Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gang of Four - I Love a Man in Uniform (Re-recorded)

Speaking of Post-Punk...

I'll admit, I had some trouble getting into Gang of Four initially. That's Entertainment sprawls a bit, and as much as I loved their sound upon hearing it I never really liked the way that sound was represented by their recordings. Slowly though I got used to it, mostly through the incredibly original musicianship going on with all instruments involved (the guitar on Tourist! Oh my...) but the rift with the recording kind of prevented me from digging any deeper.

At some point a man I respect very much, Dayton, Ohio's Larry Evans - of The Smug Brothers - told me in a beer-fueled conversation that I was doing myself a great disservice not digging deeper into Gang of Four's catalog. Almost at the same time Mr. Brown sent me a copy of the retrospective A Brief History of the 20th Century, which featured the original version of the above song, I Love a Man in Uniform. I gravitated back to this particular track again and again and it made me curious...

Sometime later I wanted to return the favor to Mr. Brown so on one of the occasions that he visited us we hit up a local record store and I picked up a copy of Return the Gift for him. At the time I had no idea it was an album of re-recordings of classic GOF songs. We popped that disc into the stereo and lo and behold here it was! The Gang of Four record I had been waiting for. All those classic records are fine - there's still several I need to explore, but the recording on these new versions are just fantastic; crisp, clear and very much what these guys deserve to sound like. Hard to imagine a band doing this and having it make such a stronger impression - maybe this is mostly because I don't have the history with these guys that other do, but here's the original version of the song - you tell me if the new one doesn't trump it by about 1000%.

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