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Gang Of Four|The Problem of Leisure: A celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four

The Problem of Leisure: A celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four

Gang of Four

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It's probably difficult for many contemporary music fans to appreciate how revolutionary Gang of Four sounded when they first burst out of the British post-punk scene in 1979, a time when the first wave of U.K. punk had yet to play itself out. Though the shards of expressive noise in Andy Gill's guitar clearly nodded to punk, the propulsive bass and drum patterns were informed by dance music, a novel idea when "disco sucks" was still in the active vocabulary of most card-carrying new wave fans. And at the end of the '70s, the politics inherent in rock songwriting usually meant broad sloganeering, while Go4 dealt with the trickier nexus where revolutionary theory met the realities of daily life, and did so with intelligence, blunt honesty, and mordant wit. Gang of Four enjoyed upending people's expectations, and they're keeping that tradition alive with The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, a tribute album coordinated by members of the band that was in the works well before Go4 guitarist and leader Gill died on February 1, 2020. Since this is meant (at least in part) to honor Gill the fallen visionary, one might imagine this collection would be dominated by angular guitars and brutalist funk, favoring Gill's rockist side. And there are several cuts that happily go in that direction, especially the rabble-rousing interpretation of "Natural's Not In It" from Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello and System of a Down's Serj Tankian, a brittle take on "Not Brave Men" from Red Hot Chilli Peppers reprobates Flea and John Frusciante, Idles' heady charge on "Damaged Goods," and Helmet's aggressive tear through "In The Ditch." But just as often (if not more so), The Problem of Leisure favors tracks that focus on the beats instead of the guitars, with sleek but potent electronic rhythms taking the place of the fierce but more human tone or the guitars. Philosophically, this absolutely makes sense within Gang of Four's vision, which was always about groove as much as skronk, and Hotel's "To Hell with Poverty," Gary Numan's "Love Like Anthrax," and Dado Villa-Lobos's "Return the Gift" all take their subversive messages to the dance floor. Gail Ann Dorsey's "We Live as We Dream, Alone" and Warpaint's "Paralyzed" lend a more organic R&B mood to the music that's more approachable without taking the edge of the messages, and the Sounds make a game attempt to reshape "I Love a Man in a Uniform" into new wave pop. The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four seems designed less as a walk down memory lane for aging leftist post-punks and more as a tool to make current listeners aware of Go4's ideals and legacy, and though (like most tribute albums) it's broad palate makes it somewhat inconsistent, the thinking is fresh, bold, and impassioned enough that it should open the ears of both fans and novices should it cross their paths.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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The Problem of Leisure: A celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four

Gang Of Four

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1
Damaged Goods
IDLES
00:02:40

David Allen, Composer, Writer - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer - Idles, MainArtist

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

2
Natural's Not in It
Tom Morello
00:03:18

Tom Morello, MainArtist - Serj Tankian, FeaturedArtist - David Allen, Composer, Writer - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

3
In the Ditch
Helmet
00:04:22

David Allen, Composer, Writer - Helmet, MainArtist - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

4
Where the Nightingale Sings (Redux)
3D
00:05:04

Gang of Four, MainArtist - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer - 3D, MainArtist - Nova Twins, FeaturedArtist

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

5
To Hell with Poverty
Hotei
00:04:30

David Allen, Composer, Writer - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer - Hotei, MainArtist

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

6
Love Like Anthrax
Gary Numan
00:04:31

Gary Numan, MainArtist - David Allen, Composer, Writer - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer - Ade Fenton, MainArtist

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

7
We Live as We Dream, Alone
Gail Ann Dorsey
00:03:39

Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Gail Ann Dorsey, MainArtist - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

8
I Love a Man in a Uniform
Herbert Grönemeyer
00:03:48

Herbert Grönemeyer, MainArtist - Alex Silva, FeaturedArtist - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

9
Not Great Men
LoneLady
00:03:34

David Allen, Composer, Writer - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - LoneLady, MainArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

10
5.45
JJ Sterry
00:03:03

David Allen, Composer, Writer - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer - JJ Sterry, MainArtist

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

DISC 2

1
Damaged Goods
La Roux
00:03:54

David Allen, Composer, Writer - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - La Roux, MainArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

2
Natural's Not in It
Everything Everything
00:03:40

David Allen, Composer, Writer - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer - Everything Everything, MainArtist

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

3
Return the Gift
Dado Villa-Lobos
00:03:14

Dado Villa-Lobos, MainArtist - David Allen, Composer, Writer - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

4
What We All Want
The Dandy Warhols
00:03:13

The Dandy Warhols, MainArtist - David Allen, Composer, Writer - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

5
Paralysed
Warpaint
00:02:51

Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Warpaint, MainArtist - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

6
Not Great Men
Flea
00:03:08

Flea, MainArtist - John Frusciante, MainArtist - David Allen, Composer, Writer - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer - The Silverlake Conservatory Youth Chorale, FeaturedArtist

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

7
I Love a Man in a Uniform
The Sounds
00:03:54

The Sounds, MainArtist - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

8
Last Mile
Hardcore Raver in Tears
00:03:53

Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer - Hardcore Raver in Tears, MainArtist - Di Lu, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

9
Forever Starts Now (Killing Joke Dub)
Gang Of Four
00:05:39

Killing Joke, Remixer - Gang of Four, MainArtist - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer - John Sterry, Composer, Writer

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

10
Not Great Men (Live)
Sekar Melati
00:03:20

David Allen, Composer, Writer - Gang of Four, FeaturedArtist - Hugo Burnham, Composer, Writer - Jonathan Michael King, Composer, Writer - Andrew James Dalrymple Gill, Composer, Writer - Sekar Melati, MainArtist

© 2021 Gill Music Ltd ℗ 2021 Gill Music Ltd

Albumbeschreibung

It's probably difficult for many contemporary music fans to appreciate how revolutionary Gang of Four sounded when they first burst out of the British post-punk scene in 1979, a time when the first wave of U.K. punk had yet to play itself out. Though the shards of expressive noise in Andy Gill's guitar clearly nodded to punk, the propulsive bass and drum patterns were informed by dance music, a novel idea when "disco sucks" was still in the active vocabulary of most card-carrying new wave fans. And at the end of the '70s, the politics inherent in rock songwriting usually meant broad sloganeering, while Go4 dealt with the trickier nexus where revolutionary theory met the realities of daily life, and did so with intelligence, blunt honesty, and mordant wit. Gang of Four enjoyed upending people's expectations, and they're keeping that tradition alive with The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, a tribute album coordinated by members of the band that was in the works well before Go4 guitarist and leader Gill died on February 1, 2020. Since this is meant (at least in part) to honor Gill the fallen visionary, one might imagine this collection would be dominated by angular guitars and brutalist funk, favoring Gill's rockist side. And there are several cuts that happily go in that direction, especially the rabble-rousing interpretation of "Natural's Not In It" from Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello and System of a Down's Serj Tankian, a brittle take on "Not Brave Men" from Red Hot Chilli Peppers reprobates Flea and John Frusciante, Idles' heady charge on "Damaged Goods," and Helmet's aggressive tear through "In The Ditch." But just as often (if not more so), The Problem of Leisure favors tracks that focus on the beats instead of the guitars, with sleek but potent electronic rhythms taking the place of the fierce but more human tone or the guitars. Philosophically, this absolutely makes sense within Gang of Four's vision, which was always about groove as much as skronk, and Hotel's "To Hell with Poverty," Gary Numan's "Love Like Anthrax," and Dado Villa-Lobos's "Return the Gift" all take their subversive messages to the dance floor. Gail Ann Dorsey's "We Live as We Dream, Alone" and Warpaint's "Paralyzed" lend a more organic R&B mood to the music that's more approachable without taking the edge of the messages, and the Sounds make a game attempt to reshape "I Love a Man in a Uniform" into new wave pop. The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four seems designed less as a walk down memory lane for aging leftist post-punks and more as a tool to make current listeners aware of Go4's ideals and legacy, and though (like most tribute albums) it's broad palate makes it somewhat inconsistent, the thinking is fresh, bold, and impassioned enough that it should open the ears of both fans and novices should it cross their paths.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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