- Originally released as 2 separate EPs.
- Includes liner notes by Flea.
- Personnel: Andrew Gill (vocals, guitar, drums); Jon King (vocals); Hugo Burnham (drums).
- Audio Remasterers: Ken Perry; Bill Inglot.
- Arranger: Gang of Four.
- Propelled by a political mission and some wicked bass playing, the Gang of Four released ENTERTAINMENT in 1979. "Natural's Not In It" displays Hugo Burnham's edgy drumming style, not quiet in sync at any given moment but perfect for the mood of the songs. The short, abrupt bursts of guitar on "Damaged Goods" echo Jon King's harsh sentiments about the political nature of everything human-lust, in this case. "I Found That Essence Rare" boasts a catchy rhythm section that, along with its sawing guitars and manifesto-like lyrics, helped to influence a number of other bands, most notably the Mission of Burma.
- Though King sings, "Two steps forward, six steps back" (in "At Home He's a Tourist"), the only reason Gang of Four could have for stepping back is that they are so far ahead of the curve. Closing the album is "Anthrax," a jolting roller coaster wherein love is equated with the dreaded disease as the music drips feedback from between its poison-soaked teeth. This record is--without question--one of the most important records from the punk era. And, while the album's title was almost certainly intended as sarcasm, this is also a really good listen.
Rolling Stone (p.82) - 4.5 stars out of 5 - "[They] smashed punk into pieces by embracing funk, dub and disco, making music as radical as their politics."
Spin (5/01, p.108) - Ranked #7 in Spin's "50 Most Essential Punk Records" - "...These angualr and abrasive post-punkers from Leeds, England, used the scalpel of Marxist theory to slice through the mystifications of labor, love, and rock'n'roll..."
Spin (p.107) - "Punk-funk agitprop begins here."
Spin (p.140) - "Barked funk marches that snap your dendrites to attention..."
Entertainment Weekly (2/5/95, pp.53-54) - "...strangely enduring....a band whose informed dogma transcended fashion statement and socialist chic..."
- Rating: A+
Q (5/02 SE, p.138) - 5 stars out of 5 - Included in Q's "100 Best Punk Albums" - "...This debut showed that both modernism and futurism in rock could be a brash, thrilling thing..."
Alternative Press (p.111) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Fischerspooner have deftly combined nuanced, layered electronic soundscapes with urgent vocals in a way that doesn't sound manufactured or overly produced..."
Magnet (p.112) - "Andy Gill's spindly, sharp-edged guitar and Dave Allen's careening bass make 'At Home He's A Tourist' an infectious romp..."
Mojo (Publisher) (3/03, p.76) - Ranked #15 in Mojo's "Top 50 Punk Albums" - "...[Their] deconstructed guitars and neo-Marxist textbook lyrics added a thrilling experimental funk dimension to the genre..."