Gang of Four: Live Entertainment 1979 (Spotify Playlist)

In 2020, Gang of Four made a large number of 1979-1995 live recordings available to stream on Spotify and purchase on

This Spotify playlist curates the 1979 recordings - one version each of the 20 songs represented on that year’s tapes. It’s the bootleg I’d have chewed my leg off (paid $20) for back around 1979.

The first 12 tracks are the complete 2/24/79 Nashville Ballrooms, London set, which is the earliest, best sounding, and most amazing of the tapes. It documents the band four months after the release of their initial single and ahead of the recording of their first album. 

Eight songs that weren’t in the February London set are picked up from two other dates. 

Stream on Spotify here

2/24/79 Nashville Ballroom, London (full set)

  • I Found that Essence Rare
  • 5:45
  • Anthrax
  • Elevator
  • Hold Up My Weekend
  • Armalite Rifle
  • It’s Her Factory
  • Glass
  • Damaged Goods
  • Ether
  • At Home He’s a Tourist 
  • Return the Gift

8/25/79 Toronto - The Edge

  • Contract (early show)
  • Not Great Men (early show)
  • Guns Before Butter (late show)
  • Rosanne (late show)
  • Can’t Stand My Baby (late show)

11/22/79 Bournemouth Town Hall

  • Blood Free
  • Natural’s Not In It
  • Information

Gang of Four: “Lord Make Me a Cowboy” (flexi-disc, 1982)

This is the rarest Gang of Four studio recording, released only once, on a flexi-disc inside of the magazine “Vinyl Music” (Netherlands, July 1982). 

I obtained a copy at the time, played it just twice to record it to cassette, then played it again circa 2000 to rip a digital file.

This post is based on that uncompressed rip, re-EQ’ed to address the limitations of flexi-disc sonics. This is as hard as I can make it kick.

The issues were primarily a thin, stabby drum machine (and cheap plastic) at the high end, and distorted, non-musical thumping on the low end. I also adjusted the volume in a several places, because the original mix includes sudden shifts that disrupt the flow. My main focus was on clarifying the bass articulation and Andy Gill's fantastic dueling guitars.

I can’t find any information about when the track was recorded or what it is. Song-wise, it sounds like the Dave Allen period, but it's not Allen playing bass, and it was not included on the recent boxed set covering his period. I'm guessing the recording is a 1981 Gill/King demo of an abandoned song, which would make it a logical candidate for a throwaway flexi-disc in 1982. Maybe discarded in favor of "Capital (it fails us now)." 

Cover art is adapted from the flexi-disc’s label and a cover detail from “Entertainment.”

320kbps mp3 file here