100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s #30 Gang of Four – I Love A Man In A Uniform

Released: 1982

Retrospectively, this was such a halcyon period for British music that it almost at the time seemed to go unregarded that in 1979 alone came Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, Magazine’s Secondhand Daylight, Wire’s 154 and Entertainment! by Gang of Four, all now albums which continue to benefit from a remarkable half-life.

Jon King and Andy Gill met when studying Fine Art at Leeds University. Whilst it’s a stretch to call Gang of Four a Leeds band (Or similarly to apply that term to Green Gartside’s Scritti Politti, formed in similar circumstances) more than a little of the city’s rapid and brutal transisition from industrial to post industrial landscapes lives in the bone dry funk of their early music.

I Love A Man In A Uniform came at a period when the bullying ghost of nationalism had been uncorked again by Margaret Thatcher’s Government, released as Britain went to colonial war in the South Atlantic. The group took the kernel of it’s inevitable BBC ban and refused to wear it symbolically; instead they continued on what would become an increasingly idiosyncratic path as the decade wore on, always snarling back at the constant advances of consumerism and the deadening of thought.

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