- Released: November 6, 1990
- Originally Released: 1990
- Label: Warner Bros / Ada
Q - 2/04, p.1183 stars out of 5
- "[T]hey still sound contemporary, especially on daring breakthrough moment 'At Home He's A Tourist'."
Uncut - 2/04, pp.84-55 stars out of 5
- "Few Groups were more conscious, more vigilant, more keenly aware than Gang of Four....It's bracing to hear this cold, acid shower once more."
Mojo (Publisher) - 2/04, p.1143 stars out of 5
- "[T]his is a serviceable comp....[With] good non-album stuff too..."
- 1.At Home He's A Tourist
- 2.Damaged Goods
- 3.Naturals's Not In It
- 4.Not Great Men
- 6.Return The Gift
- 7.It's Her Factory
- 8.What We All Want (Live)
- 10.A Hole In The Wallet
- 12.To Hell With Poverty!
- 13.Capital (It Fails Us Now)
- 14.Call Me Up
- 15.I Will Be A Good Boy
- 16.The History Of The World
- 17.I Love A Man In A Uniform
- 18.Is It Love
- 20.We Live As We Dream, Alone
Gang Of Four: Andy Gill (vocals, guitar); Jon King (vocals, melodica); Hugo Burnham (vocals, drums); Sara Lee, Dave Allen (bass); Steve Goulding (drums).
Additional personnel: Jon Astrop (bass); Stevie Lange, Joy Yates, Dolette MacDonald, Edie Reader, Paula West (background vocals).
Producers include: Andy Gill, Jon King, Rob Warr, Rick Walton, Nick Launay.
Includes liner notes by Greil Marcus.
Released in 1990 to help promote a reformed Gang of Four, A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE 20th CENTURY is a powerful overview of one of the best political rock groups. It is also a great introduction to the band's world-view. In this view, everything has a political context--love ("Anthrax"), the military ("I Love an Man in Uniform"), loneliness ("Call Me Up"), and, of course, history ("The History of the World")--and no one is innocent. Many of the band's high points appear: "At Home, He's a Tourist," "Damaged Goods," "To Hell With Poverty," and "We Live as We Dream, Alone."
Frequently employing a martial beat and elastic, funk-inspired bass-guitar lines overlaid with left-field squalls of noise, the Gang of Four's songs set out to convince you of things--and don't give up until you agree. For the believers and the scholars, A BRIEF HISTORY also includes an essay penned by culture/music critic Greil Marcus about experiencing the band's rise to fame first-hand.