“As I look back, my murky past was packed but, I know nothing I can do about it…” Groundbreaking debut full-length from MCR punk-funk pioneers A Certain Ratio! The four-piece stepped onto the Manchester scene in the late 70s, filtering the beloved funk stylings of Parliament Funkadelic and EWF through working-class, British, DIY post-punk aesthetics, with legendary designer Peter Saville at the visual helm and indie entrepreneur Tony Wilson as their manager and mouthpiece. The band’s thorny jump-up grooves are underpinned by Simon Topping’s deadpan, borderline-soulless vocal delivery, which firmly set the band apart from the mainstream funk and R&B of the day (although they did try damn hard to cross over a few years later). Often considered ACR’s debut album, The Graveyard And The Ballroom is actually a collection of demos and live tracks culled from the band’s early sessions - there’s the breakout hit “All Night Party,” (taken from FAC5, the first single-artist / non-compilation release on the label) and two versions of both “Flight” and “Choir,” but don’t sleep on the proto-Hacienda groove of “Faceless,” “Strain” and “The Fox.” It was originally only available on cassette - not sure why, it’s not like Factory weren’t ever not hemorrhaging cash on all their various little passion projects. There was a modest vinyl issue back in 2004, but this one on white vinyl comes courtesy of Mute and is housed in a semi-clear PVC pouch (a tribute to the original cassette housed in cellophane) with printed outer and inner sleeve, and contains the full tracklist from the original cassette. Limited edition of 1000 with download code, recommended.
- white colored vinyl
- ACR Loco edition w/ alt sleeve colorway
- printed insert
- digital download included
- limited edition of 1000
- music label: Mute 2020
- also available: To Each... | Sextet
reviewed by tom violence 12/2018
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