Gang of Four - "Never Pay for the Farm"
I am one of the die-hard GO4 fans who made a pledge earlier this year via PledgeMusic to help fund GO4's forthcoming disc Content. Not having the funds to afford a helicopter ride home to London from Glastonbury (£950), I opted for the "Ultimate Content Can" (£45). This can contains "the new album on CD, a book version, on paper, of an art piece that Jon and Andy have done on ceramic tiles depicting the last 40 years of world history, a book of lyrics, a book of drawings of our emotions, phials of our blood and a scratch and sniff book."
The "Content Can" has yet to ship and, due to the delayed street date for the album, is likely to be delayed until late in the year. Personally, I don't mind the delay but I'm anxious to get a sense of the album. The first new single from the reunited band, "Second Life", was released in 2008 and was written prior to Dave Allen and Hugo Burham's departure. This track has the classic GO4 sound without sounding like a re-tread of their past work. There is a snippet of another new song on PlegeMusic, "Do As I Say", which also follows the same sort of angular, staccato rhythms. On the other hand, "Never Pay for the Farm" (track streaming above), didn't move me as much as I would have liked.
It will be interesting to study the lineage of each of the songs on Content.
Over the last couple of years we have made a record of 11 new songs called ‘ content .‘ By now we thought it would be released, but it hasn’t panned out as we expected. What was to be an autumn release has turned into a New Year release.
We have tried to self fund this record from our gigs and money raised from our supporters on the Pledge site. We are really sorry about the delay.
This is why it’s delayed:
First, we had to find licensing deals for Europe and North America to get the music out online and physically. This has taken a lot of time to do as we wanted the right partner, an outfit that loved the album and got why we did it. We’re really pleased that we’ve now signed a deal with Europe’s leading independent, Gronland, and expect to close a deal in the US and Canada in the next couple of weeks. Now that we are in September, neither of these companies want to release the album before Christmas, and they both want the release to be simultaneous. So the album will now be released January 2011, tied to Gang of Four tours in Australia, the US and Europe.
The second thing that’s delayed the release has been the production of the metal boxed set. All who know Gang of Four know that the relationship between the music and the artwork surrounding it is crucial. This special edition will include a book of smells relating to human activities like work and sex, a book of the band's emotions [ rotoscoped photographs ], and a book of drawings and montages which illustrate our take on the last 40 years of world history. There is also a book of lyrics and a book containing our blood. And finally, a CD of music. The specialist production processes needed to make this happen are a bit left-field and it’s been a challenge to finish it up. But it’s almost done now, if late.
We know you must be as frustrated by the wait as we are. We’re going to make it good. We’ll keep our word and will deliver what we promised, although we missed our pre-Xmas release slot. So, we’ll send everyone who signed up for the album from our Pledge site a free re-mixed track before it is available anywhere else as a symbol of our gratitude and appreciation. This will be on it’s way to you very soon.
We’re working hard on this and hope you can forgive the delay and hang in with us. We’re almost there. It will be a fine thing.
Andy Gill and Jon King
Gang of Four