30 years ago the Revolting Cocks were brought into the world ...
The band was Revolting Cocks, and the music project was a dripping, oozing creation from the talented musician and producer Al Jourgensen and his now legendary line up of half-crazed band mates Paul Barker, Chris Connelly, Richard 23 and Luc Van Acker, each leaders of their own bands on the WaxTrax! record label. The debut album was filled with dark, brooding drums, long drawn out bass lines, evil synths and the ominous vocal duties covered by Al Jourgensen, Richard23 and Luc Van Acker. Each song on the album brings out dark thoughts of post apocalyptic 21st century madness or world-ending salvation, and tingles the mind set that chaos is here to stay. The song 38 recounts a 1985 riot in Belgium where hundreds of fans attending a soccer match between Italy and England were attacked, beaten, trampled and had a wall collapse on top of them which killed 38 people. Union Carbide is a two-part song that sheds light on a very sad and tragic industrial accident in Bhopal, India where toxic gasses leaked into the populus, killing thousands and permanently injuring tens of thousands others. No one was ready for the crushing beats of the Revolting Cocks back in 1986 and from listeninig to this album now in 2016, 30 years later still brings shivers down my spine. Do yourself a favour and dig out your copy, or jump onto Spotify right now and listen to Big Sexy Land!
30 years ago on New Year's Eve was a night I'll never forget.
In November 1986, the album Big Sexy Land was released on WaxTrax! records and one month later I was standing in line on a frigid -20 below zero outside a Chicago teen dance club called Medusa's waiting to get in and see Ministry and Revolting Cocks live for the first time.
The night of new years eve 1986 was the most intense and wildest concert experience of my entire life, as witnessed from the middle left side of the dance floor near the gigantic speakers that rattled and shaked the room to its core. I was being tossed around the mosh pit as Al Jourgensen led up a Ministry set, playing his early WaxTrax! singles and tracks from his Twitch record, which had also been just released in July of 1986. The Revolting Cocks set was wild and drove the audience into a frenzy led by Luc Van Acker's anthem song Attack Ships on Fire - "Someone Somewhere Wake Me Up!". The Ministry / Revolting Cocks show ended with an encore of 2 Ministry songs from Twitch - Over the Shoulder and We Believe. You can actually listen to a bootleg recording of this show on YouTube (thanks to The Industrial Retrospective for posting).
Over the next year, I went to at least 4 other Ministry or Revolting Cocks concerts including the infamous "You Goddamned Son of a Bitch" concert at Cabaret Metro (that was later released as a double live album and live home video) and yet another new year's eve gig at Medusa's. Intoxicating nights of dancing in the video room at Medusa's became a weekly ritual. Intoxicating in the sense that the incredible 80s industrial dance music scene was goddamn amazing.
Cold Waves V
Fast Forward to the present day, September 2016 and back in Chicago the annual Cold Waves industrial music festival is back for its fifth year. Performances include the original lineup of the Revolting Cocks (minus Al Jourgensen), Meat Beat Manifesto and an amazing rare performance from industrial music pioneers Clock DVA. The Cocks live performed the Big Sexy Land in its entirety, celebrating the 30th year anniversary of it's release on WaxTrax! records. This proves the fans are still out there, the music is still recognized as ahead of it's time, and that this album holds it's own 30 years after it came out.
In my vinyl collection, I have quite a bit of RevCo as would any die hard fan, so for this blog posting I thought I'd share my beloved cassette tape collection. I picked these up years back at the Chicago WaxTrax! record store in Wicker Park in the early 90's for pretty cheap as I remember, but am so glad I've kept them around. I don't have a large cassette tape collection anymore, so it is extra special that these were hidden away in a closet for several years. Thank you very much Alain Jourgensen, Paul Barker, Richard 23, Luc Van Acker, William Reiflin, Jeff Ward, Phildo Owen, Nivek Ogre, William Tucker, Mike Scaccia and so many others who brought the spirit of the Revolting Cocks alive in these original releases.