iPod Shuffle2 - I Can't Forget Your Lonely Face
The Gang Of Four - I Can't Forget Your Lonely Face - Play this track here.
Me and the Gang Of Four go way back to listening to the late great John Peel 10pm til midnight 1978. They were the thinking mans punk band, playing politically motivated rock & dub, gloriously mixed up.
The Gang's debut single, "Damaged Goods" backed with "(Love Like) Anthrax" and "Armalite Rifle", was recorded in June 1978 and released on 10 December 1978, on Edinburgh's Fast Product label. I still have one in my loft.
It was produced by the Gang of Four and Bob Last and Tim Inman. It was a Number 1 indie chart hit and John Peel radio show favourite. This led to two Peel radio sessions, which, with their incendiary live performances, propelled the band to international attention and sold-out shows across Europe and North America. They were then signed by EMI records.
The group's debut single with this label, "At Home He's a Tourist", charted in 1979. Invited to appear on top rated BBC music program Top of the Pops, the band walked off the show when the BBC told them that they must sing "packets" instead of "rubbers" as per the lyrics of the song, as the original was too subversive for this TV slot. The single was then banned by BBC Radio and TV, which lost the band support at EMI, who began to push another band, Duran Duran, instead. A later single, "I Love a Man in a Uniform", was banned by the BBC during the Falklands War in 1982.
Fast forward 30 years & Britain is again in the grip of coalition government & flaccid opposition. The perfect time to re-emerge.
In January 2011, the band released a new album, Content, which was very well received. Andrew Perry, writing in Britain's Telegraph newspaper, gave it (21 January 2011) a 5-star rating and said that it was "their best record since the Seventies", an opinion with which I agree.
Jon Pareles, awarding the album 4 stars in a New York Times review of 25 January 2011, declared that [the band] "have reclaimed, with a vengeance, their old attack", Dan Wilcox of KCRW (17 January 2011) said [of Content]: "Entertaining, scintillating and dangerous, the band has lost none of its explosive edge over the years."
In his Pitchfork review of the album, January 26, 2011 Stuart Berman wrote "If Gang of Four's 2005 reformation proved they could more than hold their own against the upstarts, then Content shows that their chief concerns – the financial and psychological toll of keeping up with the Joneses – resonate all the more loudly in an Internet-accelerated era where even those on the vanguard can feel behind the times, and where the lawless, anonymous nature of online exchange threatens to overwhelm our identities. It's thus fitting that the album's most exuberant moment – the muscular Motown stomp "Who Am I?" – is used to soundtrack a modern-day anarchist's existential crisis: "You can't steal when everything is free".
'Content' was one of my fave 3 albums of that year, gave me better time-travel than a tardis!
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