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Hundred Flowers Blooming: Anthology
Gang of Four
Hundred Flowers Blooming: Anthology
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
In the late '70s, Gang of Four took a hybrid of funk and rock and created the clearest articulation yet. Now, at last, these lads from Leeds get the retrospective they so richly deserve. One-third greatest hits, one-third ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Gang of Four
Title: Hundred Flowers Blooming: Anthology
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rhino / Wea
Original Release Date: 11/3/1998
Release Date: 11/3/1998
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, New Wave & Post-Punk, Dance Pop
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 081227547929, 081227547929

In the late '70s, Gang of Four took a hybrid of funk and rock and created the clearest articulation yet. Now, at last, these lads from Leeds get the retrospective they so richly deserve. One-third greatest hits, one-third blistering live cuts, and one-third demos and remixes, "100 Flowers Bloom" shows rock's "theoretical devastators" to be at the peak of their powers. Gang of Four have influenced bands from Fugazi to R.E.M., with a cutting edge that never became uncomfortable. Years later, today's bands still can't hit as hard as tracks like "Ether" and "Better Him Than Me." The packaging and liner notes are the usual Rhino high quality, and the songs are as uplifting as they are interesting. "Please send me evenings and weekends!" Amen. --Marc Calhoun

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CD Reviews

For Autocratic Completists Only.
Alan Koslowski | Seattle, WA | 03/02/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

"It's generally understood that box sets are intended for two types of consumer: neophytes and/or completists/zealots. Neophytes want a representative overview of an artist's work, while completists want all the rarities and unreleased material contained in most box sets (what's the point in buying music you already have). A 100 Flowers Bloom will appeal to some GOF disciples because it does contain a some previously unavailable material (previously unreleased songs, re-mixes, live recordings, etc.). But for neophytes, this is a disorganized and largely redundant collection of music.First, it's at best questionable that GOF deserve a box set. It's generally agreed by all but the most zealous fans that GOF made two essential albums: Their debut, Entertainment! (1979) and it's slightly weaker (though still excellent) follow-up, Solid Gold (1981). GOF's subsequent albums range from marginal to lousy. Since much of Entertainment! and Solid Gold is available on the excellent single-disc compilation, A Brief History of the Twentieth Century (1990), is an 140-minute, two disc box set really necessary?The first problem with 100 Flowers is it's sequencing. Unless, I'm missing a really subtle theme or plan, the tracks aren't sequenced in any meaningful order, but seemingly at random. If they were arranged chronologically, we could at least see more clearly how GOF developed over time. Instead, the sequencing seems disorganized, without regard to time, theme, or anything else. Secondly, 100 Flowers draws more or less equally from all GOF's albums; we get an over-generous amount of great, mediocre, and egregious material. Ultimately, 100 Flowers is too unnecessarily long and haphazardly arranged for the neophyte.What about the completist? While I'm sure some will defend this release because it does contain previously unavailable tracks, that material is probably of limited interest, even to the most devoted zealot. GOF was supposedly formidable in concert, but you wouldn't know it from the live tracks assembled here; most are languid compared to their studio counterparts (the poor sound quality doesn't help either). And the remixes? While one or two definetly improve on the original version (notably, "I parade myself"), most aren't terribly interesting. The previously unreleased songs? A couple are worthy of GOF's early work (though none are as good as anything on Entertainment!), but they only compose a minimal amount of the material in this bloated collection.Apart from the tracks taken from Entertainment! and Solid Gold, the only other worthwhile aspect of 100 Flowers is the accompanying booklet by fan Jon Savage, who describes GOF's history with great detail and insight. I'm sure most completists already have this, so I'll direct my closing comments to neophytes:....A Brief History of the Twentieth Century is a more economical and efficient introduction. Even an import copy of Entertainment! (which costs nearly as much) is still a better value than this unnecessary box set."
Gang Of Four - 'A 100 Flowers Bloom' (Rhino)
Mike Reed | USA | 03/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I can always fully support these 'best of ' collections,specially sometimes EVEN if they are of a band that I'm not all that familiar with.Because it serves as a great introduction to the artist.2-CD box set with forty songs to cover Gang Of Four's heyday from 1980-84.After which they had disbanded.To best describe GOF is incredible hard pop with an edge to it.With forty tunes intact,it might be tough to list the best.But here it goes,I took notice of "I Parade Myself",the somewhat eerie "Paralysed","Natural's Not In It",the powerful "Anthrax"(probably one of the best of the entire set),a great live 1981 cut of "What We All Want" and "Everybody Wants To Come".I also liked "At Home He's A Tourist","Why Theory" and the well written "Armalite Rifle"(a great sounding demo).Comes with a nicely assembled 50 page booklet that tells GOF's life story and includes many cool photos and rare memorabilia."
Very worthy collection
Michael Abenante | Boston, MA | 06/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Okay, so I'm not a die-hard Gang of Four fan. In fact, this package is the first of their recordings I've ever owned. I'll preface this review with that tidbit of info. And having said that, I think it's a great collection. I'm one who's all for career-spanning retrospectives. I like to know a history of a band, to hear their evolution. And ultimately, there's gonna be stuff in a band's career that perhaps isn't up to par with other stuff, but, it's still a part of their history. Besides, can you name any band that has 5-star stuff their whole career? And anyway, I like a lot of the newer stuff that's on here, like "Better Him Than Me" and a couple of others.And in comparison to "A Brief History of the 20th Century" yes it's more expensive, but you get twice the music, and with the exception of "We Live As We Dream, Alone" you get everything from that CD on this one (albeit that song seems to be somewhat glaring in its omission). You get some different versions here and there, but certainly not bad ones.And for all those complaining about the sequencing - who cares?! Good lord. It's more interesting to hear it jump from album to album anyway...All in all, you get a complete history of the band, plus a great booklet, too."