An incredible video of Throbbing Gristle: Recording their album ‘Heathen Earth’

throbbing_gristle_heathen_earth
 
An incredible video of Throbbing Gristle recording their album Heathen Earth in one take, on a Saturday night between 20.10 and 21.00 hours, on February 16th 1980. The album was recorded in front of a small audience of friends and associates, at the Industrial Records studios, and was filmed by Monte Cazazza on a single camera, with “certain visual information” included by TG.

“The soundtrack of this tape was taken independant of the 8-track audio master recording and it remains ‘live’ and unremixed and consequently differs from the album in some places. Like the TG sound itself, the quality and content of this recording cannot and should not be compared with conventional commercial recordings…”

Tracklisting: as provided by Genesis P-Orridge:

01. “Cornets” (that’s all we ever called it on gig sheets etc, boring hey!)

02. “The Old Man Smiled” (this is a song I wrote. Originally I was messing about on my own in the Death Factory, at Martello St. I got a rhythm I liked on my COMPURYTHM drumachine. Then a fuzzed lead bass guitar sound. So I recorded it. Maybe 15 minutes or so. One section made it onto 20 Jazz Funk Greats as “Six Six Sixties” I believe. But I always wanted a longer version. So after I came up with a story telling lyric primarily about William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin in Tangiers and their stories of Captain Clark, boys etc I decided to do the NEW song on Heathen Earth. We did it live a couple of times too. At Oundle School for eg.) For Heathen Earth we used my original cassette as the basic track.

03. “After Cease To Exist” (yes, a new version for Heathen Earth)

04. “The World Is A War Film”

05. “Dreamachine” (Brion Gysin LOVED this track. Said it was best music, equal with The Master Musicians Of Jajouka to use his dreamachine. The rhythm had already existed (one of Chris Carter’s gems). So I always think happy thoughts of Brion, Bachir Attar and others listening with eyes closed in Paris at his apartment opposite the Beaubourg Museum in Rue St Martin. Ah, happy daze.)

06. “Still Walking” (A permutation of ‘meaningless’ phrases cooked up by myself and Sleazy, that were repeated over and over as the musics rythm gave shape to the shapeless. Chris and Cosey were shy of vocals at that time. It was partly a formula to get them to begin using their voices that I suggested based on Gysin’s theories and my own experiences of gaining confidence with microphones simply by using them.)

07. “Don’t Do As You’re Told, Do As You Think” (To be honest I think this is the weakest vocal track and lyric. Someone, a journalist or Sleazy or both suggested we should have a “positive” message! Ugh! Certainly Sleazy persuaded me to try and this is the resultant track. I still find it embarassing and wish I’d never listened to him. It would have been better as an instrumental. Ah well…)

08. “Painless Childbirth” (Named after a 10 inch vinyl album I found in a junk shop from which the voice was stolen.)

A great video of a brilliant performance by an excellent band.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher

 

 

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