Last December, this blog was lucky enough to host an incredible guest post from Dave Glickmann in which he imagined the staging of a Broadway musical featuring only the songs of Gang of Four. There’s since been at one other regular reader who shied away from doing a Gang of Four ICA on the basis that most of the songs would have been in Dave’s piece and besides, what he’d given us was utter genius.

I’ve also shied away from doing anything further on the band, but having dug out a 12″ single from the cupboard the other day, I thought it worth sharing as it showed that a band as principled and determined as Gang of Four were often forced to play the game.

The release of the band’s fourth studio album, Hard, was preceded by a lead-off single Is It Love in August 1983. The bosses at EMI decided that the song was worthy of an extended dance mix for use on a 12″ single. It wasn’t the first time a single had been released on the 12″ format but to the best of my knowledge (and I’m willing to be corrected) it was the first and last to be given such treatment:-

mp3 : Gang Of Four – Is It Love (Extended Dance Mix)

It’s about two minutes or so longer than the edited version of the song which was made available on the b-side (which itself was about a minute shorter than the version subsequently made available on Hard). The other track would also later appear the following month on the parent album:-

mp3 : Gang Of Four – A Man With A Good Car
mp3 : Gang Of Four – Is It Love

I distinctly remember the single getting some rotten reviews with at least one writer wondering aloud why such a brilliant band had been allowed to turn into Heaven 17….



  1. The first two Gang of Four albums were impeccable and ‘Songs of the Free’ was none too shabby either, but ‘Hard’ was where I got off the bus. I found it pretty unlistenable in 1983 and the passage of time hasn’t been at all kind to it judging by these tunes.

  2. This can only be considered a nosedive from the rarified air of Entertainment! Can’t think of any band that disappointed me as much as Go4.

  3. I love Hard… I was a student when it came out & it fitted with a time when several of my other fave bands adopted a more synth pop approach especially to 12″ remixes – see Comsat Angels & The Cure etc. My enduring love of this music is now probably down simply to nostalgia for that time in my life…

    N.B. I also have a U.S. 12″ of this track featuring a 6:48 remix by John “Jellybean” Benitez plus a 5:08 instrumental & I love it! Have you heard it JC?

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