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Gang of Four


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Gang of Four

The politically-charged punk band Gang of Four were notoriously influential in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Songs like “I Love a Man in a Uniform”, “Damaged Goods” and “To Hell with Poverty!” are punk classics and group’s passion inspired numerous bands that followed.

Gang of Four disbanded, reformed and changed personnel over the years but two of the principals, singer Jon King and guitarist Andy Gill, have maintained the band in its various forms. They are releasing Content, their first album in sixteen years, in January. On their website the band is offering a free download of three songs: a new version of the song “Glass” from their 1979 debut album Entertainment!, a new song “Sleeper” that did not make it to the new album, and a remix of a song that did entitled “I Party All the Time”.

Concerning the reworked version of “Glass”, Andy told The Guardian newspaper: “Glass is a song me and Jon had been confused about for years. We loved the words with Jon’s cartoon-like snapshots of our banal real lives, and we knew the music was great but not right – it seemed too busy and kind of old fashioned. Then in 2005 we said: “Enough! This song needs to breath!” So we did a simple stripped-down thing that matched the ultra-minimalism of the words. That was it – confusion over”.

Here are both versions of “Glass”.

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“Glass” (reworked)


In 1979 I created a punk rock dance club named Spit with Patrick Lyons, a local nightclub owner in Boston. Punk had grown beyond the live music venues and needed a place for like-minded people to gather and connect and dance. Initially open only on the weekend, I spun on Friday nights. On Saturday of this week there will be a Spit reunion and I will spin once again.
I have always had mixed emotions about reunions. Times once experienced cannot be recreated again. Plus, I live for new music and always have embraced the future. Yet, reunions do force one to pause and reflect. Punk revolutionized rock and influenced generations of musicians. Punk lived for the moment as there was “no future.” Well, the future is now and this will be some night! Preparing for my DJ shift this weekend, I have listened to volumes of songs from the day. Some have not stood the test of time, but others (though in some cases poorly recorded) still energize today. Here are a few that I will play at Spit.

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Magazine-“The Light Pours Out of Me”
Gang of Four-“I Love a Man in a Uniform”
The Clash-“I’m So Bored with the U.S.A.”

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