Gang Of Four: Return The Gift (2005)
I'll also admit that the one album I listen to with any regularity these days is (presumably) something of a sacrilege for band purists. But screw it, I like what I like. For Return the Gift, the band returned to the studio and re-recorded a number of old favorites, using more contemporary production. And me, I love it. Yes, it takes Gang of Four and makes them sound like Franz Ferdinand, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Some of those early records were a little thin and brittle, and while that may have been appropriate at the time, the enhanced fullness of sound, the huge and booming bass and drums, makes this sound like a modern-day classic of stunningly powerful indie rock.
The tracklist is a veritable greatest hits -- "To Hell With Poverty," "Damaged Goods," "I Love A Man In Uniform," "At Home He's a Tourist" -- and thus, not surprisingly, it's a song-for-song monster, blowing any contemporaneous guitar-based alt.rock records out of the water. Set aside any loyalty you may have to the original recordings, and anyone stumbling upon this in 2005 as the debut release from a new band would have to admit it's a serious wall-shaking mofo. Gill's steel-clang guitar shards are still there, but more riveting than grating this time around, and finally getting the bone-chilling rhythm section they deserve. The more funk-oriented songs in particular actually make you want to get up and shake, rather than just listen and academically note their funkiness.
Give it a shot.
Here's an "At Home He's A Tourist" rip: