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A Certain Ratio Album Reviews 3out of 5
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The Graveyard And The Ballroom

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'The Graveyard And The Ballroom' was previously a cassette-only release back in 1979 so its release on a more reliable format will be a cause celebre for fans of Manchester's premier post-punk funkers. Sadly, the problem with A Certain Ratio was that they never really cut it across the course of a whole album; frequently running out of ideas before the end. The debut is a case in point though it starts off well enough. The addictive and oft-played funk of 'Do The Du' has long been held as one of their defining moments as is the spacious, eerie 'Flight' and the rather disturbing but brilliant 'Crippled Child' where Simon Topping gives his best Ian Curtis impression. In fact it's the influence of Joy Division that haunts this recording; Topping's vocals unavoidably fall flat in comparison with Curtis so that even when he recites the words to 'Disorder' on one of live recordings there's a sense that the joke is on him. So, moving on to those live tracks from the 'Ballroom' part of the record, 'All Night Party' makes for a cracking, energetic start but this urgency is soon replaced by a strangely muted band who seem to be performing well within themselves in a display of aimless funk jamming. At least the two bonus tracks inject some tension and drama back into proceedings. A Certain Ratio will always be an important and influential group but as they were more concerned with rhythm than hooks or melody, they remain a cult choice for music afficionados.
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  Track Listing
Standout Track Do The Du
02 Faceless
03 Crippled Child
04 Choir
05 Flight
06 I Feel
07 Strain
08 All Night Party
09 Oceans
10 The Choir
11 The Fox
12 Suspect
13 Flight
14 Genotype/Phenotype
15 And Then Again
16 The Thin Boys

Standout Track = Standout Track

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Also Recommended:
A Certain Ratio - I'd Like To See You Again, Early
Manicured Noise - Northern Stories 1978/80
Slits, The - Cut
Various Artists - In The Beginning There Was Rhythm
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