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Entertainment! Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

113 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, May 17, 2005
$29.95 $1.99

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Some of the most powerful, energized, and memorable music of the U.K.'s potent post-punk era of the late '70s and early '80s came from the trailblazing band Gang of Four, and it all started with 1979's stellar Entertainment! Dave Allen, Hugo Burnham, Andy Gill, and Jon King fused punk, funk, explosive prog-rock, and literate and often incendiary lyrics into a signature, groundbreaking sound that would influence countless bands to come. The original album's brilliant 12 tracks are now remastered and bolstered with four tracks from the rare Yellow EP, plus four never-before-released-songs-making this watershed disc sound bigger and better than ever. Warner. 2005.

The same year American college students and FM radio stations found hipness in the Clash's "Train in Vain," a quartet of students from England's Leeds University calling themselves Gang of Four released their debut album. Politically charged and pumped full of extremist theories and punk rock vehemence (and now out of print since 1997), Entertainment continues to rank among the most critically acclaimed and influential records of the post-punk epoch it helped to define. The record is funkified by stop-start rhythms and sharp vocals that mimic Joe Strummer's sing-to-shout shifts, a sound that has turned up in the music of a quarter-century of bands, from the Minutemen to Fugazi. The original 12-song track list--including the vehement slam on media and politics "I Found That Essence Rare" and the punk passion play "Damaged Goods"--is reinforced with all four songs from the band's 1980 EP Yellow, as well as four others never-before-released, including a live cover of the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane." --Scott Holter

1. Ether
2. Natural's Not In It
3. Not Great Men
4. Damaged Goods
5. Return the Gift
6. Guns Before Butter
7. I Found that Essence Rare
8. Glass
9. Contract
10. At Home He's A Tourist
11. 5-45
12. Anthrax
13. Outside the Trains Don't Run on Time (Bonus Tracks)
14. He'd Send in the Army (Bonus Tracks)
15. It's Her Factory (Bonus Tracks)
16. Armalite Rifle (Bonus Tracks)
17. Guns Before Butter (Alternate Version) (Bonus Tracks)
18. Contract (Alternate Version) (Bonus Tracks)
19. Blood Free (Live) (Bonus Tracks)
20. Sweet Jane (Live) (Bonus Tracks)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 17, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0007Z9R8Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,713 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Alan Koslowski on January 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Take stripped-down punk, add some funky grooves, and top it off with some leftist proselytizing and you have GOF's, "Entertainment!". GOF took the urgent minimalism of Wire's first album ("Pink Flag", 1979) added tight, funky grooves (the guitars sometimes sounded like machine guns, the drums like artillery). This created the perfect environment for GOF's trenchant, oft funny songs describing the dehumanization of modern life. "Entertainment!" could have easily digressed into tedious rhetoric, but for all their ideals GOF swing and have fun; GOF recognize the irony of being part of the commercial system they're criticizing (if you haven't guessed, the album title is ironic).
GOF let you know right off that they're out to expose the myths promoted by commericalism. On the opener, 'Ether', vocalist Jon King knows there's no "happy ever after at the end of the rainbow", and endeavors to expose the "dirt behind the daydream". The choppy guitars and bomb-like drums let you know their inflammatory intentions. On 'Natural's Not in It', they pose the problem, "The problem of leisure, what to do for pleasure", then recognize the quandry of relationships; "Your relations are all power, we all have good intentions, but all with strings attached". On the bleakly comical 'Damaged Goods', King likens a relational break-up to receiving faulty merchandise, and berates his ex with lines like, "Open the till, give me the change you said would do me good, refund the cost, you said you're cheap, but you're too much".
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By franistek on June 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Whatever might urge someone to give this album one star out of 5 cannot possibly be validated. This is a ground breaking record - countless bands since have completely ripped off the Gang Of Four's sound - which, by the way, was entirely innovative at the date of its release. If you don't find it so innovative now, chances are you don't have a clue about what was happening in 1979, which makes me wonder why you'd even bother with this album.

Entertainment! stands up with Pink Flag, London Calling, Unknown Pleasures, all those albums that emerged from the post-punk scene to redefine what music was, and to influence so many alternative bands throughout the next 25 some years.

The reissue of this album comes at a perfect time, when bands like the Futureheads and Bloc Party are flourishing, while borrowing heavily from the sound of Entertainment!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gavin B. on December 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was going to write a lengthly review of why this album is great but it's almost time for Wapner and I'm in a hurry. "Entertainment" is the last great artifact of the punk era...before British bands discovered drum machines, synthesizers and weird hair-dos. Few CDs will agitate your feet and brain like this one. In 1978, prior to the release of "Entertainment", there was a tremendous street buzz on the incendiary live performances of Gang of Four in Leeds England. I witnessed several of their perfomances stateside and Gang of Four was the most explosive live band of that era. Entertainment was the heart of their set list for those live shows, usually culminating with the prophetic "Anthrax" (remember 9/11??) where singer Jon King and guitarist Andy Gill careened into each other in a squalling wall of feedback. Guitars were smashed, amplifiers were left tipped over, and some of us actually beleived that we had delivered the deadly blow to era of Reagan/Thatcher. Naive, huh???
The politics of the Gang of Four was largely drawn from a libertarian Marxist group of artists, writters and filmakers called Situationist International (SI). SI was the moving force behind the revolt of 1968 in France where students in Paris paralyzed the French goverment with massive strikes. By 1972, SI was defunct but the politics of SI had a profund influence on Andy Gill, Jon King and Hugo Burnham who were students at Leeds University when they founded the Gang of Four. Bassist Dave Allen was a truck driver. Amoung the hangers-on in the Gang of Four entrourage were fellow Leedsmen from the aspiring Mekons, who have ironically outlasted their mentors as a performing band.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Plotkin on July 7, 2007
Format: Audio CD
i'm a vehement anti-communist loather of the Frankfurt School who think's Jean Luc Godard (GoF's primary inspiration) was the worst thing that happened to cinema, which means I hate pretty much everything these guys stand for ideology-wise, and yet I love this album. It absolutely rocks, even if their class analysis is for the birds. This just goes to show that in rock 'n roll, as with Italian opera, lyrical content counts for little, sound is more powerul than sense. GoF don't write lyrics, they write slogans, but they're as hooky and memorable as Andy Gill's scraping James Brown meets James Blood Ulmer guitar noises. Less like songs than funky ideological football cheers. And Hugo Burnham is an amazing drummer. If you really want to know what this band was all about, hunt down a copy of the video (don't think it's on DVD) "Urgh! A Music War," a multi-artist punk/new wave medley of concert footage from the very early '80's. GoF are utterly riveting, absolute madmen. Though The Cramps out-do them, as Lux's leather pants are only held on him by his member, and he sings an entire song with the mike stuck between his teeth. But that's for another review.
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