After three consecutive sensational albums, as well as a handful of EPs and singles, Allen left in 1982 to form the more danceable and less overtly political Shriekback
, while Burnham departed the following year and formed Illustrated Man. King and Gill
, the latter of whom had also established himself as a noted producer for other acts, recorded the misguided "radical soul/R&B" record Hard with veteran producers Ron and Howard Albert. A near total disaster, Hard signaled that the end was nigh. The "Gang of Two" released a so-so live album (At the Palace) and called it quits in 1984. But legends die hard, and Gang of Four experienced a return of sorts in the early '90s with the release of two excellent collections: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century and The Peel Sessions Album). Gill
and King put together a new Gang of Four and released the tepid but not disgraceful Mall in 1991. Another reunion, from 1995, yielded Shrinkwrapped. Three years later, a double-disc compilation -- 100 Flowers Bloom -- surfaced on Rhino.
Gang of Four's original lineup reconvened in 2004 to tour extensively and release 2005's Return the Gift, featuring re-recordings of their early material. Gill
and King continued with a new rhythm section and released 2011's Content with financial support from their fans. King subsequently left, and Gill
recruited John Sterry, previously of Gaoler's Daughter, for 2015's What Happens Next. ~ John Dougan, Rovi