Gang of Four – We Live As We Dream Alone
I don’t know about you but it feels like the music press has spent the last two years reminding us of what albums are now 20 or 25 years old. Sometimes it seems impossible that so much time could have passed, other times it feels like, yeah, 20 years is probably about right. When I watch old clips on YouTube, it often looks like it was even longer ago (this one is *gulp* 30 years old). Poke around there for a while and if you’re looking for it, you’ll find some extraordinary things.
I bought myself a CD player as a college graduation present but I didn’t have any CDs yet so I also bought a receiver, turntable, and speakers. The CD player bit the dust a number of years ago but the turntable was just given a clean bill of health at a turntable clinic put on by my local record store. I sold off some of my records when I left college but I kept most of them and simply replicated my collection on CD as well. It’s funny because CDs were supposed to be indestructible but many of those now skip and one of them, the data just vanished from it completely. Luckily, I still have the records and they still play. Songs of the Free by Gang of Four is one of those treasured vinyl albums.
I remember reading that they were a big influence on bands I loved and they were in that movie, Urgh! A Music War which we got a copy of somehow. I loved digging around connecting the dots. In the pre-internet days, it took time and dedication and those were two things I had in abundance. The pay-off would probably seem small to most people—getting to see live footage of a band that had broken up—but to me it was like a secret code. Pay attention. It’s all there. Hey! Kids.