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Baker's Dozen

Rare Essences: Andy Gill Of Gang Of Four's Favourite Records
Bryan Brussee , July 22nd, 2015 11:04

Following the release of their eighth album, What Happens Next, earlier this year, the post-punk luminaries' main man talks Bryan Brussee through the picks of his record collection, both albums and individual tracks

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Photograph courtesy of Tom Sheehan

"Sometimes with doing a list like this I think, 'Let's not go too far into the past, let's put new things in,'" says Andy Gill of his Baker's Dozen when we meet in his London flat to discuss the 13 LPs. Indeed, in addition to reggae, disco and rock records, and one classical composition, Gill does throw in a few modern pop albums to round out his selection.

Pursuing discussion on the newer records leads to Gang Of Four's considerable legacy, one responsible for every guitar band of the mid 2000s that earned themselves the descriptions "scratchy" or "angular". I mention that my introduction to the Gang wasn't Entertainment! or Solid Gold, nor through Gill's production credits for everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to The Jesus Lizard, but Silent Alarm and Franz Ferdinand. "Yeah, I wish I had the money of Chili Peppers or Bloc Party or whatever," he says.

Gang of Four's latest record, What Happens Next, has seen the band moving further away from the post-punk of their previous records while experimenting with elements of electronic and light industrial. Could you dance to it? Not really. But you could, provided a nice pair of headphones, get lost in it.

What Happens Next is out now on Metropolis/Membran. Gang Of Four play Rebellion Festival in Blackpool on August 7 and London's Islington Assembly Hall on November 6; for full details and tickets, head to their website here. Click on his image below to begin scrolling through Andy's choices, which run in no particular order

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Drew
Jul 22, 2015 12:01pm

The Beatles don't groove? I Saw Her Standing There and Twist and Shout and Got to Get You Into My Life and It Won't Be Long and Get Back groove with the best of them. The Beatles just didn't rely solely on the groove but were massively diverse musically.

And how does Andy explain the fact that black artists in the 60s, 70s, and 80s LOVED the Beatles and covered them all the time? Obviously black artists thought the Beatles grooved.

You can always tell when a guy is trying too hard to be "edgy" when he attempts to diss the Beatles. So tiresome.

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mg
Jul 22, 2015 12:19pm

In reply to Drew:

also tiresome: blinkered defenders of the beatles. it's okay not to like them.

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The Red Hand Gang
Jul 22, 2015 1:11pm

Big call on Dread Locks Dread. Love that record, anytime Big Youth albums gets mentioned on these kind of things it tends to be Screaming Target or Natty Cultural Dread.

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Drew
Jul 22, 2015 3:54pm

In reply to mg:

Well of course it's OK not to like them, Captain Obvious. But it's just silly/tiresome to say they don't groove, given how frequently the Beatles were covered by black artists who obviously thought the band DID groove.

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Jul 22, 2015 6:09pm

The racial argument regarding the Beatles groove is very silly. So if you are black you can't possibly like music without groove? What kind of logic is that????

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rshultz
Jul 22, 2015 7:03pm

lol take a look at gang of four right now. a sad ghost of its former self.. basically andy gill and three young dudes trying to carry on the legacy

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Jul 23, 2015 3:55pm

Black artists covered the fucking Beatles bc their record cos made them-- Black musicians speaking candidly to blacks were nearly all skeptical or highly equivocating... Philadelphia, Mississippi Goddamn!

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Jul 23, 2015 4:23pm

Look, the Beatles grooved. Don't like the Beatles, fine. Just don't say things that aren't fucking true at all.

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Jul 23, 2015 4:24pm

Like A Rolling Stone isn't about a girl Dylan had a relationship with. Miss Lonely isn't a chick - it's Dylan. He's said as much.

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Jul 23, 2015 4:26pm

anyone who asks of Hendrix "where are the great songs" has clearly never heard Hendix. Band of Gypsy's is a great pick.

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Red&Blackman Thinks
Jul 23, 2015 5:00pm

Good call on the Big Youth. GIANT record.

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Drew
Jul 24, 2015 1:44am

In reply to :

Earth Wind and Fire covered "Got to Get You Into My Life" because Earth Wind and Fire wanted to cover it. Not because anyone told them to. Idiot. Just last week George Clinton was praising the Beatles for Sgt. Pepper. There is no shortage of black musicians, including Little Richard who met them early on, who thought they grooved. End of.

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deadly_doris
Jul 24, 2015 3:13am

In reply to Drew:

get a life man, happiness is warm gun.

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Jason Parkes
Jul 24, 2015 9:49am

The fourth GOF album was 'Hard' in 1983, Bernard Edwards died in 1996 which was after the sixth GOF album...

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Jul 24, 2015 10:09am

In reply to Drew:

Im still waiting an explanation, I want to know if a black person is capable of liking music without groove. I was following your argument and are about to conclude that both Star Spangled Banner and Gloomy Sunday are groovy numbers since they were covered by notable black musicians.

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Drew
Jul 24, 2015 2:18pm

To anonymous: Let me spell it out for you clearly since you seem to need that and/or are looking to take offense. Here we go: The Beatles have songs that groove. The Beatles have songs that don't groove. Black artists liked and covered both types of Beatles' songs -- the ones that grooved and the ones that didn't. It didn't seem necessary to state all of that but there you go.

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Jul 24, 2015 3:35pm

In reply to :

The thing is...you and Drew are both reading The Quietus,more than that;you are both reading Andy Gill's Bakers Dozen in The Quietus,you would probably get along well in real life.

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Jul 24, 2015 5:05pm

In reply to Drew:

That wasn't my question, I know very well that some Beatles songs have groove, for instance Come Together it's groovy as fuck. Also I don't care about Andy Gill's opinion on it, the guy didn't make a decent album in three decades. Neither should you care about his opinion. What bothers me was your argument and I wanted to point it out the absurdity of it. Nice to see that you realized yourself.

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Paul K in Brooklyn
Jul 25, 2015 4:52am

In reply to Drew:

"Baby, You're A Rich Man" grooved SO HARD that Sly based much of Stand!, Riot, Fresh and the Stone Flower label off that one song/sound.

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Lord Sewell
Jul 27, 2015 8:59am

I think Drew and anonymous should have an old fashioned ruck over The Beatles groovability or lack of it. Get this sh*t sorted once and for all!

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Jul 31, 2015 1:43am

In reply to Lord Sewell:

yeah man, whatever, I think they´re pretty groovy myself but I don´t really care, I just stepped in because the whole argument ¨they were covered by black artist so they MUST have groove¨ sounded to me incredible dull. Mingus, Coltrane, Miles and the whole lot loved Stravinsky, which doesn´t make Rites of Spring any more funky, right? To assume that a black person can only like music with groove is analog to say that a black person can´t understand Heidegger or something like that. In the end is blatantly rascist, don´t you think? It´s just my opinion.

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