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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


Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks
Weirdly, I think Dylan's protest mode never quite 100% rings true to me. It rings 98.5% true, but somewhere, in the back of my mind, there's something inauthentic about it, in some way. And I think he may have felt that. I mean, what's Dylan's best song ever? Probably 'Like A Rolling Stone' and that's just sneering at somebody, a woman he'd been in a relationship with.

As a body of work, Blood On The Tracks is faultless, there's not a bum note in there, not a bum word, everything transports you. You know, it's brilliant storytelling, and he's not trying to be too clever. With Blonde On Blonde, which is an album I love, he's trying to make himself come across like a brainiac, talking about Verlaine and French poets, which is fine, there's nothing wrong with that at all, but maybe you feel… I guess he always does that.

I suppose Blonde On Blonde is slightly more obscure, slightly more difficult, whereas Blood On The Tracks, he's just storytelling, he just wants to talk about this break-up. I remember being with a girlfriend and her friend, and she said, "here's the new Dylan thing" - it draws you in, it immerses you in it and as soon as I started hearing it there was no room for anything else.