Featuring a core lineup of Jeremy Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson with a rotating cast of members to full out the band, the Manchester-based post-punk band A Certain Ratio formed in 1978 — and naturally, while embracing the ethics and culture of the post-punk era, they had developed a reputation for being uncompromisingly difficult to pigeonhole, as their sound incorporated elements of funk, jazz, punk and rock while employing electronics, tape loops and early technology.
With the release of the critically applauded and commercially successful single “Shack Up,” on both sides of the Atlantic, the Manchester-based band became hailed as pioneers of a sound dubbed “punk funk,” and as a result that single and the rest of the work they’ve released together has managed to influence an incredible and impressive array of acts including Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Happy Mondays, Franz Ferdinand, ESG, Factory Floor and Andrew Weatherall among others — all of which has led to an increased interest in the British post-punk act and their catalog; in fact, the members of A Certain Ratio and renowned indie label Mute Records announced the launch of a long-awaited series of re-issues, featuring a selection of the influential Manchester band’s albums and will continue into 2018 with a compilation, a rarities box set and further re-issues.
Starting on November 24, 2017 the Mute Records-A Certain Ratio re-issue series will begin with the re-issue of the Manchester band’s debut, The Graveyard and The Ballroom, which was originally released through Factory Records in December 1979. The album will be available on limited edition vinyl with colored PVC sleeve, CD (and echoing its original release 38 years ago), cassette. Mute will also be re-issuing 1981’s To Each and 1986’s Force on colored vinyl and CD. While being superficially reminiscent of Entertainment! and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four, thanks in part to the angular guitar attack, The Graveyard and The Ballroom’s re-issue single “Do the Du,” possesses a disco-like bass line paired with vocalist, who sounds anxious and distracted in an all too post-modern fashion — and with a deeper, more attentive ear, you’l hear echoes of Talking Heads 77 and Fear of Music-era Talking Heads (think of “Psycho Killer,” and “I Zimbra”) with a hint of mod-era rock.