17 Nov 2007
The Guardian's 1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die commences with (rather appropriately) Early (2002) by ACR.

"Named after a Brian Eno lyric, ACR fused jagged Wire guitars and George Clinton beats to create the now commonplace sound of punk-funk. They were too far ahead of their time to be successful, but Early compiles the 1978-85 cuts that influenced everyone from former ACR support acts Talking Heads and Madonna to, more recently, LCD Soundsystem and the Rapture."

Representing the letter 'B' we have Blurt - The Best of Blurt, Vol 1 (2003)...

"Blurt have been fronted by puppeteer-turned-eccentric-saxophonist Ted Milton since 1980 - perhaps the epitome of warped genius. His nearly tuneful squawks and lyrics shouted like a newspaper seller are as extraordinarily inspired as his song titles, which include My Mother Was a Friend of an Enemy of the People."

Cabaret Voltaire kick off the letter 'C' with 'The Original Sound of Sheffield 83/87' (2001).

"The 78/82 companion to this album traces the Cabs' pioneering Burroughs/cut-up experiments in industrial/electronic music, but this traces their equally influential but more accessible dancefloor period. The 12in mixes of their singles are sinister, cold but deliriously sensual electrothrobs a few years ahead of techno."

Still to come later this week - the letters 'D' - 'Z'.

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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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