Gang of Four

Article

July 5, 2022

Gang of Four is a British rock band founded in 1977.

Band History

The team, founded in 1977 in Leeds, included students from the local university — John King, Andy Gill, Hugo Burnham and Dave Allen. King and Gill were friends for many years, admired art and avant-garde cinema, were familiar with the activities of radical anti-capitalist organizations. The band was distinguished by its lyrics filled with ideas of Marxism, as well as an attractive and unusual sound that combined elements of rock music, punk, funk and disco. The name "Gang of Four" was borrowed from the Chinese radical organization of the same name, which was headed by the widow of Mao Zedong. The debut mini-album Damaged Goods with three songs was released in 1978. The record attracted the interest of music companies, and Gang of Four was offered a contract by several labels. In Europe, the band started working with EMI, and in the USA they reached an agreement with Warner Bros. In May 1979, the double single "At Home He's a Tourist" / "It's Her Factory" was released, which entered the British Top 60 chart. Later, the band released a full-length album, Entertainment! Despite the lack of large sales, the record was positively received by critics. The album peaked at number 45 in the UK Albums Chart, which was considered an incredibly positive result given the non-commercial nature of their music. Gang of Four toured extensively in Europe, Great Britain, and the United States. However, the relationship with the major label was damaged after the band refused to change the lyrics for performances on the BBC show Top of the Pops. The second album Solid Gold was released in March 1981. The new work of Gang of Four entered the American hit parade for the first time, and the single "What We All Want" entered the club chart. There were some changes in the composition of the band: bass guitarist Dave Allen was replaced first by Busta Jones, and then by Sara Lee. In 1982, Gang of Four released their next album, Songs of the Free, which included the anti-war song "I Love a Man in Uniform". Compared to previous works, the record was less radical, and songs from it were heard not only on student radio, but also on R&B airwaves. Gand of Four's popularity in the United States also gave the band the opportunity to debut at the major Us Festival in 1982. At the beginning of 1983, the internal conflicts of