GANG OF FOUR: Solid Gold (LP, EMI 1 C 064-07 460, 1981)

Gang Of Four: Solid Gold

I can never quite get my head around the catalogue numbering systems used by major record labels. Look at the example here: 1 C 064-07 460. What does that mean? There must be some rationale behind the five components that make up that catalogue number, but it’s lost on me. Even comparing numbers from different releases on the same label doesn’t help. Often they seem to exist as their own numbering system, devoid of connection from anything else whatsoever. If somebody can help with this, I’d love to be educated. As it is, I can never understand why the catalogue number isn’t just part of a simple, sequential pattern – as tends to happen with most independent labels. If I was some kind of whacko conspiracy theorist I’d suggest that major label catalogue numbering systems expose the blatant commodification of their product as just that – product, rather than slices of art. Doubly strange is when independent labels attempt to ape the major label numbering systems – sadly I’ve seen too many examples of an indie’s first release being numbered with something like 43489-4371-D or whatever. What’s going on there? You want the release you’ve just invested your cash, efforts and sanity into to be just another piece of product, rather than part of a crazy head-in-the-clouds master plan?

Anyway: Gang Of Four. Good band, but I hear that Andy Gill is a moody old sod these days.

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