Gang of Four
More than a band, Gang of Four is an idea for a band- an argument, a manifesto, a dare. What would happen if you dismantled assumptions and worked from first principles? What might a rock band sound like if it took nothing for granted? As a result, Gang of Four has always been bigger than their original line-up – the band who self-imposed stringent rules only to break them on subsequent records was never meant to remain static. Their upcoming release ‘What Happens Next’ contains the intellectual muscle you would expect, but this plenitude of international voices also makes it Gang of Four’s most richly emotional album yet. Lead single ‘Broken Talk‘ features The Kills and The Dead Weather’s Alison Mosshart.
Gang of Four initially existed, with various personnel changes, between 1977 and 1983. Emerging with debut album Entertainment! (voted in Pitchfork’s top ten albums of the 70s & a ‘Record That Changed The World’ by Mojo) the band felt like a blast of ice-cold water, both in form and content. Committed foes of received wisdom, they subjected traditional ‘rock’n’roll values’ to ruthless scrutiny, while making music every bit as physically exciting as what they were challenging. The Gang of Four’s recordings and incendiary live performances have been hugely influential, and have left their mark on R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Minutemen; Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana and Massive Attack; Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party and LCD Soundsystem. Gill and King made two more albums in the 90s and another in 2011, Content. When King left the project, a reinvigorated Gill seized the opportunity to reimagine Gang of Four from the ground up- after all, he was – as guitarist, composer, producer and lyric writer – still the band’s driving force.