Saturday, December 01, 2007

445. Gang Of Four - Entertainment! (1979)

Track Listing

1. Ether
2. Naturals Not In It
3. Not Great Men
4. Damaged Goods
5. Return The Gift
6. Guns Before Butter
7. I Found That Essence Rare
8. Glass
9. Contract
10. At Home He's A Tourist
11. 5.45
12. Love Like Anthrax


This is a great, great album. Go4 are doing so many things here in what is one of the best debut albums in British music, that it is hard to know where to start. So let's start with the music itself.

The staccato guitars are one of the most original but also most influential things that Go4 do here, they sound like many bands would sound later, Franz Ferdinand owe a deep gratitude to them for example. Then there's the great mixing bringing the bass right up front on equal footing with the other instruments, giving you a whole new sound to the rhythm section. But then this is pop, the song constructions are completely poppy but with a twist, the twist comes from how it is played and what it is saying.

Lyrically as you would imagine from a band named after the 4 people who controlled the Cultural Revolution in Maoist China, this is quite a subversive album. Of course, like most subversive music it runs the gamut from naive to insightful, but the heart is always in the right place, even if they are quite angry. Remember there's Thatcher and Reagan looking at each other across the ocean, life isn't rosy for the left.

And then the music is really catchy, after a couple of listen-throughs you will always remember all the songs, be able to quote from them, and just love it. This is a band which can sit at the pantheon up there with Pere Ubu in the great avant-garde punk bands of all time.

Track Highlights

1. Natural's Not In It
2. At Home He's A Tourist
3. Damaged Goods
4. Love Like Anthrax

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The album has attracted praise from rock musicians. Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers stated that the first time he heard the record, "It completely changed the way I looked at rock music and sent me on my trip as a bass player." In 2003, the album was ranked number 490 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In March 2005, Q magazine placed the track "At Home He's a Tourist" at number 52 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.

The Dresses of Marie Antoinette to the sound of Natural's Not In It,,, and there's a half naked Kristen at the beginning:


Anonymous said...

punk plus swing. unfortunately, they never did something close to this album.

Tristan M said...

if entertainment is a 10, solid gold is a 9