Ignored Obscured Restored
This weekend marks the 12th anniversary of the Song of the Week. Thank you for all of your encouragement and support over the years.
Andy Gill, guitarist and vocalist for the post-punk band Gang of Four, died on February 1st, exactly one month past his 64th birthday.
In his book ranters & crowd pleasers, rock critic Greil Marcus describes seeing Gill in concert:
“Dressed blandly in jeans and a shirt buttoned to the neck, with piercing eyes and a stoic face, he is a performer of unlikely but absolute charisma: his smallest movements are charged with absurd force. He holds himself as if he’s seen it all and expects worse. He communicates above all a profound sense of readiness.”
The music of Gang of Four isn’t for everybody, but I dig it for the same reasons I dig music by Pere Ubu (also not for everyone) – because it is intellectually challenging. So, today’s SotW is for Gill. “It’s Her Factory” was originally released as the B-side of the “At Home He’s a Tourist” single. I first heard it on the Yellow EP (1980) which was a 4 song, vinyl release of outtakes and B-sides. It was later included as a bonus cut on the 1995 CD edition of Entertainment!
“… Factory” is very typical of Gang of Four. The guitar is as sharp as shards of broken glass. The melodica is spikey and dissonant. The lyrics are confrontational – in this case, a commentary on our patriarchal society.
Items daily press
views to suppress
Subject story on the front page suffering from suffrage
Title unsung heroine of Britain position to attain
Housewife heroines addicts to their homes
It’s her factory it’s her duty it’s her factory
He gives them sympathy because they’re not men
Scrubbing floors they’re close to the earth
In a man’s world they’re not men
In a man’s world because they’re not men x4
In a man’s world in a man’s world
A little of a lot keeps them happy
Avoid the answers but keep them snappy
Gang of Four never achieved massive commercial success. Their biggest “hit” was “I Love a Man in a Uniform” (1982). But true to their name, their approach to the rock music of the late 70s/early 80s was like a coup d’état and had a profound influence on many of today’s indie rock bands.
Enjoy… until next week.