Gang Of Four's influence over scores of rock acts that came in its wake is on display more than ever on "Return the Gift," an album of 14 new re-recordings due Oct. 11 via V2.
Gang Of Four's influence over scores of rock acts that came in its wake is on display more than ever on "Return the Gift," an album of 14 new re-recordings due Oct. 11 via V2. Originally dubbed "Whitey's Gift" and penciled in for a Sept. 20 North American release, it comprises the U.K. quartet's first new recordings with its original members in more than 20 years.
"Return the Gift" focuses on material from the group's first two seminal albums (1979's "Entertainment!" and 1981's "Solid Gold"). But beyond a clearer mix and a slight deepening of singer Jon King's voice, Gang Of Four remains nearly identical to the band that crafted those albums, still wielding the same caustic sound best heard on "Natural's Not in It," "Not Great Men" and "Damaged Goods."
The group also puts a charge into the sparse funk of "I Love a Man in Uniform" and "We Live As We Dream, Alone," both drawn from the 1982 album "Songs of the Free."
As previously reported, "Return the Gift" will be augmented in the United Kingdom by a 13-track disc of remixes. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs encircle "I Love a Man in Uniform" with synth-y noise and frontwoman Karen O's added vocals, while No Doubt's Tony Kanal paints a new wave touch onto "Ether."
The Dandy Warhols slow "What We All Want" to an industrial crawl approximating Nine Inch Nails' "Closer," while the Phones remix of "Not Great Men" seems primed for dance-club play.
A limited amount of this double-disc version will be available in North America; in November, V2 will release a separate remix disc here with tracks not available on the import.
Meanwhile, Gang Of Four will return to the road this fall, beginning Sept. 18 in Hamburg, Germany. The trek will reach North America Sept. 29 in Providence, R.I., and will run through an Oct. 21 show in Anaheim, Calif. As previously reported, the band will also perform at the first Across the Narrows Festival on Oct. 1 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Here is the track list for the U.K. remix disc:
"To Hell With Poverty," Go Home Productions remix
"Natural's Not in It," Ladytron remodel
"I Love a Man in Uniform," Yeah Yeah Yeahs remix
"Ether," Tony Kanal remix
"At Home He's a Tourist," the Others remix
"Not Great Men," Phones remix
"Anthrax," Faultline remix
"Damaged Goods," Hot Hot Heat remix
"Why Theory?," Amusement Parks On Fire remix
"Natural's Not in It," the Rakes repackage
"At Home He's a Tourist," the Others alternate mix
"What We All Want," Dandy Warhols remix
"Why Theory?," Amusement Parks on Fire alternate mix
Here are Gang Of Four's tour dates:
Sept. 18: Hamburg, Germany (TBA)
Sept. 19: Berlin (Postbanhof Berlin)
Sept. 20: Cologne, Germany (Live Music Hall)
Sept. 24: London (Barbican)
Sept. 29: Providence, R.I. (Lupo's)
Sept. 30: Northampton, Mass. (Pearl Street)
Oct. 1: Brooklyn, N.Y. (Across the Narrows Festival)
Oct. 3: Philadelphia (TLA)
Oct. 4: Pittsburgh (Mr. Smalls Fun House)
Oct. 5: Baltimore (Sonar)
Oct. 6: Carrboro, N.C. (Cat's Cradle)
Oct. 8: Atlanta (Earthlink Live)
Oct. 10: New Orleans (House of Blues)
Oct. 11: Houston (Meridian)
Oct. 12: Austin, Texas (La Zona Rosa)
Oct. 13: Dallas (Gypsy Tea Room)
Oct. 15: Englewood, Colo. (Gothic Theatre)
Oct. 16: Manga, Utah (Great Salt Air Show)
Oct. 18: Tempe, Ariz. (Marquee Theatre)
Oct. 19: San Diego (House of Blues)
Oct. 20: Hollywood, Calif. (Avalon)
Oct. 21: Anaheim, Calif. (House of Blues)