Entertainment! Studio album by Gang of Four Released September 1979 Recorded 1979 at The Workhouse, Old Kent Road, London Genre Post-punk Length 39:53 Label EMI, Warner Bros. Producer Andy Gill, Jon King and Rob Warr Gang of Four chronology Entertainment!
Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Allmusic  Pitchfork Media (9.5/10) Robert Christgau (A) Rolling Stone (positive) Spin 
The music on the first album shows clearly the influence of punk, yet also incorporates funk and less-obvious influences of reggae and dub, similar to other bands at the time such as Public Image Ltd., Pere Ubu, and The Pop Group. As with these other influential post-punk bands, the bass is mixed much more prominently than it typically is in rock or punk.
The album has attracted praise from rock musicians. Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers stated that the first time he heard the record, "It completely changed the way I looked at rock music and sent me on my trip as a bass player." In 2003, the album was ranked number 490 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In March 2005, Q magazine placed the track "At Home He's a Tourist" at number 52 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.
As of 2009, Entertainment! has sold over 100,000 copies in the UK.
The album's artwork was designed by band members Jon King and Andy Gill, typical of their DIY approach. The cover depicts an "Indian" shaking hands with a "cowboy" in three heavily processed versions of the same image, the faces are reduced to blobs of red and white—that is, to the stereotypical racial colours. A text that winds around the images reads, "The Indian smiles, he thinks that the cowboy is his friend. The cowboy smiles, he is glad the Indian is fooled. Now he can exploit him." In this way, it approaches themes of exploitation, but taken with the lyrical content of the album, it may also point to simplistic depictions of ethnic, social or political conflict in the media as "cowboys and Indians".
The album's back cover depicts a family whose father says, "I spend most of our money on myself so that I can stay fat", while the mother and children declare, "We're grateful for his leftovers". On the album's inner sleeve, small photographs depicting scenes shown on television are interlaced with text illustrating what the band suggests are the misleading subtexts of media presentation: "The facts are presented neutrally so that the public can make up its own mind"; "Men act heroically to defend their country"; "People are given what they want".
The diverse thematic elements on Entertainment! range from the Marxist concept of alienated labour ("Natural's Not in It"), Great Man theory ("Not Great Men"), the commodification of leisure ("Return The Gift"), the condition of the everyman ("At Home He's a Tourist"), Special Category Status prisoners in Northern Ireland ("Ether"), guerrilla warfare in Central America ("5.45"). A number of songs also challenge traditional concepts of love and love songs ("Anthrax", "Contract") and sex ("Damaged Goods", "I Found That Essence Rare").
"At Home He's a Tourist" reached number 58 in the UK Singles Chart, the highest position of any Gang of Four song. The band were originally asked to perform the song on Top of the Pops. However, when the show's producers heard the line "And the rubbers you hide in your top left pocket" they asked the group to change the word rubbers to rubbish for fear of causing offence; the four band members refused and the appearance was cancelled.
"Natural's Not in It" was used during the opening credits of Marie Antoinette.
- "Ether" – 3:52
- "Natural's Not in It" – 3:09
- "Not Great Men" – 3:08
- "Damaged Goods" – 3:29
- "Return the Gift" – 3:08
- "Guns Before Butter" – 3:49
- "I Found That Essence Rare" – 3:09
- "Glass" – 2:32
- "Contract" – 2:42
- "At Home He's a Tourist" – 3:33
- "5.45" – 3:48
- "Anthrax" – 4:23
1995 bonus tracks
EMI Records CD issue (mastered by Andy Gill & John King) includes the following singles:
- "Outside the Trains Don't Run on Time" – 3:27
- "He'd Send in the Army" – 3:40
- "It's Her Factory" – 3:08
- "Armalite Rifle" – 2:48
2005 bonus tracks
In addition to the Yellow EP, the Rhino release adds four previously unissued tracks:
- "Guns Before Butter (alternate version)" – 4:25
- "Contract (alternate version)" – 2:48
- "Blood Free" (live at The Electric Ballroom, London) – 3:17
- "Sweet Jane" (live at the American Indian Center) (Lou Reed) – 3:20
- Hugo Burnham – drums, vocals
- Dave Allen – bass guitar, vocals
- Andy Gill – guitar, vocals
- Jon King – vocals, melodica
Chart (1979) Peak UK Albums Chart 45
Year Single Chart Peak 1979 "At Home He's a Tourist"/"It's Her Factory" UK Singles Chart 58 1980 "Damaged Goods"/"I Found That Essence Rare" U.S. Billboard Club Play singles 39
- ^ Allmusic review
- ^ Pitchfork Media review
- ^ Robert Christgau review
- ^ Rolling Stone review
- ^ Weisbard & Marks, 1995. p.163
- ^ Liner notes to Infinite Zero Archive/American Recordings reissue, 1995
- ^ Andy Gill (18 September 2009). "Andy Gill meets Andy Gill". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/andy-gill-meets-andy-gill-1789194.html. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- ^ Liner notes
- ^ Mark Pothier (3 March 2004). "His Gang days are behind him". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2004/03/03/his_gang_days_are_behind_him/. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- ^ Dave Simpson (7 January 2005). "Jerky, punky, funky". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2005/jan/07/1. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- ^ "Gang Of Four - At Home He's A Tourist". Chart Stats. http://www.chartstats.com/albuminfo.php?id=8620. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- ^ "Gang Of Four - Entertainment". Chart Stats. http://www.chartstats.com/albuminfo.php?id=4763. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- Weisbard, Eric; Craig Marks (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
Gang of Four Studio albums Live albumsAt the Palace · Solid Gold Compilation albumsA Brief History of the Twentieth Century · The Peel Sessions · 100 Flowers Bloom · Return the Gift Extended plays Related articles
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.