Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Certain Ratio - I'd Like To See You Again

A Certain Ratio, "Show Case" (YSI link)

A Certain Ratio, "Guess Who" (YSI link)

A Certain Ratio, "Tumba Rhumba" (YSI link)

It wasn't all doom and gloom and angst at Factory Records. In fact, the label was at the forefront of bringing some of the sex and rhythm from the dance music world into punk and rock, trying to bridge the great divide. A Certain Ratio is one of the great examples of this, from their use of horns, their funky basslines to their lyrics about trying to score with girls. In fact, at times you would have no idea that the band had anything to do with the Manchester puink scene, sounding much more atune to the clubs and streets.

I'd Like To See You Again was the third full-length for the band, their final with the original line-up - Donald Johnson, Jeremy Kerr, Martin Moscrop, Simon Topping and Peter Terrell. It was reissued in 2005 by Les Temps Modernes, featuring 5 extra tracks of different mixes and rarities. "Show Case" is my personal favorite track from the album, a vocodered killer. It gives you a good sense of how much this band was willing to experiment and utilize the technology of the era, which for me defines the artists of the 80s. It also gives you a first chance to hear the massive bass of , recalling Talking Heads or a 70s funk band. "Guess Who" is another great track, a much more rhythmic track, more immediately dance-y than "Show Case." I love love love the lyrics about dancing and working your body, something that the punk kids would never had the balls to sing. "Tumba Rhumba" is one of the additional songs added to the re-release, the B-side of the "Knife Slits Water" 7" of 1982 on Factory, an instrumental song that captures the funkiness and weirdness of the band perfectly in 2 and a half minutes.

I highly recommend picking up a copy of this CD immediately, as you never know when it will fall out of print, not to be heard for another decade. This isn't going to be the last time we talk about ACR, rest assured. Essential stuff.

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