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Gang of Four

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Leeds, England (1977 – 1984, 2005 – present)

Gang of Four are a British group from Leeds, England. Original personnel were singer Jon King, guitarist Andy Gill, bass guitarist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham. They were fully active from 1977 to 1984, and then re-emerged twice in the 1990s with King and Gill. In 2005, the original lineup reunited.

The group had a single in the British Top 60 with “At Home He’s A Tourist” in 1979, which was blacklisted by Top Of The Pops for its use of the relatively innocuous term “rubbers”. Storming, Doc Marten-booted and fueled by a heady cocktail of Gramsci, Marx and lager, out of the Leeds art-school scene that produced The Mekons and Delta 5, they played a stripped-to-the-wire, funk-fueled permutation of punk rock. This is best exemplified by the dry production and forceful polemic of debut effort Entertainment! - Gang of Four’s later albums (Songs Of The Free and Hard) found them softening some of their more jarring qualities, and drifting towards disco.

Critic Stewart Mason has called “Love Like Anthrax” (their first single, later re-recorded as “Anthrax”) not only the group’s “most notorious song” but also “one of the most unique and interesting songs of its time”; it’s also a good example of Gang of Four’s social perspective. After a minute-long, droning, feedback-laced guitar intro, the rhythm section sets up a funky, churning beat, and the guitar drops out entirely. In one stereo channel, King sings a “post-punk anti-love song”, comparing himself to a beetle trapped on its back (“and there’s no way for me to get up”) and equating love with “a case of anthrax, and that’s some thing I don’t want to catch.

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  • Alec_Trevelyan

    Jon King left, so why carry on the band?

    26 Aug 4:10am Reply
  • maskeraddanne

    To Hell With Poverty!

    29 Jul 1:36pm Reply
  • Jugulator93

    New GO4 soon, says their facebook site

    1 Jul 9:39pm Reply
  • zykoveddy

    This band has way too many underrated albums. Hard, At The Palace, Shrinkwrapped, Content - all hated by fans, despite actually being decent records.

    12 Jun 9:17pm Reply
  • S1D1991

    Greetings from Ukraine)

    6 Jun 5:01pm Reply
  • MzPorS

    Saw these guys in Houston, Txj at #'s I remember a Grass Hula Skirt LOL

    5 Jun 5:40am Reply
  • thelionrampant

    Gang of Four? You guys into Chinese politics?

    5 Jun 3:13am Reply
  • Bas_VIII

    Lekker dansen op deze band man

    30 May 4:53pm Reply
  • AniRockAniMetal

    Prawie jak no wave i w tym wypadku "prawie" wcale nie robi jakiejś kolosalnej różnicy. Pewną robi, ale nie aż taką.

    29 May 5:18pm Reply
  • wiseblood-

    Disappointed to not see "What We All Want" in the top charts. One of their very best, IMO.

    25 May 1:39am Reply
  • zykoveddy

    "Songs of the Free" is incredible. Just incredible. [2]

    11 May 1:16am Reply
  • _Luks

    design patterns

    9 Apr 11:44pm Reply
  • MilitaryTwoStep

    WATCH NEW BLOOD ON THE EIGHTEEN INCH SCREEN THE CORPSE IS A NEW PERSONALITY

    30 Mar 1:49pm Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    franz Ferdinand должны на них каждый день молиться, ёба

    20 Mar 1:39pm Reply
  • WS9167

    it's funny how folkfag00 is not a fag.... oh wait, that's just a joke

    18 Mar 6:00pm Reply
  • thelionrampant

    The Wreckage of the SS Post Punk, captained by the great Gang of Four.

    13 Mar 11:10am Reply
  • folkfag00

    it's funny how this succeeds making post punk look bad while post punk is already a wreckage

    4 Mar 11:54pm Reply
  • wetwillies

    Entertainment! is one of those albums where, while it's on, you wonder whether any other music ever needed to exist.

    23 Feb 4:22am Reply
  • spacemangraig

    I'm particulary fond of their soft cell cover I love man in a uniform.

    7 Feb 5:26pm Reply
  • Isaaaaaak

    One of those bands that had an absolutely absurd drop in quality past the first album. Entertainment! was phenomenal, Solid Gold was alright and then everything after is fucking garbage. Crazy.

    24 Jan 10:01pm Reply
  • All 668 shouts