28 Mar 2004
The History Lesson (from the September 1979 Newsletter and Shareholder's Analysis) continues... Fac 5: A Certain Ratio; 'All Night Party', & 'The Thin Boys' 7" single; 'rudimentary skills with more panache and imagination than most since the Sex Pistols' (Melody Maker), 'messy modern music' (NME) 'dark' (CF). 5,000 in May '79. Not sold out due to lack of response from the music press (ghouls). Only Savage of MM understood; and K Needs for the prime reason that when ACR played the Acklam Hall he was the only person incapably drunk as they were. A four (they look 'early' (H&Q )) piece they have now added a drummer , the funk direction, and are apparently selling well in San Francisco. See Fac 16.

Fac 5 is eloquently described as "Paper and vinyl construction in an edition of 5000" on the sleeve. Slightly surprising that it didn't initially sell out.

The 'early' reference is the famous Peter York quote which he came out with when Tony Wilson asked him what he thought of the band. It was used as the title for their compilation of, erm, early material on Soul Jazz Records.

Many thanks to John K for a (legible) copy of the newsletter.

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A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

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