Genre: Pop Rock
Label: Matador
Size: 12"
Format: 33RPM,


Gang Of Four 77-81 5LP, Cassette & Book Box Set

Gang Of Four

Availability: Discontinued
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Limited Edition 5LP Deluxe Box Set!
Includes Exclusive Never Officially Released Double LP, Cassette Tape & Epic 100-Page Hardbound Book!

Stereophile: Performance 5/5 Stars / Sonics 3.5/5 Stars

2021 Grammy Award Nominee:
• Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package: 77-81

Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - Entertainment! - Rated 273/500!

GANG OF FOUR: 77-81 is a stunning, limited edition box set gathering Gang Of Four's influential early work. The box set contains remastered editions of Entertainment! and Solid Gold, an exclusive Singles LP, and an exclusive double LP of the never officially released Live at American Indian Center 1980. Additionally, the package includes a C90 cassette tape compiling 26 never-before-issued outtakes, rarities and studio demos from Entertainment! and Solid Gold.

The box also includes an epic 100 page, full-color handbound book detailing the history and legacy of the original Gang Of Four with never before seen photos, contributions from surviving original band members, rare posters, ephemera, flyers, essays, artwork, liner notes and more. It also marks the first official publication of their lyrics.

Gang Of Four was formed in Leeds in 1976 by bassist Dave Allen, drummer Hugo Burnham, guitarist Andy Gill, and singer Jon King. The band pioneered a style of music that inverted punk's blunt and explosive energies - favoring tense rhythms, percussive guitars, and lyrics that traded in Marxist theory and situationism. They put every element of the traditional "rock band" format to question, from notions of harmony and rhythm to presentation and performance.

This original lineup of the band released two monumental albums, Entertainment! (1979) and Solid Gold (1981). A third, Songs Of The Free (1982), was recorded with bassist Sara Lee replacing Dave Allen. After Songs Of The Free, Burnham departed the band and Andy Gill and Jon King continued on to release Hard in 1983. After this release, the band broke up. In 2004, the original quartet reformed for tour dates and released Return The Gift (2005).

Gill's untimely death in February 2020 was cause for many to once again re-examine the group's catalog and the legacy of these early releases was widely cited. Not only did Gang Of Four's music speak to the generation of musicians, activists, writers, and visual artists that emerged in the group's immediate wake, but the generation after that. And the generation after that, even.

In the last few years, their songs have continued to resonate with and been sampled by artists far afield from "post-punk," including Run The Jewels ("The Ground Below") and Frank Ocean ("Futura Free"). Now forty years since the original release of Entertainment!, Gang Of Four's legacy cannot be overstated.

A thorough overview of the British 'neo-Marxist funk band''s first era that's smart, challenging, and wildly entertaining.
-Mark Deming,, 5/5 stars
Why didn't Gang of Four become pop stars? Four and a half decades after the UK band began, the answer might seem obvious. From the start, their work was innovative and challenging, with politically aware lyrics that drew on academic theory and music that moved at razor-sharp angles. One reason why their early singles and first two albums - collected on this new 77-81 box set alongside a live 2xLP and a cassette of demos - still sound so vital is that the band never pandered to the mainstream or dumbed its songs down. At the time, though, it wasn't far-fetched to imagine Gang of Four as the next big thing. Their melodic and danceable music quickly snared them eye-opening gigs supporting the Buzzcocks and Siouxsie and the Banshees and landed them on the cover of New Musical Express before they had even been signed... Maybe radio wasn't ready; maybe timing and perception didn't align; maybe their refusal to play on BBC's Tops of the Pops when asked to censor their lyrics doomed them. Whatever the reason, 77-81 makes a convincing case that, based simply on their songs and performances, stardom actually was within their reach.
-Marc Masters, Pitchfork, Best New Reissue, Rated 9.5
Is it too early in the year to anoint a release as the Best Reissue of 2021? Because, for my money, it's going to be hard to beat this archival release that gathers together almost all the material released by the first - and best - incarnation of this post-punk lodestar Gang Of Four. With the band finally taking ownership of their music, the quartet and Matador Records have the chance to give it its due with this handsome box. Inside are remastered editions of the band's first two albums - 1979's Entertainment and 1981's Solid Gold - as well as a collection of singles, a recording of the band putting in a typically smoldering live performance in 1980 and a cassette of demos. The set puts Gang of Four's music and legacy in context with a booklet packed with ephemera and testimonials from the band members and their many fans while also re-aggravating the calcified wounds that they exposed through slashing and brazenly funky songs of class warfare, unfettered capitalism and rampant inequality. It's little wonder that the half life of this era of Gang of Four was so short. No group could burn this hot and expect to survive for the long haul. This set fans those embers anew, right when we need it most.
-Robert Ham, Paste Magazine
This is how you produce a box set. Masterminded and co-designed by singer and Gang of Four cofounder Jon King, the slip case contains the components like a jewelry box with secret compartments. The biggest gems are the remasters of the band's first two albums, Entertainment and Solid Gold. In 1979, Entertainment opened the adrenalin rush of catchy post-punk. Two years later, Solid Gold got funkier and meatier. On both, King's sardonic vocals deliver witty Marxist barbs over jerky guitar (Andy Gill), throbbing bass (Dave Allen), and clattering drums (Hugo Burnham), creating a sound that today continues to influence scores of bands. 77-81 places both in context alongside an album of singles and rarities and a thumping live set recorded at San Francisco's American Indian Center. Always a band who would throw themselves sweatily into their set, they were arty and political, but they were always keen to dance. Also included here is a C90 cassette of demos showing the band developing from its early influences in Brit pub rock and US funk. The book is wonderful, too, with lyrics, reminiscences from the band, and comments from the likes of Michael Stipe and Greil Marcus. The elements interlock, making this box set great entertainment, just like their music.
-Phil Brett, Stereophile, June 2021


  • Limited Edition
  • Deluxe Box Set
  • 5LP
  • Entertainment! (1979) & Solid Gold (1981) newly remastered for the first time from original analog tapes at Abbey Road by Frank Arkwright
  • Exclusive 2LP of never officially released Live At American Indian Center 1980
  • Exclusive Singles LP - all the singles & B-sides from 1977-1981
  • Exclusive C90 cassette tape compiling 26 never-before-issued outtakes, rarities & studio demos
  • 100-page full-color hardbound book detailing the history & legacy of the original Gang of Four
  • Never-before-seen photos
  • Contributions from Gang of Four members: Dave Allen, Hugo Burnham & Jon King
  • Essays from Sofia Coppola, Peter Hook, Jon Langford, Greil Marcus, Michael Stipe & many more
  • Original artwork, liner notes & lyrics
  • Rare posters, flyers & ephemera
  • 2 New Badges
  • Made in Czech Republic


LP 1 - Entertainment!

Side A:
  1. Ether
  2. Natural's Not In It
  3. Not Great Men
  4. Damaged Goods
  5. Return The Gift
  6. Guns Before Butter

Side B:

  1. I Found That Essence Rare
  2. Glass
  3. Contract
  4. At Home He's A Tourist
  5. 5.45
  6. Love Like Anthrax

LP 2- Solid Gold

Side A:
  1. Paralysed
  2. What We All Want
  3. If I Could Keep It For Myself
  4. Outside The Trains Don't Run On Time
  5. Why Theory?

Side B:

  1. Cheeseburger
  2. The Republic
  3. In The Ditch
  4. A Hole In The Wallet
  5. He'd Send In The Army

LP 3 - Singles

Side A:
  1. To Hell With Poverty
  2. It's Her Factory
  3. Armalite Rifle
Side B:
  1. Capital (It Fails Us Now)
  2. History's Bunk!
  3. Cheeseburger (Live at Hammersmith Palais)
  4. What We All Want (Live at Hammersmith Palais)

LP 4 & 5 - Live At American Indian Center 1980

Side A:
  1. Not Great Men
  2. Contract
  3. Outside The Trains Don't Run On Time
  4. Damaged Goods
Side B:
  1. He'd Send In The Army
  2. Guns Before Butter
  3. 5.45
Side C:
  1. Anthrax
  2. It's Her Factory
  3. Ether
  4. Natural's Not In It
Side D:
  1. At Home He's A Tourist
  2. Rosanne
  3. Return The Gift
  4. Glass


Side A -The Early Demos (Various):
  1. The Things You Do
  2. What You Ask For
  3. Armalite Rifle
  4. Love Like Anthrax
  5. Silence Is Not Useful
  6. Disco Sound
  7. Damaged Goods
  8. Elevator
  1. Song One
  2. Song Two
  1. Essence Rare
  2. Tourist
  3. Return The Gift
  4. 5.45
  5. Corked Up With The Ether
Side B - Abbey Road Demos:
FROM 5TH JANUARY 1981 - (single track from cassette)
  1. Why Theory
  2. Cargo
  3. Trains
  4. Army
  5. Disco/Funk
  6. Dog's Breath
  7. Asshole
  8. Cymbal
  9. Reverb
  10. Cheeseburger
  11. Ditch

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