While musicians and their keepers come up with ever more elaborate gimmicks to sell CDs, post-punk icons Gang of Four have gone the extra mile and then some. The group is releasing Content, its first new album in 15 years, in a limited-edition metal box that includes vials of what's ostensibly the bandmembers' blood.
"We haven’t had it analyzed," a spokesperson for the band's label told me. "They claim it is, but it could be anything, really!
Anyway, here's the label's rundown of the metal box's, um, contents:
* CD copy of C O N T E N T including the track "2nd Life," exclusively available with this package
* Smells Book: Scratch n' Sniff book reflecting key areas of human activity
* History Book: art piece on ceramic tiles depicting the last 40 years of world history
* Blood Book: vials of the band's blood!
* Emotions Book: Rotoscoped photographs of the band's emotions
* Words Book: lyrics
Although I've never witnessed the band draw blood, I did see them come close when Go4's Andy Gill threw his guitar across the stage at singer Jon King, who then picked it up and threw it back at him. I also have fond memories of them standing beneath a giant Coca Cola banner playing "I Love a Man in Uniform" for a confused-looking throng of blond-haired spectators at an Orange County amusement park.
In fact, anyone halfway familiar with Gang of Four would have to admit that they're the best political rock band in existence (although the Clash and New Model Army have also had their moments).
All of which makes it hard to pass up their sacrifice of blood, tiles, rotoscopes and, oh yeah, music. The deadline for ordering is Wednesday (Dec. 15), after which it's gone forever. Go visit the Yep Roc Records website to check it out for yourself.