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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


The Band - Music From Big Pink
I guess I probably knew Dylan before I knew about The Band and kind of found The Band through Dylan. But I like the way that all of them sing. The three of them in particular, they've got really great, really characterful voices. And they do that thing of switching voices so you get the first verse with Rick Danko and then the bridge will be Robbie Robertson and that changes the perspective and stuff. And that's something that when Gang Of Four started, by the time we got to Entertainment!, one of the things we wanted was different characters. I kind of saw songs sometimes as being a little play, a little drama, so you have different characters. You have the main protagonist and maybe the other voice would be making comments about that character or somebody else would be a different character. To a certain extent, some of that came from The Band, I think.

They're a weird bunch, they came from Canada, ended up in America and they kind of drew parallels between themselves and North American history and the way a lot of Canadians ended up in New Orleans and they called them Acadian driftwood. And they kind of sing about aspects of the Civil War and stuff like that. And also they've got a sense of history. It's very much not standard rock & roll subject matter, you know. It's not cars, girls, guitars, and I love that. And they're emotionally touching. They didn't have easy lives, things didn't pan out brilliantly. I'm touched by the way that you can hear their struggles through life in their music and what they're saying.