A Brief History of the Twentieth Century

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
Gang of Four emerged from the wreckage of punk rock in the early '80s with a sound all their own. Characterized by blatantly political lyrics that were chanted, sung, and yelled over spare, funky drumbeats and Andy Gill's scratch-and-kill guitar, the Gang's particular brand of angular dance punk was as refreshing as ice water in the face, and as this collection shows, still holds up well almost 20 years later. Back when the members of Rage Against the Machine were still in grade school, Gang of Four's explicit politics were something of a curiosity; the desultory feminism of "It's Her Factory" and the pessimistic Marxist economic forecasting of "Capital It Fails Us Now" ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
Gang of Four emerged from the wreckage of punk rock in the early '80s with a sound all their own. Characterized by blatantly political lyrics that were chanted, sung, and yelled over spare, funky drumbeats and Andy Gill's scratch-and-kill guitar, the Gang's particular brand of angular dance punk was as refreshing as ice water in the face, and as this collection shows, still holds up well almost 20 years later. Back when the members of Rage Against the Machine were still in grade school, Gang of Four's explicit politics were something of a curiosity; the desultory feminism of "It's Her Factory" and the pessimistic Marxist economic forecasting of "Capital It Fails Us Now" were not exactly common lyrical conceits in the immediate post-disco era. Those who know their Chinese history will recognize the band's name, though whether it was meant ironically or as a genuine tribute to the counterrevolutionist faction led by Lady Mao is unclear. This generous best-of recaps some of the Gang's finest moments, and will serve as a perfectly sufficient precis for all but completist fans. Half of the Gang's first full-length album cheerfully titled Entertainment! as in "guerrilla war struggle is the new entertainment" is here, and so are some of the better tracks from their EPs. It also brings together some of the brighter moments from the band's protracted decline into synthesized dribble, such as the immortal "I Love a Man in a Uniform." There are occasional disappointments the studio version of "To Hell With Poverty" was much better than the so-so live version included here, but overall this is an excellent collection.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/8/1990
  • Label: Warner Bros / Ada
  • UPC: 075992644822
  • Catalog Number: 26448
  • Sales rank: 72,214

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gang of Four Primary Artist
Alyson Williams Background Vocals
Eddi Reader Background Vocals
Dave Allen Bass
Jon Astrop Bass
Hugo Burnham Drums, Vocals
Andrew Gill Guitar, Vocals
Steve Goulding Drums
Stevie Lange Background Vocals
Joy Yates Background Vocals
Dolette MacDonald Background Vocals
Jon King Vocals, Melodica
Paula West Background Vocals
Sara Lee Bass
Technical Credits
Gang of Four Composer, Producer
Howard Albert Producer
Ron Albert Producer
Hugo Burnham Producer, Contributor
Jimmy Douglass Producer
Andrew Gill Composer, Producer, Contributor
Mike Howlett Producer
Nick Launay Producer
Rick Walton Producer
Greil Marcus Liner Notes
Jon King Composer, Producer, Contributor, Cover Art
Rob Warr Producer
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