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This 2 CD box set includes 40 songs. Part blistering live concerts, part demo tapes, part greatest hits. Includes "To hell with poverty", "Capital", "I love a man in a uniform", "Armalite rifle", and much more.
 
45 Sleeve for Gang of Four's "To Hell with Poverty."
45 Sleeve for Gang of Four's "To Hell with Poverty."
45 Sleeve for Gang of Four's "To Hell with Poverty."
45 Sleeve for Gang of Four's "To Hell with Poverty."

BACK TO PUNK ALBUM COVERS

Gang of Four were an English band that emerged in 1977. Though they really couldn't be considered a punk band... they combined punk's minimalist sound with a heavy dose of American funk, and infused the results with intelligent, politically sophisticated lyrics. At left is the cover art for their 45 single, Capital, it fails us now (the flipside being To Hell with Poverty).

Gang of Four produced some of the most thought provoking lyrics in rock history, addressing issues like the alienation of the individual under capitalism, the manipulation of history by ruling elites, and the very nature of love in a society where everything is commodified. They took their name from the four Maoists leaders who were put on trial in China in the wake of the cultural revolution... however, the band was far from being Maoist in orientation. The band was also one of the first to openly address the issue of sexism in society, and the insightful lyrics to songs like Not Great Men and At home he's a tourist, clearly illustrated their pro-feminist politics. As Jon King (vocalist for the band) put it, "The attitudes and beliefs that people take as being 'natural' have been inherited through the social structure they're brought up in. An example is the man who believes that women are by definition more suited to working in the home than to making decisions. The belief in the natural puts all this outside the realm of debate. Unless you have an awareness of your ideas as political manifestations, you won't be able to change them."
www.art-for-a-change.com is owned and operated by Mark Vallen All text by Mark Vallen.