We use cookies to customize content and advertising, to provide social media features, and to analyze traffic to our site. We also share information about your use of our site with our trusted social media, advertising and analytics partners. Read more.


    Become fan 7 Rate 1 Like & Share
    Rank: history »
    3.0/5 from 1 users

    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Yellow Cake lyrics
    2The Great Satan lyrics
    3Mr. Lucky lyrics
    4World lyrics
    5Golden Dawn lyrics
    6Roadhouse Blues lyrics
    7The Fall lyrics
    8Git Up Get Out 'n Vote lyrics
    9Ghouldiggers lyrics
    10Game Show lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste [1989]
    2Twelve Inch Singles EP [1985]
    3Filth Pig [1996]
    4Twitch [1986]
    5With Sympathy [1983]
    6The Land of Rape and Honey [1988]
    7From Beer To Eternity
    8Live: In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up [1990]
    9Cover Up [1990]
    10Psalm 69: ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ [1992]


    Ministry was an American industrial metal band founded by frontman Al Jourgensen in 1981. Originally a synthpop outfit, Ministry changed its style to industrial metal in the late 1980s. Ministry found mainstream success in the early 1990s with its most successful album Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (1992) and touring as part of the Lollapalooza festival. After 27 years of performing, Al Jourgensen decided to retire the band as of 2008.

    Early years and With Sympathy (1981–1984)

    Al Jourgensen began Ministry in Chicago, Illinois in 1981. His first band prior to Ministry was Special Affect with Groovie Mann (of My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult), drummer Harry Rushakoff (Concrete Blonde) and bassist Marty Sorenson. After that was the short-lived Silly Charmichaels[1], with Ben Krug[2], Tom Krug and Tom Wall (all of The Imports). The original line-up of Ministry consisted mainly of Jourgensen (vocals and keyboards) and Stephen George (drums), and Ministry's original sound was essentially New Wave synth-pop that was more melodic than the aggressive music for which Jourgensen would become known. In the incarnation of Jourgensen/George, Ministry created four 12" singles on Wax Trax! Records through 1984 (anthologized on Twelve Inch Singles that featured the club favorite "Everyday is Halloween"). Their first LP, With Sympathy, was issued on Arista Records in 1983, and sold slowly but hit the upper 90's in the Billboard Top 100. The music in With Sympathy, and the various singles that Arista issued in association with it, was melodic pop. Jourgensen has always expressed disappointment with Ministry's music during those early years, reportedly referring to With Sympathy as an "abortion of an album." According to him, after signing the record contract, all artistic control of Ministry was "handed" over to other writers and producers. [1] Some of his preferred recordings from that era were collected into the CD Early Trax (Rykodisc Records, 2004).

    Twitch (1985–1986)

    By the mid-1980s, Jourgensen parted ways with George and the record-company. Signing to Sire, Jourgensen performed mostly solo for Ministry's next LP, Twitch (1986), which sold well, but was still considered to be "underground". The music was danceable electronic music, but wasn't pop music, and the sound was harsher and more aggressive than what Ministry had recorded before. According to Jourgensen, "Twitch was stuff that I was doing before With Sympathy came out. Some of that stuff was already four or five years old, but the record company didn't want to use it, so...." [3] Much of the new sound was created with the use of digital sampling and the input of producer Adrian Sherwood.

    The Land of Rape and Honey (1987–1988)

    After Twitch, Jourgensen made the most significant change in Ministry's history when he became re-enchanted with the instrument he had taken up years earlier: the electric guitar. Jourgensen also brought bass guitarist Paul Barker of the Seattle band the Blackouts into the Ministry camp; Barker would remain Jourgensen's bandmate for many years when he was the only person credited as a member of the band other than Jourgensen. With the addition of The Blackouts drummer William Rieflin, Ministry recorded The Land of Rape and Honey (1988). The LP continued their success in the underground music scene and is now considered a classic and one of the most important albums in the subgenre of industrial metal. The Land of Rape and Honey is an excellent example of Ministry's sound, making use of synthesizers, keyboards, tape loops, jackhammering drum machines, dialogue excerpted from movies, unconventional electronic processing, and, in parts, heavy distorted electric guitar and bass. The album was supported by a tour in 1988 and the singles and music videos for "Stigmata", "Flashback", and "The Land of Rape and Honey". Stigmata was also used in a key scene in Richard Stanley's 1990 film Hardware, although the images of the band shown performing was Gwar.

    The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste (1989–1991)

    The follow-up, The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste was supported by the "RollerBall" tour through 1990. Due to the complex nature of the album's drumming, a second drummer, Martin Atkins, was used. This tour was documented on In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up. Three singles were released from the album, "Burning Inside" (for which a video was made), "Thieves" and "So What" (a composition inspired by the movie The Violent Years).

    Throughout the late 1980s Jourgensen and Barker expanded their ideas beyond Ministry into a seemingly endless parade of side projects and collaborations. Many of these bore Ministry's signature sound and the duo's "Hypo Luxa/Hermes Pan" production imprint. (These side-projects were also responsible for the delayed release of Ministry's next album.) Foremost of these was Ministry's alter ego, the Revolting Cocks. "RevCo", as it is often referred to, was essentially the same band plus Belgian vocalist Luc Van Acker & Richard 23 of Front 242. Jourgensen and Barker also formed Lard with Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra, Acid Horse with Cabaret Voltaire, 1000 Homo DJs with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, PTP with Chris Connelly and Pailhead with Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi. Barker released his own material as Lead Into Gold and Jourgensen produced and played electric guitar on Skinny Puppy's Rabies LP. Atkins and Rieflin also formed the band Pigface, which featured Barker on several tracks, as well. The smaller of these projects were later collected on the CD Side Trax (Rykodisc Records, 2004), and the RevCo discography was remastered and reissued.

    Psalm 69 (1991–1994)

    Ministry broke into the mainstream in 1991 with "Jesus Built My Hotrod" (co-authored by Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers and Michael Balch of Frontline Assembly affiliation). The music video was a hit on MTV, and the band scored second billing on the Lollapalooza tour and managed, by some accounts, to steal the show. As the single would have indicated, the sound of the following LP, Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (1992), was the most metal-oriented Ministry had put to record at that point, the focal point of the sound shifting almost entirely from synths to Jourgensen's and new members Mike Scaccia's and Louis Svitek's electric guitars. ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ, which is printed on the record, is Greek for "head" or "leader". The title was borrowed from Aleister Crowley's work: The Book of Lies (Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs). Psalm 69 became Ministry's biggest hit, including in addition to "Jesus Built My Hotrod" the singles "N.W.O." (a protest of the Persian Gulf War and attack directed at then-President George H.W. Bush) and "Just One Fix" (a collaboration with poet/novelist William S. Burroughs).

    Filth Pig (1995–1997)

    In spite of their growing success, Ministry was nearly derailed by a series of arrests and drug problems[citation needed]. The band didn't issue their next album, Filth Pig, until 1996. For Filth Pig, Ministry stripped all synthesizers and most samples from their style and made the music almost entirely with ultra-noisy guitars, heavy bass, and real drums. The songs were played mostly at slower tempos than the very fast ones that were used for the compositions on their previous three LPs, giving it an almost doom metal feel. Filth Pig was supported with the singles/videos "Reload", "The Fall", "Lay Lady Lay" (an unusual and unexpected cover of Bob Dylan's old country-tinged hit) and "Brick Windows" and with a tour in 1996 (the live performances were later anthologized on the Sphinctour album and DVD in 2002), which was unenthusiastically received[citation needed]. He commented in RIP Magazine saying that record companies are "enablers", because they won't pay him in crack, they make him go buy it on the street[citation needed]. The album has been considered by Jourgensen to be his response to fan expectations of where Ministry's sound was heading, and it's also been speculated that it was an attempt to move away from the "industrial" label of the band's music. In 1995 Ministry was one of the headline acts for Australia and New Zealand's Big Day Out touring festival but failed to play any songs from the album Filth Pig.

    Dark Side of the Spoon (1998–2000)

    The members of Ministry experienced greater devastation when former guitarist William Tucker committed suicide in 1999 by cutting his own throat. Ministry then recorded their final studio album for Warner Bros. Records, entitled Dark Side of the Spoon (1999), which they dedicated to Tucker. For Dark Side of the Spoon, Ministry tried to diversify their sound by adding some melodic and synthetic touches, similar to the Jourgensen/George sound, to their usual electro-metal sound, but the album wasn't well received. However, the single "Bad Blood" appeared on the soundtrack album of The Matrix and was nominated for a 2000 Grammy award. The band would record another song, "What About Us?" for the Steven Spielberg film AI: Artificial Intelligence and make a cameo appearance in the film.

    In the summer of 2000, Ministry was invited to that year's Ozzfest. They would fill in the co-headliner position left vacant by a failed-reuniting of the original Judas Priest. Ministry was later dropped from the bill after a management changeover, although Al's drug habits may have actually played the culprit in this. They were replaced by Lamb Of God.

    Hiatus and Animositisomina (2001–2003)

    Parting with their longtime record imprint, Warner Bros. Records issued the collection Greatest Fits in 2001. During 2000-2002, record-company (Warner Bros. Records) disputes resulted in the planned albums Live Psalm 69, Sphinctour and ClittourUS on Ipecac Recordings being cancelled (although its contents had been compiled), resulting instead in Sphinctour appearing on Sanctuary Records.

    Around 2001, Jourgensen almost lost his arm when he was bitten by a venomous spider.[2] According to Jourgensen, the realization that he could've lost his livelihood caused him to kick his heroin addiction and focus on music once again. Jourgensen and Barker focused on developing songs for a new record during 2001 and 2002, with the band issuing Animositisomina on Sanctuary Records in 2003. The sound was strongly heavy metal laden with voice effects, and matched the ferocity (if not upped the ante, with the song "Animosity") of Psalm 69 (though it featured an almost-pop cover of Magazine's "The Light Pours Out Of Me"). Animositisomina did poorly in terms of sales and singles for "Animosity" and "Piss" were cancelled before they could be released.

    Barker left the Ministry camp in 2003 due to dissatisfaction with the direction of his life. He stated that the trigger was his father dying while the band was wrapping up a summer tour in Europe, and also stated in early 2004 that his family life was his main focus at that particular time. Jourgensen continued Ministry with Scaccia and a roundtable of fellow musicians.

    Houses of the Molé and Rio Grande Blood (2004–2006)

    For Ministry's next album, Jourgensen released a song entitled "No 'W'", an attack on US President George W. Bush; an alternate version of the track was placed on the multi-performer compilation Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1. The follow-up LP, Houses of the Molé (2004), contained the most explicitly political lyrics Jourgensen had yet written, with songs in Ministry's classic Industrial electro-metallic sound played messier, more crudely and more freely than ever before, giving the album the most metal-oriented sound of their career. In 2006 the band released Rio Grande Blood, an LP on Jourgensen's own 13th Planet Records. The album featured an even heavier thrash metal sound drawing comparison to Slayer and was met with Ministry's biggest success in years. The single "Lieslieslies" was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance at the 49th annual Grammy Awards.

    The Last Sucker and Cover Up (2007–2008)

    Jourgensen has expressed on multiple occasions an intent to disassemble the project after concluding the "MasturbaTour", and at least one final "C-U-LaTour". Ministry's "final"[4] album, The Last Sucker, was released on September 18th 2007. In July 2007, the band released Rio Grande Dub, an album featuring remixes from the band's 2006 Rio Grande Blood album.

    On June 4, 2007, Al Jourgensen filed a Tortious Interference lawsuit against ex-bassist Paul Barker and Spurburn Music in Los Angeles Superior Court.[5] (case #SC094122). The case was dismissed on October 24, 2008.

    Paul Raven died on 20 October 2007[6]. He suffered an apparent heart attack just after arriving in Europe to commence recording for the French industrial band Treponem Pal near the Swiss border.

    Al Jourgensen remixed and co-produced Spyder Baby's "Bitter" which was released by Blind Prophecy Records in early 2008.

    A song titled "Keys to the City", the theme song for the Chicago Blackhawks was released on March 5, 2008. In addition to this, a covers album titled Cover Up was released on April 1, 2008. Both releases are credited to Ministry and Co-Conspirators, since they feature collaborations between Al Jourgensen and other musicians.

    Ministry's farewell tour, the "C-U-LaTour", started its North American leg on March 26, 2008 with Meshuggah performing as special guests and Hemlock as an opening act. They played their final North American show in Chicago on 12 May 2008[7]. The final date on their farewell tour was at the Tripod in Dublin, Ireland on 18 July 2008. During the performance, Jourgensen repeatedly reaffirmed that it would indeed be the last ever Ministry show. Due to a large demand for tickets, an extra gig was added at the Tripod on 19 July 2008. The band again played to a full house. It was clear that the band were not expecting so much support, as the merchandise stall was sold out before the gig even got under way. Ministry's final song at this show (and ostensibly their last ever live performance) was a rendition of their cover version of "What a Wonderful World". [8]

    Jourgensen plans to release a live CD and DVD (both called Adios... Puta Madres), featuring material that's been culled from Ministry's final tour[9] . A documentary film with the band on tour, tentativley called Fuchi Requiem, is also planned for release sometime in 2009[10].

    Pictures (1)


    Fans (7)


    Similar Artists

    no artists

    More artists

    • popular on LSI
    • new on LSI


    Facebook (0) LetsSingIt (12)