Thursday, December 08, 2005

Damaged Goods

Is there a British band that's garnered critical attention lately that hasn't been compared to Gang of Four? Franz Ferdinand, The Futureheads, Dogs Die in Hot Cars - the list goes on. Well, why shouldn't Gang of Four themselves join the goldrush to capitalize on their sound? To wit, the band has reunited and re-recorded an album's worth of their classic late 70's/early 80's songs on the new Return the Gift. You can download a free MP3 of the re-worked Damaged Goods (probably my favorite Gang of Four song) from If you liked the original, you'll like this version. Other than a slightly fuller sound, it's the same (OK, it appears to be 1 second longer, but no overproduced wash of keyboards, horns, and session backup singers). Nothing like the awful reinterpreted versions of classic songs that some artists have tried to put across (anybody remember The Police's tepid Don't Stand So Close To Me '86?). It DOES seem a little strange to put out an entire album of self-covers, but given how much I've been disappointed by seminal artists who come out with sub-standard albums after decades-long hiatuses (cf., Big Star), maybe I should just shut up.


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