Hear Gang Of Four’s Previously Unreleased “Elevator” Demo

Jay Schwarz

Hear Gang Of Four’s Previously Unreleased “Elevator” Demo

Jay Schwarz

The demo version of a previously unreleased Gang Of Four song called “Elevator” is out today. “Elevator” was played live by the band but never made its way to an album. It’s included on an upcoming Gang Of Four box set, Gang Of Four: 77-81. The set was originally announced last year and scheduled to come out in December; its release date was pushed back to March due to production issues.

Gang of Four: 77-81 includes remasters of their albums Entertainment! and Solid Gold (the latter turns 40 next month), a singles collection, and the never-released live album Live At American Indian Center 1980. The set will be available in a vinyl box set, with a cassette tape with unreleased outtakes and a 100-page hardbound book, and a CD set.

Here’s the band’s Jon King on “Elevator”:

Andy & I both lived in a shitty house in Leeds where we used to sing The Band or Muddy Waters songs, chugging disgusting homebrew beer that I fermented in a dustbin. We started writing songs – mostly homages to Dr. Feelgood or the Velvets – recording them on a crappy cassette player. Inspired by the New York scene and with UK punk rock on a thrilling rampage, Hugo, Gill, and I formed a band.

The first couple of gigs were those early songs and a fast Beatles cover. Dave joining us raised the bar. He was really good, and we quickly came up with new material we all wrote together, built on grooves from Dave & Hugo, over which Andy and I would improvise until we’d got somewhere.

“Elevator” always worked well live. It was a keeper until it wasn’t. By the time we got into the Workhouse studio to record ‘Entertainment’, it was in the dumper. I’d forgotten ever writing it until it was dug up for the box set cassette. I like it: the jangly riff, propulsive rhythm, and dopey lyrics take me right back to the day.

Check out “Elevator” below.

Gang Of Four: 77-81 is out 3/12 via Matador Records. Pre-order it here. Gang Of Four guitarist Andy Gill passed away around this time last year.

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