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Baker's Dozen

Rare Essences: Andy Gill Of Gang Of Four's Favourite Records
Bryan Brussee , February 3rd, 2020 11:04

Five years ago, following the release of their eighth album, What Happens Next, Andy Gill of Gang Of Four talked Bryan Brussee through the picks of his record collection, both albums and individual tracks


Kanye West - 'Hold My Liquor'
Definitely my favourite song on that record [Yeezus]. I think it's a great record, if you can get past the "bitches" and what's that about Chinese pussy? Kanye, fucking grow up man, you're not 15.

I was talking to Michael Azerrad, 'cause he's got me to do a couple of podcasts for him. And his clever little thing is to get musicians to review other albums. In conversation, I mentioned this track, and he said he got Lou Reed to write about the record. He said Lou Reed was in tears listening to this track.

It's a very emotional track and it's very clever. He switches between making jokes and sounding very desperate indeed. One minute he's being very flippant, and I guess it's like being drunk and not drunk. The drink and the comedown, the hangover, whatever. Really beautiful, but also powerful, and quite punk in a way. And the arrangement is so clever and unexpected and unusual. He'll give you one thing and then give you something quite different, but it all works from section to section.

I heard this while I was making What Happens Next and I was really impressed with the synth bass sounds, so I ended up having Thomas [McNeice] in, and we worked out where there would be a mixture of his bass playing and some electronic bass. You know, Lou Reed's point is that Kanye is demonstrating what he can get away with, which is good. I think there's quite a few "I can do what I like moments", including talking about "sweet and sour pussy" [sic].