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Live America 1985


"A Certain Ratio. The name even sounds suitably eccentric. Very un-rock'n'roll. Very non-punk. The name comes from a Brian Eno song. ACR always did stand a little apart from punk's snot and Hepatitis B merchants. Live America 1985 was recorded on cassette during an American tour during the summer of 1985. A Certain Ratio were supporting New Order on a series of East Coast and Canadian dates. This is a compilation of the best versions of each song, a raw compendium that draws on each era of their recording career from The Fox to Si Firmir O Grido. This captures them at an almost perfect intersection -- when they were weird enough to be interesting, loose enough to be groovy, but tight enough to be hot; like their version of 'Touch,' liberated from its original tempo, sounding like Motorik clav-funk, while the lyrics, almost a pastiche of feel-good disco, keep it earthbound. When they chose to cover 'Shack Up' the match was so perfect, it was hard to imagine that they hadn't written it themselves. It was a statement of intent, a dancefloor manifesto, a road map pointing this way, a scratchy funk bomb. It even penetrated the Billboard disco charts, an unlikely outcome for fifty quids-worth of studio time. 'We were listening to American funk and trying to play it,' says Jez Kerr. It was as ill-fitting as those khaki fatigues and as effective. The album comes beautifully packaged with a reproduction of the original artwork from the cassette version that was sold at gigs. Sleeve notes come from Bill Brewster and check inside for a reproduction of a flyer from one of their early shows in New York in 1981. Check who the supporting act is -- only some other (lesser) star of New York disco at the time (Madonna)."