Personally I think they just pretty much lost it artistically at a certain point and should have left it at that, with the possible exception of like five minutes off of Shrinkwrapped.

Although it has some ok tracks, I maintain that Songs of the Free was still a shite album, since it took the bar for GoF standards way the fuck down in one fell swoop. Subsequent releases of course lowered it further, but Songs of the Free struck the first grievious blow.


I quite liked Songs of the Free despite the incipient shiteness. "I Love A Man In A Uniform" doesn't hold up for me, but "We Live As We Dream Alone," "Call Me Up" -- quality. Hard was where I abruptly lost interest.

punk does not have to be some boring fast distorted shit devoid of interesting qualities.


True, but I actually don't think of Gang of Four as being punk except by association with the time and environment they started in.
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Postby MissAnthrope on Mon Sep 12, 2005 4:39 am

Gang of Four has never been Crap to me.

I'm finally getting a chance to see them live, without
bearing the heat of the Coachella music festival.

Not Crap, for now, anyway.
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