Taking Sides: Solid Gold vs. Entertainment!

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Although Entertainment is finally starting to draw me into its charms, I still prefer Gang of Four's Solid Gold over it. I think it's more interesting rhythmically and the music sounds less like classic rock (which might confound a few ILMers...I think the production on some of the songs on Entertainment, particularly "Glass" and "Anthrax" almost makes them sound like Creedence Clearwater Revival or something), and I end up listening to the whole album when I usually intend to listen to just one song. "A Hole in the Wallet" (in my opinion the weakest song on Solid Gold) is still stronger than half of the songs on Entertainment! but I'm uncertain of how I could possibly justify that.

I do think the album versions of "Cheeseburger" and "What We All Want" are decimated by the live variants on Another Day/Another Dollar...and the latter's my favourite song on Solid Gold!

Ian Moraine (Eastern Mantra), Thursday, 30 December 2004 16:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I must say, I'm really surprised there hasn't been a thread about this before. I'm also tossing around the idea of doing another TS in regard to The Au Pairs' two albums (although I've never heard the improperly mastered original edition of Sense and Sensuality save for "Instant Touch").

Ian Moraine (Eastern Mantra), Thursday, 30 December 2004 17:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Both so goddamn classic that I cannot -- nay, will not -- partake in this abjectly cruel, Sophie's Choice-like contest. But....

I do think the album versions of "Cheeseburger" and "What We All Want" are decimated by the live variants on Another Day/Another Dollar

Please, Ian, tell me how it feels to be SO WRONG THAT THE GODS THEMSELVES WINCE IN INCREDULITY! The live rendition of "What We All Want" is one of the most palpably cathartic handfuls of recorded minutes my ears have ever experienced. Gill's guitar is practically WRIGGLING FREE OF THE GREAT MAN'S HANDS AND SLAYING EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE VIA ITS SHEER SONIC FEROCITY!!!

The mind reels. The fists clench. The bowels release.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 30 December 2004 17:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

So you are agreeing with him them cuz unless my reading comprehension skills have totally eroded that's exactly what he said?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 30 December 2004 17:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

In my misguided ire, I read his "do" as "don't". It is I who must now wear the albatross of shame, and wear it with head hung low (which is probably not a good way to wear an albatross, but alas, fate is a cruel bitch).

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 30 December 2004 17:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

haha that confused me too!

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 30 December 2004 17:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"What We All Want" may be my favorite Go4 song, but I don't like the second album nearly as well as Entertainment!.

"Anthrax" production sounds like classic rock, how so?

earlnash, Thursday, 30 December 2004 17:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Well the first time I got Solid Gold it did nothing for me at all and I'm almost embarassed to admit I sold it. This was several years before I went on my huge Gof4 trip about '99 or so. Entertainment! was much more immediate and memorable, and bits of it stuck with me faithfully over the years until eventually it finally dawned on me they were one of the best bands ever, ever to exist.

Bimble..., Thursday, 30 December 2004 17:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"What We All Want" may be my favorite Go4 song, but I don't like the second album nearly as well as Entertainment!.

ditto

miccio (miccio), Thursday, 30 December 2004 17:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I should probably add that playing either of them now is like apples and oranges to me.

xpost

Bimble..., Thursday, 30 December 2004 17:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Here's another vote for Another Day/Another Dollar -- nothing Go4 ever did matched up to "To Hell With Poverty", as far as I'm concerned.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 30 December 2004 18:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Entertainment! has re-emerged as being the superior record, for me... but I went for years believing the opposite. Solid Gold is more what I want all Gang of Four records to be (ie, low-fi and dirgie), yet Entertainment! is somehow more coherent .. ah, fuck it .. it's better in an academic sense.. and I'm not proud to ever hold something up for being better because of principle rather than actual aesthetic appeal. So I recant and choose Solid Gold. Fuck you, Entertainment! You may have Anthrax, but you'll never have What We All Want or He'd Send in the Army. (Although the live Urgh version is better.)

dave225 (Dave225), Thursday, 30 December 2004 18:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"To Hell With Poverty" remains my fave Gang of Four track of all time. I remember where I was when I first heard it and wanting to snap the Rush album I'd just bought in half out of self-loathing.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 30 December 2004 21:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I often think of Television's first two records the same way as I think of Go4's. The firsts are roundly considered a classic while the seconds, though admittedly different, seem to get slighted beyond what they deserve.

If I had to rank those four records (I just got out of work and I'm hyper and distracted--give me a break, okay?), I'd go

1) Marquee Moon
2) Solid Gold
3) Entertainment!
4) Adventure

usual chanels, Thursday, 30 December 2004 22:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"To Hell With Poverty" remains my fave Gang of Four track of all time. I remember where I was when I first heard it and wanting to snap the Rush album I'd just bought in half out of self-loathing.

Ha ha! What Rush album was it, out of curiosity?

Bimble..., Thursday, 30 December 2004 22:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Permanent Waves.....ultimately a fine record, but it contains absolutely nothing that comes near the incendiary bodyblow that is "To Hell with Poverty".

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 31 December 2004 00:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

...and I was at my friend Ralph M.'s house after a trip to Dic-o-Mat on Lexington and 59th Street (i'd bought the Rush album, he bought the Gang of Four 12" and Cool for Cats by Squeeze). Ah, the 80's...

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 31 December 2004 00:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I loved Marquee Moon and have listened to The Blow Up a whole lot, but I never could get into Adventure. The mix is really dull and the playing seems sluggish, especially compared to the great interplay on the first album or live recordings.

"Damaged Goods" is another favorite. I love how they break the tune down and use the two vocal lines in the end of the song.

Doug Carrion, who played bass for Dag Nasty, tuned me into Gang of Four when he worked at a record store in Bloomington, Indiana around 1989 or so.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Friday, 31 December 2004 01:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Well I got Permanent Waves at the very end of my big Rush trip in high school, and it had some great moments, but I was never able to pay attention to the whole thing somehow.

multiple cross post...

Bimble..., Friday, 31 December 2004 01:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hi usualchannels!

Andrew Blood Thames (Andrew Thames), Friday, 31 December 2004 05:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Solid Gold"

Andrew Blood Thames (Andrew Thames), Friday, 31 December 2004 05:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Solid Gold is a bit darker and heavier. Entertainment just sounds kinda weak in comparison.

contribute, Friday, 31 December 2004 07:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

entertainment. solid gold isn't as tight.

el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Friday, 31 December 2004 08:39 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Anthrax" production sounds like classic rock, how so?

It's really odd...I'm not sure how I can explain it...I think the album version is rather tame and doesn't do much for me and somehow that links subconsciously to how classic rock sounds like it could be furious but just bumbles around or...meh.



Solid Gold is a bit darker and heavier.

You know, that's probably why it appeals to me more!

Ian Moraine (Eastern Mantra), Friday, 31 December 2004 12:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
so, i have a downloaded copy of Solid Gold that sounds fantastic--way better than the vinyl. i went to buy it today, and there were a few different editions/versions. anyone know which sounds the best? the 'expanded' Entertainment on Rhino sounds great too--wonder if they're planning on doing Solid Gold? anyhoo, anyone know what's up w/ the Solid Gold cds?

nerve pylon (flat_of_angles), Tuesday, 30 May 2006 01:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

solid gold is a lot funkier than entertainment

jealous ones sb (M@tt He1ges0n), Friday, 18 December 2009 21:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

god bless alex in nyc

Tracer Hand, Friday, 18 December 2009 23:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

nine years pass...

Solid Gold is more what I want all Gang of Four records to be (ie, low-fi and dirgie), yet Entertainment! is somehow more coherent .. ah, fuck it .. it's better in an academic sense.. and I'm not proud to ever hold something up for being better because of principle rather than actual aesthetic appeal. So I recant and choose Solid Gold. Fuck you, Entertainment!

i love these twists and turns

honestly, i used to love entertainment! so much that i couldn't imagine ever preferring Solid Gold. but here i stand

these are not all of the possible side effects (Karl Malone), Friday, 10 May 2019 00:58 (one week ago) Permalink

anyone here see GoF during the Solid Gold era, and if so, did you get schwety

these are not all of the possible side effects (Karl Malone), Friday, 10 May 2019 16:43 (one week ago) Permalink

a friend did, and I do think there was dancing, they were on tour with Black Uhuru - now that's a double bill!

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Friday, 10 May 2019 16:53 (one week ago) Permalink

The most recent Tape Op features an interview with the guy who produced or engineered Solid Gold, and in it he says he kept trying to give them advice on how to make it more commercial but they would have none of it. Supposedly there was some dude hanging around, so he asked the band who that was, and it was Mick Jones, who the producer claimed took a lot of his suggestions and I guess later applied them to the Clash.

I just read an interview with Andy Gill and I wish I hadn't. He came off such a dick, totally dismissing the other guys as poseurs, claiming more or less full responsibility for just about every aspect of the band's sound, from the lyrics to the delivery to the stage posturing to the arrangements to the public illusion that the band was somehow an equal collective of like minds.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 10 May 2019 17:31 (one week ago) Permalink

they were on tour with Black Uhuru - now that's a double bill!

oh god

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:45 (one week ago) Permalink

hey now, Red and Sinsemilla are very good and their band at the time was all-star

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Friday, 10 May 2019 23:06 (one week ago) Permalink


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