Influential post-punk lineup Gang of Four will put out Gang of Four: 77-81, a limited-edition box set of early work. Ahead of the release, “Damaged Goods” and a demo of the unreleased song “Elevator” have been shared.
Gang of Four: 77-81 includes Entertainment! and Solid Gold (both remastered from the original analog tapes), a singles LP, and a double-LP of the never-officially-released Live at American Indian Center 1980. The collection arrives on March 12 in LP and CD editions. The collection was originally supposed to arrive in 2020 but was delayed because of production issues.
Additionally, the package includes two new badges, a C90 cassette tape compiling 26 never-before-issued outtakes, rarities and studio demos from Entertainment! and Solid Gold, and a 100-page, full-color hardbound book. The book will offer never-before-seen photos, contributions from surviving original band members, rare posters, ephemera, flyers, essays, artwork, liner notes and more. It also marks the first official publication of their lyrics.
Band founder Andy Gill died in early 2020, and a double-album tribute, The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, will be released in May via Gill Music and features contributions from Tom Morello, Serj Tankian, Flea and John Frusciante, Warpaint, La Roux, and more.
Nostalgia Is Not Gang of Four’s Passion
“Andy & I both lived in a shitty house in Leeds where we used to sing The Band or Muddy Waters songs, chugging disgusting homebrew beer that I fermented in a dustbin,” recalls Jon King about “Elevator” in a statement. “We started writing songs – mostly homages to Dr. Feelgood or the Velvets – recording them on a crappy cassette player. Inspired by the New York scene and with UK punk rock on a thrilling rampage, Hugo, Gill, and I formed a band.”
“Elevator” always worked well live. It was a keeper until it wasn’t. By the time we got into the Workhouse studio to record ‘Entertainment’, it was in the dumper. I’d forgotten ever writing it until it was dug up for the box set cassette. I like it: the jangly riff, propulsive rhythm, and dopey lyrics take me right back to the day.”
Check out the “Elevator” demo below.
And the official lyric video for “Damaged Goods” from Gang of Four’s 1979 debut album Entertainment! is below.
Check out the Gang of Four: 77-81 tracklist.
A2. Natural’s Not In It
A3. Not Great Men
A4. Damaged Goods
A5. Return The Gift
A6. Guns Before Butter
B1. I Found That Essence Rare
B4. At Home He’s A Tourist
B6. Love Like Anthrax
A2. What We All Want
A3. If I Could Keep It For Myself
A4. Outside The Trains Don’t Run On Time
A5. Why Theory?
B2. The Republic
B3. In The Ditch
B4. A Hole In The Wallet
B5. He’d Send In The Army
A1. To Hell With Poverty
A2. It’s Her Factory
A3. Armalite Rifle
B1. Capital (It Fails Us Now)
B2. History’s Bunk!
B3. Cheeseburger (Live) *
B4. What We All Want (Live) *
*Live at Hammersmith Palais
LIVE AT AMERICAN INDIAN CENTER 1980
A1. Not Great Men
A3. Outside The Trains Don’t Run On Time
A4. Damaged Goods
B1. He’d Send In The Army
B2. Guns Before Butter
C2. It’s Her Factory
C4. Natural’s Not In It
D1. At Home He’s A Tourist
D3. Return The Gift
SIDE A -THE EARLY DEMOS (VARIOUS)
I) REHEARSAL ROOM – LEEDS, 1977-78
The Things You Do
What You Ask For
Love Like Anthrax
Silence Is Not Useful
II) CARGO DEMOS – CARGO STUDIO, ROCHDALE
iii) THE TAPES – POLYDOR STUDIOS, JAN 1978
Return The Gift
Corked Up With The Ether
SIDE B – ABBEY ROAD DEMOS
FROM 5TH JANUARY 1981 – (single track from cassette)
Preorder the set here.