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Dave Allen and Sarah Lee (Gang of Four)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by groovejam, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. groovejam


    Apr 26, 2005
    Been listening to some gang of four and find the bass playing to be top notch.
    In particular Dave Allen on the early material. I really like the progression on "Damaged Goods".
    I read Dave Allen joined Gang of Four when he responded to a bassist wanted add listed as "fast R&B" I thought that was pretty funny?

    Any fans? comments?
  2. I dig them. 'Fast R&B' fits for me; although GOF wasn't particularly fast, I always thought the bass was, in a way, very funky. Cheeseburger to go!
  3. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I have a solo album Sarah Lee did around here somewhere, I love her playing!
  4. groovejam


    Apr 26, 2005
    I bought A Brief History of the 20th Century and it seems to be a greatest hits of sorts. I like the earlier material better. The guitar playing is crazier and the bass playing is just a little different.

    Is the Sarah Lee solo any good?

    The band Dave Allen went on to join with the XTC guy seems a little sparatic in its output although I havnt heard much of it. Seems like a few of thier albums fell victum to bad 80's music.

    GOF seems to have had alot of influence on the Talking Heads. I read somewhere that GOF might be making a new album with the original lineup.
  5. richnota


    Jan 11, 2005
    Santa Cruz
    Dave went on to play in Shriekback. Some of my favorite albums. Saw a live show of theirs in NYC in the early to mid 90s. Amazing stuff.

    He even did a stint at microsoft. interesting career.
  6. Entertainment is a great record. So influential. Gang of Four really pioneered that post punk sound that stemmed from funk and disco but became something totally different and raw. I don't think they realised it at the time but everyone since has incorporated these notions into their music.

    Bass playing makes you want to move.
  7. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Big +1, what a criminally underrecognized band!

    I have a GOF collection called "100 Flowers Bloom"--it's a double CD, so it's greatest hits/etc., and some of the cuts are live. I tend to prefer the earlier stuff, too.

    I heard the original four were actually going to re-record some of the early songs.
  8. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I've got Sarah Lee's solo album. It's pretty good, definitely not your normal bassist solo album fare. One of the few solo albums I'll listen to for enjoyment (rather than academic reasons).
  9. shriekback


    Nov 25, 2007
    Eugene, OR
    Not in my opinion. Great player, but a bad composer.

    That band is Shriekback (one of my favorites, obviously). Their earliest records are my favorites ("Tench" and "Care")-- together, the most successful effort to bring a minimalist sensibility to Rock/Pop music (yah, better than Joy Division or the 2nd and 3rd Cure records). They did some other excellent work ("Big Night Music" has a couple real gems, and the bass work on "Oil and Gold" is first rate), but also some real stinkers ("Go Bang" is bloody awful), not surprisingly without Dave Allen.

    No. The first Heads album came out in '77, well before GOF's earliest efforts. Tina Weymouth is also a great player, but a genius of her own kind. They both (her and Dave Allen) do sound as though they wore out one or two Funkadelic records. Perhaps you just here a lot of Bootsy in each of them

    Yes, and you can listen to demos as they make them.


    A fascinating peak into the creative process of a great band. For some reason, however, Hugo Burnham, the original drummer, is no longer in the band.:(
  10. shriekback


    Nov 25, 2007
    Eugene, OR
    If you dig Sara Lee's playing, her best, I think, is that which she did with The League of Gentlemen--a late '70's Robert Fripp project featuring Lee on bass and Barry Andrews (previously of XTC, and co-founder of Shriekback with Dave Allen) on organ. It anticipates a lot of King Crimson's "Discipline" record. The bass parts are fantastic. This is the work that likely landed her the gig with GOF.

    Here's a little taste:

  11. songs of the free is a GREAT album too
  12. Oh yeah! Sara is fantastic - minimalist funk/rock/post punk, and my favourite album by the band. Great tone too.....ah memnories of my youth.....Jamie
  13. Hoover

    Hoover Inactive

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    That first Gang Of Four album completely rocked my world, had a profound affect on my songwriting in the early 80's. Tunes like "At Home He's A Tourist" and "I Found That Essence Rare" still blow my mind nearly 30 years later.

    I saw Gang Of Four's so-called Farewell Tour in 1986 with Sara Lee on bass, & it was one of the best rock concerts I have ever been to in my life. Incredibly visceral, primal shoot-from-the-hip and reach-for-the-crotch punk/funk/mayhem. Priceless.
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