Monday, October 24, 2005
My...um...many readers will balk, and I've avoided bringing it up earlier so as not to exacerbate the quiet calm of the comments box, but here goes: my personal belief is that once a band splits up, it should stay split up. Nothing frustrates me more than when a band who has concluded its run decides to dig up the corpse of their legacy and drag it onto the stage once more. The reason I'm stirring up this volatile turd: my high school heroes Gang Of Four, after thoroughly pissing me off when reforming for a short tour earlier this year, have just issued a CD of their classic cuts recorded anew. Judging by the sound of things across Music Blog Land, I seem to be the only one crying foul, the only one who finds these reunions disappointing. They never capture the energy and excitement of the band's first incarnation so why would any band wander into such numbing territory? Money, that's why. In this case, the Gang are claiming this fresh take on their back catalog is to at last receive income on these songs (whose performance royalties go to the various labels which released them). Is this a strong enough rationale to sully those perfect recordings we all love so well? Download this 53-minute, live-in-the-studio performance at KCRW's
Morning Becomes Eclectic and decide for yourself. Side note: Be sure to do a Google image search of the words "gang of four" sometime. You'll get all the usual pics of our post-punk and communist heros, but you'll also draw up tons of snapshots showing dorky personal posings of four random people and things: boring secretaries in oversized sweaters, gringo golf buddies posing before teeing off, bird embryos...