The classic 1979 lineup
To Hell with poverty!
We'll get drunk on cheap wine!
Gang of Four are a British Post-Punk
band and one of the Trope Makers
. They combined Funk
rhythms, jagged guitars and simple bass lines with a heavy emphasis on politics and a sardonic approach to love and sex. While never big in the charts, their mix of Punk Rock
, and Dub Reggae has been influential since their debut in 1979. Bands from Franz Ferdinand
to Red Hot Chili Peppers
cite them as an influence.
The classic lineup contained Jon King on vocals, Andy Gill on guitars and backing vocals, Dave Allen on bass, and Hugo Burnham on drums. The band has dissolved and reformed multiple times, transitioning their style from Post-Punk Dance-Punk
to New Wave Music
, Dance Rock, and back to Post-Punk
with their revival in the The Noughties
. Currently Jon King has stepped away from the band, leaving Andy Gill, bassist Thomas McNiece and vocalist John "Gaoler" Sterry.
Not to be confused with the 1960s Chinese Communist group from whom the band take their name.
- Entertainment! - (1979)
- Yellow - (1980, EP)
- Solid Gold - (1981)
- Another Day/Another Dollar - (1982, EP)
- Songs of the Free - (1982)
- Hard - (1983)
- Mall - (1991)
- Shrinkwrapped - (1995)
- Return the Gift - (2005, re-recordings of songs from their first three years)
- Content - (2011)
Love Will Get You Like a Case of Tropes:
- Anti-Love Song: "Anthrax"
"Love will get you like a case of anthrax
And that's something I don't wanna catch"
- Cover Album: Return the Gift is a cover album of their material from 1979-1982. They mostly did it to fix the drums, which they likened on the old albums to cardboard.
- Dance-Punk: Trope Makers with their combination of danceable funk rhythms and jagged Punk guitars.
- Excited Show Title!: Entertainment!
- Intentionally Awkward Title: The band took their name from a faction of Chinese Communists from the Cultural Revolution who were charged with treason.
- Intercourse with You: "Damaged Goods"
"Your kiss so sweet, your sweat so sour
Sometimes I'm thinking that I love you
But I know it's only lust"
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: 4-5 on Entertainment! and Solid Gold, 3-4 on Songs of the Free, Hard and Mall, back to 4-5 for later albums.
- New Sound Album: While they never entirely abandoned their signature sound, they altered it enough to count as this on these records:
- Songs of the Free transitioned to a more accessible New Wave Music sound
- Hard and Mall were R&B records
- Shrinkwrapped brought back the Dance Rock
- Return the Gift returned the band to their jagged Post-Punk sound, plus bigger drums
- New Wave Music: Transitioned to this with Songs of the Free through Mall.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: "Anthrax" has Jon singing in the left channel while Andy talks about writing love songs in the right.