Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Gang of Four- Entertainment! (1979) MP3 & FLAC -For reindeer man-


"The past lives on in your front room, the poor still weak, the rich still rule."

Nowhere is the ethos of Post-Punk better summed up than on Gang of Four's iconic debut, Entertainment! Sonically speaking, Andy Gill's razor sharp staccato guitar attack seems out to destroy every conventional assumption about what a lead guitarist can do in the context of a rock song. His is a trebly untampered sound that eschews both cock-rock excess and Punk-Rock minimalism while exploring a dynamically rhythmic approach that remains influential to this day. Lyrically, Entertainment! is subversive through and through, and I mean this in the best possible sense of the term. Always more interested in informing through ideology critique than in converting, Gang of Four reject the nihilistic anti-political stance that had come to be a Punk-Rock cliché by 1979, instead focusing their lyrics on the ideological constructs of late capitalism. For example in "Not Great Men," the band critiques the "personality theory of history," in which historical events and their causes are interpreted through the actions of those in power rather than taking into account the role of the working class as a force for historical change. In "Guns Before Butter," the target is the ideology of nationalism, a topic perhaps even more relevant today than it was in the late seventies, for what better way to describe the mood of post-911 America than the line, "Just keep quiet, no room to doubt"?  Entertainment! stands as the masterpiece of one of the most innovative and uncompromising bands of the rock era, and if you haven't heard this, better now than never. 

Entertainment! (2005 Remastered and Expanded Edition)
 1. Ether  (3:51)
 2. Natural's Not in It  (3:06)
 3. Not Great Men  (3:06)
 4. Damaged Goods  (3:26)
 5. Return the Gift  (3:26)
 6. Guns Before Butter  (3:45)
 7. I Found That Essence Rare  (3:14)
 8. Glass (2:29)
 9. Contract  (2:40)
10. At Home He's a Tourist  (3:40)
11. 5-45  (3:43)
12. Anthrax  (4:29)
-Bonus Tracks-
13. Outside the Trains Don't Run on Time (Yellow EP)  (3:16)
14. He'd Send in the Army (Yellow EP)  (3:41)
15. It's Her Factory (Yellow EP)  (3:10)
16. Armalite Rifle (Yellow EP)  (2:51)
17. Guns Before Butter (Alternate Version)  (4:25)
18. Contract (Alternate Version)  (2:48)
19. Blood Free (Live)  (3:17)
20. Sweet Jane (Live)  (3:20)



22 comments:

  1. Great critique. This is the stuff that gives Agitation Propaganda a good name.

    The addition of the "Yellow EP" seems absolutely essential, as Outside the Trains Don't Run on Time and He'd Send In The Army, though released later on Solid Gold, feel more at home on Entertainment. Perhaps less essential, the alternate versions and the two live tracks help complete the picture of early GO4.

    Thanks so much for this! Can't recommend this record enough!

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  2. reindeer man, I'm glad I had this for you, and yes, I agree, the "Yellow" EP fits well with this album. I will be posting "Solid Gold/Another Day" very soon

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  3. A classic! Gang of Four never sounds dated and is as relevant as ever. Thanks so much for sharing. Kurt

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  4. Kurt, happy to do so. More GO4 coming soon :)

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  5. One of the greatest Punk records ever made.

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  6. Another great choice - and so well summed up by the previous comments I won't bother adding my platitudes!

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  7. Great album,and ''Solid Gold'' is very good to.

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  8. Long time back when I was an aspiring 19 year old guitar thrasher, I left home and moved to Leeds
    for the Go4 / Mekons agit-pop scene based around the Polytchnic & University.
    Never managed to gain entry to the 'inner circle',
    but mixed in same social circuit, enjoying many Go4 / Mekons / Au Pairs / Delta 5 / Girls At Our Best / Agony Column.. etc.. live pub & club gigs.
    Used to eat in the same veggie cafe frequented by various band members, but can't now remember any conversations.
    Wish my memory was better.
    It was an amazing period of my life and musical development.
    The live gigs were stunning with electrifying energy and intensity...

    The signature guitar sound was telecasters and [affordable for student budgets] Carlsbro Stingray
    solid state combos with onboard chorus FX.

    Andy Gill, typical of our generation of guitarists, would probably not dispute his main immediate contemporary influence was Wilko Johnson of Dr Feelgood notoriety.

    Leeds was a dark grim cold place in winter, pervaded with fear & paranoia from threat of the 'Yorkshire Ripper'
    serial killer attacks..

    Keep that in mind when listening to Entertainment...

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  9. sunday, yes, "Solid Gold" and "Songs of the Free" are in the pipeline

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  10. Anon. thank you for the great comment. I can't imagine what it must have been like to participate in such an important music scene, and I've never made the connection between this scene and the Yorkshire "ripper." That will certainly add another connotative layer to these albums for me. Incidentally, I posted Au Pairs awhile back: http://killingmoonmusic.blogspot.com/search/label/Au%20Pairs

    thanks again

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  11. hello again, actually a random google for Teardrop Explodes Kilimanjaro deluxe CD brought me here today....

    but stumbled across "Entertainment".

    Oh dear, some hours later, thinking about Go4 has made me very nostalgic for the me I used to be
    way back in 1979.
    The girl I used to live with will be well into her 50's by now..
    wonder what she looks like ??

    Not seen her for over 25 years..
    She knew some of the Go4 while they were students.
    Their lyrics reflect the text books they had to read on their arts/humanities degree reading lists...

    ..of course at the time, we slightly younger bands still at 6 form college
    would not have known that from the Go4 "NME" interviews and reviews...

    We naively sincerely believed they were spontaneous radical role models
    at the vanguard of new young cultural politics..

    youth eh ???


    Now older and cynical and sadly jaded, I'm not so discomforted by Go4 corporate sellout shock horror
    of the 80's..

    we all get older and forced into compromise..

    Still, like I said nostalgic googling eventually lead me to this interesting & erudite Steve Albini forum debate..

    http://www.electrical.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2732

    "Gang of 4 crap or not crap ???"

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  12. Anon. yes, at times, it seems growing older can practically be defined by being forced into compromises due to obligations, responsibilities, etc. This is a topic far too much on my mind in idle moments. Did you ever find "Kilimanjaro" deluxe?

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  13. Hi voixautre,

    I'm not really 'anonymous', just couldn't at the time think of any fancy clever web id.
    or work out how to post a name even if I could have made up one.

    s'pose I'll just settle for being "UK bloke from late 70's"

    why ? why not ..

    no, never managed to find kilimanjaro deluxe 3CD..
    the trail went cold.. deleted files on a public site
    not too long before I started searching.

    Must say huge respect to you and your site.

    In UK it's royal wedding bank holiday..

    19 year old radical politico me would not be too happy.
    52 year old me is just hiding low and getting drunk to forget.

    I think you'd really enjoy Delta 5 CD if you've not already.

    or previously talking about corporate sellouts..

    The Thompson Twins.

    Their first LP "A Product of … (Participation" when they were still social anarchists
    [before they decided to become pop stars] was a magnificent essential party dance record..

    I think you'd enjoy that one as well..


    cheers...
    UK bloke from late 70's

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  14. UK bloke, great to hear from you. I'm embarrassed to say I've never heard Delta 5. I will certainly look into it. That wedding took place half a world away from me and I still needed to low and knock a few back to get away from it- on practically every channel. On the topic of "Kilimanjaro," I have it, and will post it sometime in the next couple of weeks in your honor :)

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  15. UK bloke from late 70'sJune 16, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    hi again, been offline a lot lately
    trying to concentrate on re-aquainting myself with amps & FX pedals that have been in storage a long time.
    As much as I dislike chorus pedals, I'm prepared make an exception to try to clone the GO4 guitar tone for old times sake..
    Many thanks for kind offer of "Kilimanjaro Deluxe"

    Hope I've not missed it.

    cheers

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  16. UK bloke, I too have a bunch of gear that has been gathering dust in storage. I'll post "Kilimanjaro" as your request within the week. Great to hear from you again.

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    Replies
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  18. I savour, lead to I found exactly what I used to be having a look
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