Gang Of Four Biography
Gang Of Four began its existence back in the late '70s comprised of lead singer Jon King, guitarist Andy Gill, bass player Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham, four young men in their early twenties who convened in Leeds, ENGLAND; they were the first white Rock group to come up with the idea that using contemporary Funk and Reggae rhythms might be an interesting way forward for Rock 'n' Roll, a way out of Punk's cul-desac. They reconfigured the whole guitar-bass-drum line-up into a harsh, Funky sound with distraught, politically-tinged slogans atop, influencing such future top-Rock outfits as R.E.M., INXS, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others.
The group's first 7-inch, "Damaged Goods", was released in 1978 and one year later followed their debut album, "Entertainment!", which ascended into the U.K. top 50. Before the band released a second album, "Damaged Goods" inched into the top 40 of the U.S. Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart.
In the spring of 1981 Gang Of Four put out its sophomore full-length, "Solid Gold", which equaled the chart performance of its predecessor in their native England and grabbed a #190 spot on the U.S. Top 200 LPs & Tapes list while the single "What We All Want" peaked at #30 on the Billboard Magazine's Club Play chart.
At the start of 1982, the band issued an EP titled "Another Day/Another Dollar", the 5-song set was released only in Canada and in the U.S. where it scraped the lower reaches of The Billboard 200 chart producing another Club top 40 hit: "To Hell With Poverty!".
That same year Allen left the fold to concentrate on his new project; Sara Lee replaced him on bass recording "Songs Of The Free", their third full album which reached #175 on The Billboard Top 200 and the main single, the band's most well-known song, "I Love A Man In Uniform", climbed to #27 on the Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart.
The last studio album that Gang Of Four recorded before their disintegration, "Hard", came out in 1983 under fire from critics and fans alike, both camps skewering this foray into lighter and more dance-oriented territory; despite its naysayers, however, the album reached #168 in the States and the lead-off single, "Is It Love", hit #8 on the Billboard Dance chart.
Seven years after the band's breakup, the two main forces of Gang Of Four, singer Jon King and guitarist Andy Gill, stitched the group back together using studio help-mates. Bassist + vocalist Gail Ann Dorsey joined them to record "Mall"; it was released in May 1991 but failed to dent the charts, even though the single "Don't Fix What Ain't Broke" crested at #14 on The Modern Rock list.
September 1995 saw Gang Of Four unleash its sixth studio album, "Shrinkwrapped", but it didn't catch fire.
In 2005 the four original members, King, Gill, Dave Allen and Hugo Burnham
re-recorded a selection of their favorite tunes on "Return The Gift".
Burnham played live shows with the band until mid-2006, when he left to
focus on his successful academic career in the USA. Mark Heaney then took
over as drummer for live appearances.
In April 2008 bassist Dave Allen was replaced by Thomas McNiece.
Gang Of Four issued "Content", its first all-new studio album in more than 15 years, in January 2011 on Yep Roc Records, it reached #34 on the U.S. Top Independent Albums chart.