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Songs of the Free

Gang of FourAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, Import, 2008 $16.97  
Audio CD, 1996 --  
Vinyl --  
Audio Cassette, 1982 --  

Amazon's Gang of Four Store


Image of album by Gang of Four


Image of Gang of Four


You'll Never Pay For The Farm


Gang of Four are one of the most radical, and radically important, rock groups of the last 30 years. Their music, starting with 1978’s Damaged Goods EP, offered a danceable solution to the problem of where four-piece guitar bands could go next after punk. They also provided the perfect answer to the question: how to be polemical without being po-faced, ponderous, banal or ... Read more in Amazon's Gang of Four Store

Visit Amazon's Gang of Four Store
for 24 albums, 3 photos, videos, and 1 full streaming song.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 14, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: American WB
  • ASIN: B000002MAO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,666 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Call Me Up
2. I Love A Man In Uniform
3. We Live As We Dream, Alone
4. It Is Not Enough
5. Life! It's A Shame
6. I Will Be A Good Boy
7. The History Of The World
8. Muscle For Brains
9. Of The Instant
10. The World At Fault
11. I Love A Man In Uniform (Dub)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the (negative) hype... March 5, 2005
Format:Audio CD
...from the reviewers that seem to only want to hear the Gang Of Four that recorded Entertainment! While that's definitely an awesome record, Gang Of Four took their angular, bass-driven and totally original sound to a more radio-friendly level on Songs Of The Free. And that's OK, people!

If The Human League had never tightened their chops to make Dare, if Nirvana had never hooked up with Butch Vig to create Nevermind, they'd still be remembered...but as beloved cult bands. And while Gand Of Four never reaped the hoped-for commercial success with Songs Of The Free, I believe it remains their best album. Check it out for yourself! But do get Entertainment, too. I bet you'll toss your Franz Ferdinand CD out the window.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another must have that's totally unavailable!!! August 28, 2004
Format:Audio CD
For goodness sake, will someone get around to re-releasing this? This is the maturation of the angular thud that was Gang of Four and really their last great album. More pop friendly with a big nod to the dance floor styles of the day. Gone are Hugo Burnham's huge drums and the signature guitar is mixed down a bit from the face melting histrionics of Entertainment and Solid Gold.
Buy everything they produced up to and including this....if you can find it without having to take a second mortgage.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have album of a must have punk band February 22, 2003
Format:Audio CD
"Songs of the Free" was released after some harder-edged albums like Entertainment and Solid Gold. This still has the "Gang Of Four" sound, and does not degrade because it is a little richer and less minimalist. It certainly has an eighties flavor, however it also feels timeless. The hard-biting guitar is still there, as well as the excellent rhythm section with strong base lines and solid drum beats. Andy Gill's lyrics are as thick, powerful, and woundingly true as ever.
"I Love A Man In A Uniform" is a classic song, delving into the military mindset. "The History Of The World" cynically sums up not only our times, but all times past. "Muscle For Brains" is an anthem against all those who would act in the your interest in their interest of control. Every song on this album is great, and it is only a bonus that the dub version of "I Love A Man In A Uniform" is included.
The one negative about this particular version, is that it is a collectible, original release, at a large price because of it. However, it has since been re-released on "Infinite Zero Archive", and should be available used at a far depleted price in comparison to this version. Probably only used as well, but check out the Z-shops or elsewhere if "Infinite Zero" version is not available.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Version of "I Love A Man In A Uniform" November 21, 2012
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
I bought the original vinyl album in a Soho record shop, sometime around 1980. I just now bought the cd version here on Amazon. Because I have downloaded the raw-er versions of "I Love A Man In A Uniform", I can tell you that they were not fully developed until the version which was recorded for this album. The version on this album makes full use of an accentuated pause in the beat, just before a whiplash backbeat is struck. This unique pause in the syncopation exists in the earlier, more primitive versions, but was played too fast to create the intoxicating new wave backbeat which is heard in this, the final one. The voices of the female singers whom accompany the band, belt out their backup with precise intensity. The sound is slick, but fantastically danceable---just as it was in 1980. Personally, I think that it is one of the really excellent examples of post-punk new wave songs.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great evolution of a great band September 16, 2008
By kevin
Format:Audio CD
I have to write in to stick up for this album. As a fan of GOF since their Entertainment! days, I owned this album on vinyl back in the day (in fact, most of the tunes selected for their greatest hits compilation from this album were all on one side of the LP, which I played to death!). This album is slower and funkier than Entertainment! and a bit of Solid Gold, but the formula of King's anguished voice over Gill's creatively distorted and sustained guitar sounds over a funk-rock beats is still there, though the funk beats evoke a bit more of dance music than before. In fact, at times Gill's multiple guitars, which are less scratchy than the early recordings, are huger than ever. It's a good and frequently great album; the best of this album really holds up well. Last thought: this album was recorded after the death of punk, the death of disco, and during a general backlash toward "black music" (and a couple of years before Michael Jackson's barrier breaking "Thriller" album) and rise of new wave/MTV culture. It was also fully into the Reagan/Thatcher government years and accompanying tough economic times. Moving away from the punkier, edgier sounds and faster tempos of Entertainment! and toward the smooth, dark sounds of Songs of the Free made a lot of sense back then; it seemed like a natural evolution to keep the angst and hopelessness and powerlessness and the comfort of surrender set to a smooth and funky groove. Today, listening 25 years later (how the hell did THAT happen!), the best songs on this album are among my most favorite by GOF (along with a healthy dose of Entertainment!, select few from Solid Gold, and the two from the To Hell with Poverty EP). This was a great move by GOF that made sense then and sounds good now.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ...Of the Free and for the Free
I first heard this album when I was a freshman in college, about a year after its original release. It so completely described my worldview at the time that I told complete... Read more
Published on July 11, 2011 by Moi Auci
3.0 out of 5 stars New Romantics?
This is the story of a post punk hard edged band that turned into just another 80's dance band. I guess Mtv was too alluring for them. Read more
Published on November 30, 2010 by Fizzle
4.0 out of 5 stars So what if it's more commercial?
For their third album, Gang of Four smoothed out their sound considerably. The abrasive, confrontational attitude has been toned down in favour of sarcasm and black humour. Read more
Published on April 10, 2010 by H. Jin
5.0 out of 5 stars thanks guys!
years ago i burned up my vinyl copy and wondered, in disbelief, why in the world the Gang never reissued this 10 star gem. Patience has paid off! tx guys
Published on November 4, 2009 by R. Weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars Their finest achievement
I am always amused when I hear what others think are the best albums of a particular group, or the best tracks of a particular album. Read more
Published on January 2, 2005 by Ed
3.0 out of 5 stars Noble Failures......
Gang Of Four whipped-out 2 violently intelligent LPs before embarking on an experiment which would send them astray forever. Read more
Published on June 1, 2004 by squarehawk2
1.0 out of 5 stars Lost all their credit
Gang of Four lost all their credit completely when they released this album. At first their fans (me included) got excited by the rough sound of Entertainment! Read more
Published on January 29, 2004 by G. Shahar
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