Gang Of Four: Andrew Gill (vocals, guitar); Jon King (vocals, melodica); Sara Lee (bass, background vocals); Hugo Burnham (drums, percussion); Stevie Lange, Joy Yates (background vocals).
Recorded at Ridge Farm, Capel, England in March 1982. Includes liner notes by Bono.
1982's SONGS OF THE FREE is the third Gang of Four album. As with many of their albums, it was not immediately embraced by fans or critics. The record's smoother sound quickly drew accusations of sellout. In retrospect, it is clear that, though the music is slightly more upbeat, nothing about the band has been softened. Opening with "Call Me Up" and the scathingly ironic anti-military commentary of "I Love A Man In Uniform," SONGS is the Gang stretching its wings.
The songs are built on a prominent rhythm section, featuring the funk-inspired bass-guitar lines of Sara Lee and Hugo Burnham's powerful, occasionally off-kilter drumming. Andy Gill's skewed shards of guitar lurk in the mix, constantly threatening to lurch forward. Among the album's standouts is "Life! It's A Shame." Here, Lee's bass holds the center, Gill's squalling guitar approaches and recedes like the tide, and Burnham's disjointedly clattering drums offset vocals espousing such ironic comments as "Making money's making sense."
- Format: Vinyl