Long before the Red Hot Chili Peppers raged with theirtrademark punk/funk sound, an English quartet called Gang Of Four werestirring up a mix of white art school rock and black American funk. Rhino,the world's leading pop culture label, unleashes the first and onlydocumentation of this seminal and inspirational group on November 3, withthe 2-CD anthology GANG OF FOUR: A HUNDRED FLOWERS BLOOM.
Consisting of 40 tracks on two CDs, A HUNDRED FLOWERS BLOOM is thedefinitive statement for the Gang Of Four, a band acknowledged as a sourceof great influence for the likes of R.E.M, the above mentioned ChiliPeppers, INXS, Fugazi, Rage Against The Machine, and Masssive Attack. Thecompilation will sell for a suggested retail list price of $29.98 and willalso be available through RhinoDirect at 1-800-432-0020
Included on the anthology are such songs as "I Love A Man In A Uniform,"Paralysed," "At Home He's A Tourist," "Anthrax," and "Damaged Goods,"taken from such albums as Entertainment, Solid Gold, and Songs Of TheFree. Selections from such later works as Hard, Mall, and Shrinkwrappedalso appear on A HUNDRED FLOWERS BLOOM. Additionally, fans will betreated to a number of never-before-heard live recordings and song demos of"Contract," "He'd Send In The Army," "Call Me Up," and "I Will Be A GoodBoy," to name a few.
Liner notes for the package were written by acclaimed author Jon Savage,whose tome, England's Dreaming, is regarded as one of the most completechronicles of the punk rock movement. Says Savage, "What you get with GangOf Four records is nothing less than a world-class hard rock/funk bandcapable of inspiring audiences and musicians alike; there are few momentsin rock more thrilling than the distorted, lengthy introduction to'Anthrax' or the uptight, visceral urgency of 'At Home He's A Tourist.'Once you get past this surface, should you wish to, you find the lyrics - abrilliant sequence of prophetic, staccato aphorisms that stick in your mindlike a burr and make you see the world in a new way."
Formed in Leeds, England, in 1977, and named after the leaders of theominous Chinese Cultural Revolution, Gang Of Four was made up of Andy Gill(guitar and vocals), Jon King (vocals), Hugo Burnham (drums), and DaveAllen (bass).
GOF's distinctive style eminated from their blend of guitar-driven,post-punk rock and urban American groove sensibilities. The group alsoutilized atonal, jarring, three- and sometimes four-part harmonies - lacedwith an acidic humor - that distanced them from the rest of theangst-ridden rock of Britain at that time.
Allen, who now owns and runs the successful World Domination label based inLos Angeles, left the group in 1981, soon followed in 1983 by Burnham, whonow serves as an A&R executive on both the label and publishing side of theindustry. Gill and King continued on and off for a number of years,releasing the aforementioned albums Hard, Mall, and Shrinkwrapped.Currently, King is involved in sound and light production, and Gill worksas a songwriter and producer (most notably with The Jesus Lizard and thelate Michael Hutchence).