"Repackage sex/Keep your interest," chanted vocalist Jon King and guitarist Andy Gill on Gang of Four's slashing 1979 debut, Entertainment!
A quarter-century later, the middle-aged pair chant it again on this set of re-recorded classics, all performed without a hint of irony -- even though Gang of Four's punk-funk blueprint for avant-garde party-building has been transmuted into today's hottest soundtrack for bohemian partying down. Six of Return
's tracks are available domestically in their original form on the recently reissued Entertainment!
, and all fourteen are contained in one early form or another on two excellent and thematically complementary anthologies, A Brief History of the 20th Century
and 100 Flowers Bloom
. Yet compare that historical record to these shorter, messier, brighter versions, and this set stands as a closer approximation of the band's unsprung live power, both then and now. In short, these versions don't defile the historical record -- they defy history's ravages.