14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Entertainment (Audio CD)Looking back a quarter of a century, it's obvious now that with the preceding "Damaged Goods" EP (on the independent Fast label) and this album The Gang of Four were the most incisive and complete of Britain's post-punk, highly politicised groups. Perhaps only The Au Pairs came close to matching them.
The Gang of Four at this time were a heady, dancing and shattering mix; trenchant political lyrics, funk or reggae basslines coupled with propulsive drum patterns and dissonant, shearing, tearing guitar. The themes of alienation, dehumanising consumerism and political manipulation running through the words merged perfectly with their insistent sonic assault, producing a fitting soundtrack to the times and one of the most accomplished debut albums ever. I was fortunate enough to catch them just before it was released and "Entertainment!" also captures the potency of their live performance.
Unfortunately, the situationist subversion they intended by signing to EMI instead seemed to neuter The Gang of Four; not much they did after this was as good. However, this album is, along with Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures" and The Au Pairs' "Playing With A Different Sex", an indispensable document of music in late 70s/early 80s Britain. It is "Entertainment!".