By: David Schock Vice -President, A&R, Show Promoter and Dj at WTII Records
Here is part one of the 101 Greatest Industrial Songs of All Time featuring songs 101 through 81.
For information of the project and scoring, visit David’s article here.
101 – KLF – What Time is Love (688/13/87) – Originally released in July 1988 and then reworked and remixed as “What Time Is Love? (Live at Trancentral)” Â in 1990 and “America: What Time Is Love?” Â in 1991 it eventually reached #5 on the US Billboard Singles Chart.
So letâ€™s put this in some context for the younger readers out there. Â This song was released and, along with Justified and Ancient, went on to be HUGE chart success and HUGE MTV video success and guess who released these marvelous little dance numbers? Â Wax Trax! Records, yep little old Wax Trax! From Chicago who went on to release seminol records from the likes of KMFDM, COIL, Meat Beat Manifesto, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Sister Machine Gun and so many others scored to HUGE hits with the KLF and thus why they deservingly belong on this list and their place in history is solidified. – Gabe Wilkinson – Microwaved/COMA Music Magazine Contributor
100 – Coil – The Anal Staircase (689/8/100) – The second “official” single from Coil, it was also the first time Stephen Thrower worked as a part of Coil along with JohnÂ Balance and Peter Christopherson. A reworked version of the track appeared on the album Horse RotorvatorÂ along with the B-Sides “Blood From the Air” and “Ravenous”
99 – Die Krupps – The Machineries of Joy (695/12/86) – Sometimes credited as Nizter Ebb and Die Krupps, this track came about during the two bands collaborations on the re-release of “Wahrer Lohn/Wahre Arbeit”. Â Accompanied by a video, also crededited as being Nizter Ebb/Die Krupps, this track was probably the German EBM Group’s last hit before the transition to a more industrial metal type sound with 1992’s release of the album I.
98 – This Morn’ Omina – One Eyed Man (699/16/100) – The second track on their 7 Years Of Famine album, the Belgium-based rhythmic noise/technoid project was founded in 1996 by Mika Goedrijk. Â Besides being one of the originators of what some call tribal-industrial This Morn’ Omina was also refused entry into the United States back in 2004 as they were considered a “Security Risk”. Â We can only think the government feared their infectious oontz would actually trigger actual thought in the sheeple of the USA.
97 – Scraping Foetus off the Wheel – I’ll Meet you in Poland Baby (709/13/94) – J. G. Thirlwell isÂ well known for going beyond categorization, by juxtaposing a variety of different styles. “I’ll Meet you in Poland Baby” appeared on the 1985 album Hole. While never really “making it” into the main stream of industrial, Thirlwell’s influence can be heard in almost every industrial artist’s work whether they know it or not.
Foetus, JG Thirwell â€“ What ever you want to call him, itâ€™s nearly impossible to talk about industrial music and the avant garde with out talking about Jim Thirwell. He has done it all. From creating some of the most intense and challenging music under several Foetus monikers to working with the likes of Richard Kern, Nick Zedd, Thurston Moore and Lydia Lunch doing performance art. Thirwell has pushed boundaries, pushed concepts and created sounds that would make Hades afraid to face him. Not only that but he has made a career of being underground yet being sought out by some of the biggest names in music for his remixing and production skills. Jim is an amazing man and his music often transcends the genre completely. And to think, this guy who shot a hot load of semen all over Lydia Lunch on camera now scores the music for The Venture Bros. Will wonders never cease? – Gabe Wilkinson – Microwaved/COMA Music Magazine Contributor
96 – Die Warzau – Allgoodgirls (709/15/90) – Formed in 1995 by Jim Marcus and Van Christie, Die Warzau output could not be termed prolific. Â “Allgoodgirls” was released in 1995 right before the band took a nine year hiatus at the point when they were arguably getting ready to break out.
I remembering seeing Die Warzau perform in Baltimore back in the early 1990s. Â I hadn’t really listened to them before, having attended the show to see the headliner,Â Scraping Foetus off the Wheel. Â The venue was small and the crowd almost non-existent; but that didn’t stop them from killing it. Â More importantly, I was able to talk with Jim after the show for a few hours. Â Jim must have seen how young and stupid I was and, without seeming to preach, offered some excellent advice that I still hold onto this day. Â I realize this has nothing to do with the song or music, but I think it shows that awesome people make awesome music. Â – William Dashiell Hammett Senior Editor COMA Music Magazine
95 – KMFDM – Anarchy (715/12/94) – Released during the peak of KMFDM’s popularity and co-written by Tim Skold, “Anarchy” was the second single from the band’s tenth album which we are all forced to refer to as SymbolsÂ since its actual title isÂ unpronounceable. Â A fantastic Dark Techno song and definitely worth a listen. After all, you learn by listening.
The very first collaboration with Tim Skold, it was recorded in the spring of ’97 and the mixes were stored on a Jaz drive which turned out to be faulty and as a result, all was subsequently lost. The re-done version which finally Â made it on the !@#$% (symbols) album sounded way better that the first draft, I thought. -Â Sascha Konietzko (KÃ¤pt’n K) – KMFDM
94 – The Young Gods – Envoye (719/10/94) – Appearing on the eponymous debut album from the Swiss industrial group, this song was the first single and one of the reasons their debut was considered one of the albums of the year in 1987. When David Bowie considers you one of his influences, nothing we can say can make their impact any more significant.
93 – VNV Nation – Standing (725/13/97) – Appearing on, and the single from, the group’s 2000 EP Burning Empires. Â While now available on iTunes, Amazon and other MP3 sites, the originalÂ was a limited edition release of 4,700 copies and used copies sell for upwards of $100.
Orchestral synths set the platform for Ronan Harrisâ€™s rough, poignant vocals. There is an aura of desperation about the soaring keys and marching drumbeats to accompany the lyrics that celebrate the shortness and profoundness of life. This is an undeniable Futurepop anthem. – Zander Buel COMA Music Magazine Contributor
92 – Throbbing Gristle – Hamburger Lady(731/12/99) – Appearing on their second album D.o.A: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle, this track actually lead off the second side of the L.P.. That’s right, this track was originally released in 1978, four years before the first CD-player was released by Sony when track order was even more important than it is today. Additionally, Throbbing Gristle are often considered the founders of the genre. Â Not only did they set the precedent of what would become industrial music they also established the shock that comes along with the music. Â If you don’t know who they are, you should just go out, pick up a copy of 20 Jazz Greats right now and become a hipster.
91 – C-tec – Let Your Body Die (733/13/99) – Founded in 1995 as The Cyber-Tec Project (named for the label that released their debut EP in what can only be assumed as a lack of imagination at the time) the group consisted of Jean-Luc De Meyer of Front 242, Ged Denton of Crisis NTI and Jonathan Sharp of New Mind. With four or five different remixes depending on the version of the album, this track helped contribute to the decision of the band to continue with what had originally been conceived as a one-off project.
“Heretic’s Fork” marked a period of change for Spahn Ranch. We were transitioning away from being a hard, distorted industrial band to more of a sophisticated, dark electronics based sound. It was 1995, we had already released an album, an EP and completed our first couple of tours. “Heretic’s Fork,” was part of our album entitled The Coiled One, our last release with Rob Morton who left the band shortly after. While Matt Green did most of the production work on this song, the song was written by Matt, Rob and I wrote the lyrics and naturally sang. Also we had a fine engineer named Judson Leach who is also credited. Either way, I was personally going through a difficult time. I had arrived in LA in ’92 and as much as I loved it, it seems I was always down to my last dollar during this time and going through relationship drama. I was losing my mind a little at the time, having these visions of medieval torture devices. Hence, the title of the song originates from that. One funny thing I recall being a constant in the eight or nine years of Spahn Ranch: once we released The Coiled One, most people claimed they preferred our previous album. When we released Architecture, people said they preferred The Coiled One and so on; this annoyingly followed us through five albums. In closing, it is an honour to be included on this greatest songs list. It is comforting to know our work has meaning to others. – Athan Maroulis Spahn Ranch/Black Tape for a Blue Girl
89 – Nine Inch Nails – Heresy (750/13/92) – Not much we can really say about Nine Inch Nails that most people don’t already know. Â Probably one of the biggest name in Industrial Music, “Heresy” was the third track on the concept heavy album The Downward Spiral. Â The Nihilist chorus of: “Your god is dead/And no one cares/If there is a hell/I’ll see you there” pretty much sums of the Nietzschean concept and prominent theme of existentialism of the release.
One of the best written and crafted NIN songs. I have had several great conversations regarding this song. If you are going to questionÂ your faith then this is the way to do it! – Mary Bauer COMA Music Magazine Contributor
88 – Covenant – Stalker (756/14/95) – Released as a single in December 1996, “Stalker” appeared on the Swedish electronic band’s second full length album Sequencer. Â The album wasn’t released in the US until 1997, the same year the group’s 1994 debut album Dreams of a CryotankÂ was finally available in the US.
87 – Die Warzau – Land of the Free (769/12/99) – The final track on the 1989 debut album Disco Rigido, a remixed “Red Metal Mix” appeared on the 2008 release Vinyl88 â€“ Not the Best of Die Warzau
86 – :Wumpscut: – Wreath of Barbs (770/11/92) – The title track fromÂ Rudy Ratzinger’s 2001 :wumpscut: release, the album received mixed reviews.
85 – Front Line Assembly – Iceolate (778/11/99) – Appearing on the Caustic Grip album, “Iceolate” was the third single from Front Line Assembly, but their first from Wax Trax. It was also theÂ Melody Maker ‘Single Of The Month’!
“Iceolate” was our first real official FLA release. Freshly signed to Wax Trax. Our first real record budget. Our first time we mixed on an SSL board with Greg Reely. Our first official video. Wax Trax flew me to Chicago to film it there with a company called H-Gun whom were simultaneously filming and editing Trent Reznorâ€™s â€œHead Like a Holeâ€ video on the other side of the room (guess who got more famous ha ha). Icolate was actually picked by the British Melody Maker as single of the week and the Studd brothers interviewed us in London about that single and album. Ah yes, those were the days indeed. â€“ Bill Leeb Front Line Assembly
84 – Nitzer Ebb – Lightning Man (780/13/95) – Featured on the English EBMÂ pioneer’sÂ third album Showtime, “Lighting Man” was released as a single on Â February 5, 1990 and reached # 14 on the US Dance charts.
83 – Coil – The Snow (785/11/98) – The second single from their 1991 critically acclaimed album Love’s Secret Domain released as a 12″ vinyl, cassette and CD EP in 1991. A music video of “The Snow (Answers Come in Dreams II)” was directed by Peter Christopherson.
So many drugs back in those years and Coil was upping the situation and making my feet tap. I was already staring at the video for â€œWindowpaneâ€ till â€œThe Snowâ€ upped the game. – DeVico, COMA Music Magazine Contributor
82 – Meat Beat Manifesto – Helter Skelter (792/12/94)
81 – Meat Beat Manifesto – Psyche-Out (793/11/95) – Â “Helter Skelter” and “Psyche-out” both appeared on the 1990 MBM album 99%Â and follow-up to Armed Audio Warfare. Â “Helter Skelter” was remixed and re-released as a non-album single in 1997