Sunday, March 21, 2004

#37) Gang Of Four - Entertainment! (released in 1979, I taped my friend Tyler's copy in high school and finally bought it on CD at an HMV in London with a gift certificate I'd won - along with my pub quiz team - at an ILX Christmas party. Now I can play "Damaged Goods" when I DJ.)

This is one of the first album's that made me realize that each instrument was actually integral to song, no unnecessary overdubs or coloring. Andy Gill's scraping guitar sound and Jon King's bitter, frustrated chants about the valuelessness of romantic interactions wouldn't probably be as enjoyable if not offset by the rhythm section's merciless throb. The irony of the music's pulse and danceability adds a perverse thrill to King's harsh cries of futility (which, as Robert Christgau rightfully noted, are "a truth, but not the whole truth"). I wish more emo groups would catch how the band uses a genuinely lustful energy to push a song like "Damaged Goods" so that it adds up to more than just disaffected bellyaching. Entertainment! is probably my favorite Death Disco album of all time (someday I'd love to be in a band that can do a "Love Will Tear Us Apart/ Love Like Anthrax" medley).

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