Dark Side of the Spoon

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Dark Side of the Spoon
Ministry Dark Side Of The Spoon.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 8, 1999 (1999-06-08)
Genre Industrial metal
Label Warner Bros.
Ministry chronology
Filth Pig
Dark Side of the Spoon
Greatest Fits
Singles from Dark Side of the Spoon
  1. "Supermanic Soul"
    Released: 1999
  2. "Bad Blood"
    Released: September 17, 1999

Dark Side of the Spoon is the seventh studio album by American industrial metal band Ministry, released on June 8, 1999 by Warner Bros. Records. "Bad Blood" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2000. [1]



Dark Side of the Spoon features less aggressive songs than Ministry's previous albums, and frontman Al Jourgensen had intended it to be the case. He wanted to branch out from the "drug-infused" records of The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste and Psalm 69 to more "unfamiliar territory."

In his autobiography, Jourgensen confirmed that the title has two meanings: one of which is a play on words referencing Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon and the other is the blackened (or dark side) of a spoon heated to dissolve heroin, as several members of the band suffered from long-term addiction to said substance at the time.

The saxophone part of the song "10/10" is taken from the last 22 seconds of "Group Dancers" on the Charles Mingus album The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady . "Whip and Chain" and "Bad Blood" feature vocals from Ty Coon, Al Jourgensen's girlfriend at the time. [2]

Packaging controversy

The album's cover, which features a nude, obese woman sitting in front of a black board with "I will be god" written repeatedly on it; gained controversy and resulted in the album being pulled from Kmart. [3] [4] Jourgensen originally had the idea of having a child drawing on the blackboard but Barker suggested to have a fat woman instead to evoke the image of 'fattened Americans doing what they're told.' [5]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [6]
Entertainment Weekly C+ [7]
NME 6/10 [8]
Q Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [9]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [10]
Spin 6/10 [11]

AllMusic critic Steve Huey wrote: "While it is a better record than Filth Pig , that's largely because of a few strong moments propping up a number of surprisingly bland attempts at aggression." Huey further stated that the record "can't be considered the successful expansion of their sound that would bode well for the future." [6] Elisabeth Vincentelli of Entertainment Weekly thought that "time may have finally caught up with these thrash-industrial veterans," remarking that the record "doesn’t get that fast or heavy again" after the first track, "Supermanic Soul." [7] Describing the record as "a contrary beast," NME wrote that the record "amounts to an uneven, frequently unfunny knot of confusion" and further stated: "It’s as though Jourgensen‘s swapped his black humour for a black dog that won’t stop howling, however much he beats it." [8]

Reviewing for Rolling Stone , Neva Chonin thought that the record "sinks into the same complacent rut" as Filth Pig, further explaining: "From the stentorian rhythms and predictably ghoulish vocal samples to the bellowed doomsday incantations and chugging wall of guitars, everything here feels like a reflex." [10] Spin critic Mark Lepage wrote that Dark Side of the Spoon does not achieve the standards that the band set on Psalm 69 , "not delivering enough of the medicine." [11]

Track listing

1."Supermanic Soul"Jourgensen, Barker, Svitek, Washam, Hukic3:13
2."Whip and Chain"Jourgensen, Barker, Coon, Svitek4:23
3."Bad Blood"Jourgensen, Barker, Coon, Washam4:59
4."Eureka Pile"Jourgensen, Barker, Svitek, Washam6:22
5."Step"Jourgensen, Barker, Washam4:06
6."Nursing Home"Jourgensen, Barker, Washam7:02
7."Kaif"Jourgensen, Barker, Svitek, Washam5:25
8."Vex & Siolence"Jourgensen, Barker, Svitek, Washam, Hukic5:24
9."10/10"Jourgensen, Barker, Svitek, Washam3:53
68."Everybody (Summertime)" (hidden track) 1:55

Hidden tracks

After the end of track 9, tracks of silence begin. There are 58 silent tracks on the album, totaling 10:26

10."Track 10"2:00
11."Track 11"3:00
12."Track 12"1:10
13."Track 13"0:13
14."Track 14"0:23

Tracks 15 – 67 are all approximately 4 seconds in length.

"Everybody" is track 68 (track 69 on the Japanese edition). Houses of the Molé , another Ministry album, features a hidden track called "Walrus" which is also track 69. According to BMI, track 68 is called "Summertime". Allmusic and the official website of the band refers to this track as "Everybody". ITunes lists this track as "Dialogue".



Additional personnel

Chart positions

Chart (1999)Peak
Billboard 200 [12] 92
German Albums Chart [13] 57
Swedish Albums Chart [14] 51
UK Albums Chart [15] 85

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