A Certain Ratio  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A Certain Ratio is a Post-punk band formed in 1977 in Manchester, England. While originally part of the punk rock movement, they soon added funk and dance elements to their sound. 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), which in turn were 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'. There is some dispute as to whether the band were aware of the original meaning of the phrase.

The group's longest serving members have been Martin Moscrop (guitar, trumpet) and Jeremy Kerr (bass, vocals). Another current member, Donald Johnson (drums, vocals), joined early to replace a drum machine. Three original members have left the band - singers Martha Tilson (left in 1982) and Simon Topping (left in 1983 for Quando Quango and, later, T-Coy), plus guitarist Peter Terrell, who left in 1982. Keyboardist Andy Connell who joined in 1982 left to form Swing Out Sister in 1985.

The band's exploration of rhythm fusing funk, disco, punk and Latin has had a resurgence in the last few years and their influence can been heard in bands such as The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem. In 2002 Soul Jazz Records started a program of reissues of ACR's albums and difficult to find tracks. Further re-issues and a Live recording from 1980 have also been made available on the LTM label.

Although the band does not play full time, they continue writing, recording, and performing. A new album is set for release in early 2007.

'A Certain Ratio' started their career on Factory Records, managed by Tony Wilson. They are featured in the film 24 Hour Party People where Tony Wilson (played by Steve Coogan) calls them 'Joy Division but better dressed'. Martin Moscrop was Musical Supervisor of 24 Hour Party People.


The band have released the following albums:

  • FACT 16C The Graveyard and the Ballroom (1980)
  • FACT 35 To Each... (1981)
  • FACT 55 Sextet (1982)
  • FACT 65 I'd Like To See You Again (1982)
  • FACT 166 Force (1986)
  • A&M ACR 550 Good Together (1989)
  • acr:mcr (1990)
  • Robs Records ROB20 Up In Downsville (1992)
  • Robs Records ROB50 Change The Station (1997)

The band have released the following vinyl singles on Factory Records:

  • FAC 5 All Night Party / The Thin Boys 7"
  • FAC 22 Flight / Blown Away / And Then Again 12"
  • FACT 42 The Double 12" (12" 2 x 12", 7 tracks)
  • FAC 52 Waterline / Funaezekea 12"
  • FAC 62-7 Knife Slits Water / Tumba Rumba 7"
  • FAC 62-12 Knife Slits Water / Kether Hot Knives 12"
  • FAC 72-12 I Need Someone Tonight / Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing 12" (Also promo 7" FAC 72/7)
  • FAC 112 Life's A Scream / There's Only This 12"
  • FAC 112P Life's A Scream (Edit) / There's Only This (Edit) 7"
  • FAC 128 Wild Party / Sounds Like Something Dirty 12"
  • FAC 168 Mickey Way (The Candy Bar) / Inside / Si Firmi O Grido 12"
  • FAC 1667 Bootsy / Inside 7" (Australian only)
  • FAC 16612 Bootsy (Remix) / Mickey Way 12" (Australian only)

<ref>http://www.vinylnet.co.uk/record-label-discographies.asp link</ref>

The following compilations have also been released:

  • Castle Communications DOJO 47 A Certain Ratio Live in America (live album, 1985)
  • FACT 135 The Old and the New (singles compilation, 1986)
  • Creation (CRE) 159B Looking for a Certain Ratio (remixes, 1994)
  • Soul Jazz Records (SJR) 60 Early (2002)
  • LTM 2443 Live In Groningen (2005)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "A Certain Ratio" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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