They were originally part of the punk movement in the 70's in Manchester, England, starting their career on Factory Records (I hope by now you guys know this label, we can only educate so much...). They are featured in the film 24 Hour Party People where Tony Wilson's (one of the founders of Factory) character describes them as "Joy Division, but better dressed." As they moved into the 80's they lost the three original members and added funk and dance elements to their sound. You can easily see their influence in recent post-punk bands like The Rapture.
This little piece of trivia I just learned, the band's name is taken from the lyrics of Brian Eno's song "The True Wheel" from the album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy). That lyric was in turn taken from a quote from Hitler on the proportion of 'Jewish blood' that was required to determine whether someone was to be classified as 'Jewish' (some say the band didn't know the Hitler reference until later).
12 years since their last release, Change The Station (1997), they are back with Mind Made Up (More new stuff to spin this Thursday! Whoop whoop!) The album is really good. I am having trouble picking out a track to preview for you guys.
However, if you are going to get any A Certain Ratio album, get their debut album The Graveyard And The Ballroom. It was just reissued on Birdsong. Amazing album. I really do not know why this band is not better known. Check out the packaging for the cassette version when it was first released.
So here is the album opener off of the new album Mind Made Up and a classic and the album open from their debut.
MP3: I Feel Light
MP3: Do The Du