Wednesday, May 23, 2007
An Abortion of an Album
Most people are familiar with Al Jourgensen and Ministry as an industrial/metal fusion band. Fewer people are familiar with their output prior to the famed Halloween single, which made them celebrities in the music industry.
In 1983, Arista released the album With Sympathy, which is the official debut album by the band. According to the cassette liner notes, Ministry was touted as a duo, rather than a band. One pop critic described the recording as "Human League's surly little brother." Jourgensen, however, remembers it with less fondness, referring to it as an "abortion of an album."
At the time of signing contracts with Arista, Jourgensen found himself without any creative control whatsoever. Everything was handed over to other writers and producers, leaving Jourgensen in the uncomfortable position of doing their musical bidding. It wasn't long before he parted ways with Arista after the filming of a music video for Revenge and releasing a single titled Work For Love, which at last sight was being sold in record stores for $80.
Reading online about the band and fans' interactions with them, a story unfurled about how someone attempted to get Jourgensen to autograph a copy of the With Sympathy CD, which Jourgensen instantly smashed to pieces and then promptly paid the fan $15 to pay him back for his loss.
Listen to the LP here.