Thursday, April 9, 2020

That funky down home Leeds sound

Delta 5 : You

In April of 1980 Leeds art schoolers provided the music world with two great singles. The first, "Anticipation" b/w "You",  came from Delta 5,  a punk-funk band made up of three women and two men ( and two bass players). The women wrote from a feminist perspective. They were aloof, self-assertive and funny. "You" is full of accusations: 

"Who left me behind at the baker's/You, You, You, You/
Who likes sex only on Sundays/ You, You, You, You." 

"Personal relationships are like a microcosm of the whole world and in that was we are commenting on things in general," argued one of the bassists , Bethan Peters, in Simon Reynolds' Rip It Up And Start Again.

Gang of Four : Outside the Trains Don't Run On Time

April also saw the release of Gang of Four's "Outside The Trains Don't Run On Time" b/w "He'd Send in the Army", the band's first single in nearly a year. Both rock hard while ridiculing out of step beliefs. The first is about a fascist longing for a leader like Mussolini, who was famously credited with fixing the notoriously inefficient train system in Italy. ( He didn't really). "He'd Send in the Army" is about a firm believer in patriarchy who thinks men should rule the world and women should pay back the male breadwinner in the bedroom. The single did not chart.

This review for Smash Hits did not help with sales:

Usual spartan sound and tuneless vocals conspiring to be "hypnotic" or something. You can admire Gang of Four's attempts at forging their own style without finding them remotely attractive. I can't imagine this getting any repeated turntable exercise.

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