Cruise International Records,
Allerton Grange Vale,
Gang of Four Second Life 7inch vinyl
There’s nothing worse than music lovers missing out on music they’d enjoy listening to, so here at Cruise International Records / Cruise Digital, we’re on a crusade to make sure older and newer top class music of various styles finds its audience.
With a genuine enthusiasm and interest in helping new artists create the best music they can and reach their audience, we’re committed to playing our part in making sure top quality music finds its way to those who’ll enjoy it.
Gang of Four were a pop band. Their funk was no less stark or forbidding than, say, the more astringent Timbaland productions. They certainly weren’t as twitchy, speedy, or noisy as James Brown at his most energized. Their great innovation– Andy Gill’s morse code guitar, as if playing a riff for more than a few bars caused him physical pain– is post-punk’s most ripped-off idea after badly played disco drums. They had attitude, energy, the big beat, skilled players funneling their virtuosity into the necessary notes, a handy way with a catch phrase, and sweaty live performances. Sounds like pop to me.
They formed in 1977 as part of a scene surrounding Leeds University’s fine arts department that also included the Mekons and the Au Pairs. They were art students who named themselves after the Maoists that ran China until the leader’s death in 1976. But they bonded over pub rockers Dr. Feelgood and 70s British blues band Free, exactly the sort of dinosaur hard rock post-punk was supposed to have purged in its own Cultural Revolution. The seeming contradiction, at least in terms of the Good Music Society the music press was constructing at the time, might have explained their sound, which critic Simon Reynolds described as a “checked and inhibited hard rock: cock rock [with] the cock lopped off.”