A Certain Ratio are an English post-punk band formed in 1977 in Wythenshawe, Manchester. While originally part of the punk rock movement, they soon added funk and dance elements to their sound. Their name is taken from the lyrics of Brian Eno's song 'The True Wheel' from the 1974 album 'Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)'. The group's longest-serving original members are Martin Moscrop (born 24 September 1960) (guitar, trumpet) and Jez Kerr (bass, vocals). Another current member, Donald Johnson (drums, vocals, bass), joined after the first drummerless single.

A Certain Ratio's first recording contract was with Factory Records in 1979. They released 'The Graveyard and the Ballroom' only on cassette in 1980. Another experimental album, 'To Each...', released in 1981, was the band's official debut LP. With growing popularity and success, the band signed with A&M Records in 1987, and 'Good Together' was released in 1989. The album failed to produce a hit, leading to the band's departure from the label. In the early 1990s, they signed with Robs Records, owned by New Order manager Rob Gretton.

A Certain Ratio were managed by Tony Wilson. They are featured in the film '24 Hour Party People' where Wilson (played by Steve Coogan) describes them as "having all the energy of Joy Division but better clothes." Martin Moscrop was Musical Supervisor of '24 Hour Party People'.

(Read more at Wikipedia.)

Links to Peel

A Certain Ratio- Shack Up

A Certain Ratio- Shack Up

Peel gave regular airtime to A Certain Ratio during the 1980s, particularly early in the decade, after acquiring their debut single, 'All Night Party', on a trip to Manchester for a TV interview in May 1979.[1] The release (FAC-5) was the first single put out by the city's Factory label, which was headed by TV presenter Tony Wilson and subsequently became home to many other Peel sessions bands. ACR recorded three sessions for Peel, all in the period 1979-82. The DJ also played the band's one-off 1981 dub release under the name Sir Horatio.

A Certain Ratio were influential with others on Peel's playlists as one the first to add elements from dance music to post-punk indie. In September 2014, Bella Union label head and former Cocteau Twins bassist Simon Raymonde included the band's 2x12” release 'The Double' (1981) in his selection of 1980s favourites from Peel's Record Collection for the Record Box series.[2] In the accompanying video, he commented:

“The sound is so big and crispy, the bass is so deep. It's a sound that we hadn't really heard before … it's like dance music but not.”[3]

Festive Fifty Entries

  • None


Three sessions. Official releases:
- 'Do The Du' from #1 on Various Artists: Manchester- So Much to Answer For CD, 1990 (Strange Fruit, SFRCD 202)
- All of #1 and 'Skipscada' from #2 on Early 2xCD, 2002 (Soul Jazz SJR CD60)
- 'Do The Du' from #1 and 'Skipscada' from #2 on Do The Du 7", 2002 (Soul Jazz SJR 060-07}
- All of #1 and 'Skipscada' from #2 on B-Sides, Rarities And Sessions 2x10", 2002 (Soul Jazz SJR 065-10)
- All of #2 and #3 on Sextet 2xCD expanded reisssue, 2014 (Factory Benelux FBN CD)

- 'Piu Lento' from #3 on ACR:BOX, 40th anniversary boxset, 2019 (Mute ACRBOX1CD).

1. Recorded 1979-10-01. First broadcast 17 October 1979.

  • Do The Du (Casse) / All Night Party / Flight / The Choir

2. Recorded 1981-06-29. First broadcast 02 July 1981. Repeated 05 August 1981.

  • Knife Slits Water / Day One / Skipscada

3. Recorded: 1982-11-20. First broadcast 01 December 1982. Repeated 05 January 1983.

  • Who's To Say? / Piu Lento / Touch


  1. Intro by John Peel / And Then Again
  2. Crippled Child
  3. The Choir
  4. The Fox
  5. Flight
  6. John Peel thank you and farewell

Other Shows Played

  • 30 May 1979: All Night Party (7") Factory (Peel had been in Manchester during the day to be interviewed for a regional television programme and picked up a copy of the 7" by A Certain Ratio. Peel observes that the single "has no information at all on the label, just a picture of a chap who looks like Paul Gambaccini lying on the floor. Not that I've ever seen Paul Gambaccini lying on a floor, but you take my meaning.")
  • 05 June 1979: All Night Party (7") Factory
  • 09 June 1979 (BFBS): All Night Party (7") Factory
  • 18 July 1979: All Night Party (single) Factory
  • 12 September 1979: All Night Party (7”) Factory (JP played the wrong side of an earlier track, which messes up the show timings, and had been going to drop the A Certain Ratio song, but it was reprieved by “my inability to read a watch.")

See Also

External Links

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