Friday, 9 October 2015
A Certain Ratio were one of the key Factory Records acts but always seemed to live in the shadows of Joy Division and New Order. Their early releases were austere scratchy affairs, songs like Do The Du were masterpieces of taut bass, clipped guitar, chanted vocals, short back and sides haircuts with army shorts. By 1985 they'd lost singer Simon Topping and made records like Wild Party, funk with slap bass, busy percussion, bassist Jez Kerr on vox and a definite northern sensibility. You can dance to it but you'd keep your coat while doing so to keep out the cold.
They left Factory and signed to a major (A&M) but the commercial breakthrough never really came. It didn't stop them making some great records. Twenty five years ago last month they released ACR:MCR, a record infused with the sound of house music and new technology, one of the best British albums of the period.