Jesus Built My Hotrod

Last updated
"Jesus Built My Hotrod"
Jesus Built My Hotrod.jpg
Single by Ministry
from the album Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs
B-side "TV Song"
ReleasedNovember 7, 1991
Format
Recorded1991
Studio Chicago Trax! Studios (Chicago, IL)
Genre
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Hypo Luxa
  • Hermes Pan
Ministry singles chronology
"So What"
(1990)
"Jesus Built My Hotrod"
(1991)
"N.W.O."
(1992)
Music video
“Jesus Built My Hotrod” on YouTube

"Jesus Built My Hotrod" is a song by American industrial metal band Ministry, released as the first single from their fifth studio album, Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs . It was written by the band's frontman Al Jourgensen, bassist Paul Barker, drummer Bill Rieflin, session keyboardist Michael Balch, and the Butthole Surfers lead singer Gibby Haynes, and was co-produced by Jourgensen and Barker. An industrial metal track, it features elements of rockabilly and psychobilly, and is influenced by the Trashmen 1963 hit "Surfin' Bird", and Flannery O'Connor's novel Wise Blood ; the song's instrumentation is defined by its polyrhythmic structure.

Industrial metal is the fusion of heavy metal music and industrial music, typically employing repeating metal guitar riffs, sampling, synthesizer or sequencer lines, and distorted vocals. Prominent industrial metal acts include Ministry, Godflesh, KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails.

Ministry (band) American industrial metal band

Ministry is an American rock band founded in 1981 by Al Jourgensen in Chicago, Illinois. Originally a synth-pop outfit, Ministry's sound changed as they became one of the pioneers of industrial metal in the late 1980s. The band's lineup has frequently changed throughout its history, with the exception of Jourgensen who is the band's main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. Notable musicians who have contributed to the band's studio or live activities include Paul Barker, Martin Atkins, Bill Rieflin, Chris Connelly, Nivek Ogre, Mike Scaccia, Rey Washam, Paul Raven, Tommy Victor, Roy Mayorga, John Bechdel, Jason Christopher, Tony Campos, Burton C. Bell and DJ Swamp.

<i>Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs</i> album by Ministry

ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ is the fifth studio album by American industrial metal band Ministry, released on July 14, 1992 by Sire Records. It was produced by the band's official members, frontman Al Jourgensen and bassist Paul Barker, and was recorded from March 1991 to May 1992 in Chicago and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The album's title, initially intended to be The Tapes of Wrath, ended up being derived from Alister Crowley's The Book of Lies.

Contents

The song was first released as a single in November 1991, backed with the B-side "TV Song" based on lyrics by Chris Connelly; re-edited versions of both tracks were included in Psalm 69, as well as various compilation albums. The single reached No. 19 in the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart with approximately 128,000 copies as of mid-July 1992, preceding the later success of Psalm 69.

Chris Connelly (musician) Musician, songwriter, author

Chris Connelly is a Scottish musician and author who became famous for his industrial music work of the late 1980s and early 1990s, particularly his involvement with the Revolting Cocks and Ministry. He has since established himself as an alternative singer-songwriter, and continues to release solo albums.

<i>Billboard</i> (magazine) American music magazine

Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

Background

Stories regarding the song's recording, given in various accounts over the years, [lower-alpha 1] hold that the first Lollapalooza tour, with Butthole Surfers featured in its lineup, came in Chicago to perform in Summer 1991. After the Surfers’ performance, lead singer Gibby Haynes had visited the Chicago Trax! studios. There, Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen asked Haynes if he could record vocals for the song, then only featuring guitar and drum parts with no vocals, mainly due to its beat structure. [lower-alpha 2] While alleged to be drunk at this point, Haynes had been performing his parts for some time, before falling asleep.

Lollapalooza music festival in the United States

Lollapalooza is an annual 4-day music festival based in Chicago, Illinois at Grant Park. Performances include but are not limited to alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, hip hop, and electronic music. Lollapalooza has also provided a platform for non-profit and political groups and various visual artists. The music festival hosts more than 160,000 people each year.

Butthole Surfers American band

Butthole Surfers are an American rock band formed by singer Gibby Haynes and guitarist Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas, in 1981. The band has had numerous personnel changes, but its core lineup of Haynes, Leary, and drummer King Coffey has been consistent since 1983. Teresa Nervosa served as second drummer from 1983 to 1985, 1986 to 1989, and 2009. The band has also employed a variety of bass players, most notably Jeff Pinkus.

Gibson Jerome "Gibby" Haynes is an American musician, radio personality, painter, and the lead singer of the band Butthole Surfers.

As Jourgensen later explained, he spent about two or three weeks at home after that session, editing the tapes on a two-track recorder in order to render Haynes' performance as somewhat audible. To complete the track, Jourgensen, as he claimed, had added samples from drag racing competitions and tape noises, as well as some of instrumental parts. In the end, Jourgensen and bandmates added a spoken-word intro to fit Haynes' “moronic” singing. [9] [7] [10] Around the same time, guitarist Mike Scaccia and drummer Bill Rieflin had recorded a demo of them playing as fast as they could; initially conceived as a joke, it became the single's flipside, “TV Song”. [11]

Michael Ralph Scaccia was an American musician, best known as the lead guitarist for several heavy metal and alternative rock acts, including Rigor Mortis, Ministry and Revolting Cocks.

William Frederick "Bill" Rieflin is an American musician.

After he finished editing, Jourgensen was contacted by Sire Records about getting a recorded material. Jourgensen sent a tape of “Jesus Built My Hotrod”, since it was the only song he had by this time. Sire staff were irritated with only having “Jesus Built My Hotrod”, as well that most of an advance, initially intended for the record, were spent by Jourgensen and his acquaintances on drugs. Jourgensen told them to either release the song and pay another advance, or terminate a contract. The label chose to release the song, with no further expectations from the band. [7] [12]

Sire Records is an American record label that is owned by Warner Music Group and distributed by Warner Bros. Records.

Music and lyrical themes

“Jesus Built My Hotrod” is an industrial metal, [13] [14] [15] [16] speed metal, [17] [18] thrash metal, [19] :234 [20] and alternative metal song [21] which features elements of rockabilly [18] [22] and psychobilly; [23] :87 [24] on Psalm 69, it is the fifth track with a length of four minutes and fifty-one seconds. [25] [26] [lower-alpha 3] The track was written by Al Jourgensen, Paul Barker, Bill Rieflin, and Michael Balch with lyrics credited to Gibby Haynes, [29] [30] [31] [32] and was co-produced by Jourgensen and Barker under their respective aliases Hypo Luxa and Hermes Pan. [9] [33]

Speed metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that originated in the late 1970s from new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) roots. It is described by AllMusic as "extremely fast, abrasive, and technically demanding" music.

Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work. The lyrics often deal with social issues and criticism of The Establishment, using direct and denunciatory language, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.

Alternative metal is a rock music fusion genre that infuses heavy metal with influences from alternative rock and other genres not normally associated with metal. Alternative metal bands are often characterized by heavily downtuned, mid-paced guitar riffs, a mixture of accessible melodic vocals and harsh vocals and sometimes unconventional sounds within other heavy metal styles. The term has been in use since the 1980s, although it came into prominence in the 1990s.

In the 2016 interview, Jourgensen said that the song was partially inspired by his youth experiences with his stepfather, a stock car driver and mechanic. [34] Commenting on Ministry's work for Spin Alternative Record Guide , writer Eric Weisbard likened it to “an updated, theorized” version of the Trashmen 1963 hit “Surfin' Bird”; [35] AllMusic’s editor Steve Huey supports this point in the song review. [13]

The song begins with a spoken word intro, which refers to Jerry Lee Lewis as “the devil” and Jesus Christ as “an architect previous to his career as a prophet” respectively. [36] In the “Redline/Whiteline Version”, it is followed by sampled lines of Hazel Motes (portrayed by Brad Dourif) from 1979 film Wise Blood, [37] [16] before cutting immediately into the main section, which contains Haynes’ scat-like singing set to the drum beat performed in common time signature (4
4
) with guitar riff—attributed to Jourgensen and repeated throughout most of the song, excluding solos—in 5
4
, which was said to be complicated. [13] [7] The “Redline/Whiteline Version” also features a sampled line of Frank Booth (portrayed by Dennis Hopper) from David Lynch’s 1986 film Blue Velvet , as well as dialogues from drag race competitions. [38] [39] The song ends with another spoken word part, saying: “Jesus built my car / it's a love affair / mainly Jesus and my hot rod.” [40]

Release and reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [41]

"Jesus Built My Hotrod" was released on November 7, 1991, little more than half a year before it appeared on Psalm 69, in three formats (vinyl records, CD and CS), with promo copies accompanied by a free quart of motor oil. [4] It was quickly successful, [4] which was said to be unexpected by commentators including Jourgensen. [13] [42] As of mid-July 1992, "Jesus Built My Hotrod" sold 128,000 copies, [43] and was considered one of Warner Bros.’ best-selling CD singles along with Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” and Madonna’s “Vogue” in October 1992. [44] :28 In 2013, Jourgensen claimed that single sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. [42]

The song has received significant critical acclaim. In a short review for AllMusic, John Book gave the single three of five stars, praising Jourgensen’s guitar performance, while his fellow editor Steve Huey hailed it as one of Ministry's "best-known songs". [41] [13] Writing for the Los Angeles Times , Robert Hilburn called the song "a guaranteed classic". [45]

Despite being a fan favorite, [46] “Jesus Built My Hotrod” was rarely performed during the band's career, predominantly making appearance as an encore during 1999's “Clitour”, [47] 2003's “Fornicatour”, [48] [49] 2004's “Evil Doer Tour” [46] and 2006's “Masterbatour”. [50] In the November 2008 issue of Guitar World , Jourgensen explains that as he doesn't “have [his] heart into it,” he wouldn't perform it without Haynes. [51]

Artwork and music video

The front cover for the single was designed by Paul Elledge, who also did the artwork for Psalm 69. In a 2013 interview Elledge said that Jourgensen and Barker, infatuated with a Chrysler Hemi engine, had favored idea of having “a super-industrial shot of an engine that was kind of like what you would see at a factory, not on an album cover.” [52] Instead of taking a photo of an engine, Elledge requested it from Chrysler representatives. [52]

The accompanying video for the song was also directed by Elledge; the band convinced the Warner Bros. representatives to shoot the video with Elledge, despite latter having no experience of filming. Elledge listened to the song like 100 times or more, before creating a storyboard. Commenting on the shoot, Elledge said that he wanted “to make it so that some things I shot people would think was stock (footage) and some things that were stock were things I shot.” Elledge spent three days shooting the band and others featured in video, as well as doing the animation; the band was shot on black so Elledge could layer other footage. From three takes, the final cut was edited during six weeks. [52]

Legacy

Later recordings

The album version of the song is in Ministry's 2001 compilation album Greatest Fits ; [53] remixed and re-recorded versions appear on several Ministry compilations, including 2005's Rantology , [54] [55] 2008's Cover Up , [20] 2010's Every Day Is Halloween: The Anthology / Undercover and 2011's The Very Best of Fixes and Remixes. [56] For the Rantology version, subtitled “Update Mix”, a new introduction was recorded by Haynes. [55] The song's lyrics have been supposedly recycled for the 1993 Butthole Surfers song “Some Dispute Over T-Shirt Sales”, from Independent Worm Saloon . [31] [57] [58]

Notable cover versions of the song were recorded by The Bosshoss (for their 2006 album Rodeo Rodeo) [59] and Lamb of God (for 2018 cover album Legion: XX , as Burn the Priest). [60] Commenting on the Lamb of God recording, frontman Randy Blythe admitted that he didn't consider it a good idea, until he performed vocals; instead of requesting permissions for the original cut's samples, the band chose to voice them. [60]

“Jesus Built My Hotrod” was featured in the first trailer of Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 parody book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies . [17]

A lyric from the spoken word intro ("Ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long") was used (without spaces) as a cheat code in the video game Sleepwalker . [61] In August 2010, the song became available for download in the Rock Band series of games. [62] The song was also featured in the 2014 Ubisoft video game, Watch Dogs , both as a song available in game, and as a backdrop for a set piece during the game's storyline; one reviewer called it a "fantastic moment". [63]

Track listing

No.TitleCreditsLength
1."Jesus Built My Hotrod" (Redline/Whiteline Version)
  • Jourgensen
  • Rieflin
  • Balch
  • Haynes
8:15
2."Jesus Built My Hotrod" (Short, Pusillanimous, So-They-Can-Fit-More-Commercials-On-The-Radio Edit) 3:45
3."TV Song"
3:12

Personnel

Credits adapted from liner notes of the “Jesus Built My Hotrod” single, Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs and Greatest Fits. [64] [29]

Ministry
Additional personnel

Accolades

YearPublicationCountryAccoladeRankRef.
2003 Martin Popoff Canada The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs of All Time375 [65]
2004 Kerrang! United Kingdom "666 Songs You Must Own (Alternative Rock)"10 [66]
2006 The A.V. Club United States "The A.V. Club's Definitive Mixlist: The New Adventures Of Jesus"12 [40]
2013Diffuser.fm"10 Best Ministry Songs"2 [14]
2014Ultimate Classic Rock"Top 10 Jesus Songs"11 [15]
2016 Metal Hammer United Kingdom"The Top 10 Best Ministry Songs"3 [67]
2017"The 100 best metal songs of the 90s"30 [68]
"*" denotes an unordered list.

Chart performance

Weekly charts
Chart (1992)Peak position
Billboard Alternative Songs [69] 19
Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales [70] 37
Year-end charts
Chart (1992)Position
Festive 50 (John Peel) [71] 3

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References

Notes

  1. Accounts regarding the recording of "Jesus Built My Hotrod"—including these given by Jourgensen, Barker and Haynes—were featured in multiple publications, ranging from the 1990 [1] [2] :55 [3] [4] [5] to the 2010s. [6] [7] [8]
  2. In the April 2, 1993 issue of Goldmine , writer Jo-Ann Greene stated that prior to Haynes' appearance, Jourgensen was going to perform vocals and already had lyrics for it (Greene 1993, p. 40).
  3. The extended single version of the song—styled “Redline/Whiteline Version”—is approximately eight minutes and fifteen seconds long, [27] [22] while the shortened one, styled “Short, Pusillanimous, So-They-Can-Fit-More-Commercials-On-The-Radio Edit”, is three minutes and forty-five seconds long. [28]

Citations

  1. Crumbaugh, Drew (October 2, 1992). "Ministry, others mangle music as we know it". The Arts. The Catalyst . 32 (3). p. 15. Retrieved May 20, 2018 via the Internet Archive.
  2. Gitter, Mike (October 1992). "Ministry". Pulse! . pp. 53–55. Retrieved May 18, 2018 via Prongs.org archive.
  3. Punter, Jenine (November 1992). "Ministry: The Medium Is The Message" (scan). Spotlight. Music Express . Vol. 17 no. 177. p. 12 via Prongs.org archive.
  4. 1 2 3 Greene 1993, p. 40.
  5. Leão, Tom (1997). Heavy metal: guitarras em fúria (in Portuguese). São Paulo: Editora 34. pp. 193–194. ISBN   85-7326-077-7 via Google Books.
  6. Haynes, Gibby (August 18, 2004). "Gibby Haynes : Interview". Pennyblackmusic (Interview). Interviewed by Mark Rowland. Pennyblackmusic. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Dan MacIntosh (February 18, 2012). "Al Jourgensen of Ministry". Songfacts. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  8. Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 131.
  9. 1 2 Corcoran, Michael (December 15, 1991). "Lawyers build `Hotrod' case". Chicago Sun-Times . Archived from the original on August 28, 2018. Retrieved August 27, 2018 via Highbeam.
  10. Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, pp. 131–132.
  11. Scaccia, Mike (July 13, 2012). "Ministry guitarist Mike Scaccia on Rigor Mortis, Psalm 69 and his friendship with Al Jourgensen". Westword (Interview). Interviewed by Tom Murphy. Retrieved May 20, 2018. [Mike Scaccia:] One night, the very last song on the demo I was bringing in was a joke. It was Bill Rieflin telling me to play as fast as I can. That turned into 'T.V. Song.' That was one of the first tracks we came up with for Psalm 69. It was the B-side to 'Jesus Built My Hotrod.'
  12. Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 132.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 Steve Huey. "Jesus Built My Hotrod - Ministry". AllMusic . All Media Network . Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  14. 1 2 Ramirez, Carlos (July 11, 2013). "10 Best Ministry Songs". Diffuser.fm. Townsquare Media . Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  15. 1 2 Rivadavia, Eduardo (April 18, 2014). "Top 10 Jesus Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Townsquare Media. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  16. 1 2 Chambers, Christopher (July 24, 2014). "Preface: Remembering Jeanne". In DeVine, Christine; Wilson, Mary Ann. North and South: Essays on Gender, Race and Region. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 211. ISBN   9781443865005 via Google Books.
  17. 1 2 Nelson, Camilla (December 2013). "Jane Austen … Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem". Adaptation. 6 (3): 338–354. doi:10.1093/adaptation/apt014. eISSN   1755-0645. ISSN   1755-0637.
  18. 1 2 Jon Pareles (August 9, 1992). "RECORDINGS VIEW; Ministry Turns Sound Into Fury". The New York Times . Retrieved November 8, 2017. ‘Jesus Built My Hot Rod,’ which features vocals by Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers, fibrillates like speed metal intercut with bits of rockabilly.
  19. Berellian, Essi (2005). "Ministry". In Ellingham, Mark. The Rough Guide Book of Playlists. London, New York: Rough Guides. pp. 233–234. ISBN   184353603X via the Internet Archive. Industrial thrash as the good Lord intended. Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes delivers the infamously gibberish vocals to a juiced-up, ass-kicking rhythm track.
  20. 1 2 Lee, Cosmo (April 2, 2008). "Ministry, Cover Up". Pitchfork . Retrieved May 27, 2018.
  21. Ramirez, AJ (August 3, 2011). "The 10 Best Alternative Metal Singles of the 1990s". PopMatters . Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  22. 1 2 Miller 2014, p. 86.
  23. Morris, Chris (July 16, 1994). "Psychobilly, Qu'est-Ce Que C'est? Major Labels Eager To Find Out". Artists & Music. Billboard . Vol. 106 no. 29. pp. 12, 87. Retrieved January 10, 2018. He adds that the mating of the band and producer Jourgensen—whose 1992 Ministry single ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’ was steeped in the psychobilly sound—was a natural.
  24. Fontenoy 2003, p. 676.
  25. Ministry 1992 , track listing.
  26. Ned Raggett. "Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs - Ministry". AllMusic. All Media Network. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  27. Ministry 1991, track listing.
  28. Miller 2014, p. 95.
  29. 1 2 Greatest Fits (liner notes). Ministry. Warner Bros. Records. 2001. 9 48115-2.
  30. "Ministry". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers . Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  31. 1 2 Chick, Stevie (2010). "Jesus Built My Hotrod – Ministry (1991) / Chapter 6: The Nineties". In Dimery, Robert. 1001 Songs: You Must Hear Before You Die (electronic book). Preface by Tony Visconti. London: Cassell Illustrated. ISBN   978-1-84403-684-4.
  32. Miller 2014 , p. 97; Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013 , p. 159: "[Jon Wiederhorn:] What do you remember about recording ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod?’ / [Gibby Haynes:] I remember getting fucked over. I obviously did the lyrics and I got credit for song writing."
  33. Pollock, Bruce (1997). The Rock Song Index: Essential Information on the 7,500 Most Important Songs of Rock and Roll. New York: Schirmer Books. p. 262. ISBN   0-02-8720687 via the Internet Archive.
  34. Jourgensen, Al (May 28, 2016). "Ministry: «Буду рад вновь увидеть Россию и не чувствовать себя как кусок дерьма!»" [Ministry: 'I would be glad to see Russia again and not feel like piece of shit']. Darkside.ru (Interview) (in Russian). Interviewed by Yaroslav Seleznev-Eletzkiy. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  35. Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Ministry". Spin Alternative Record Guide . New York: Vintage Books. pp. 250–251. ISBN   0-679-75574-8. On the Psalm 69 track ‘Jesus Built My Hot Rod,’ a collaboration with Gibby from the Buttholes, you can hear how punk became industrial became dance became grungey danceable industrial with a twist of rock reference for spice. It’s like an updated, theorized ‘Surfin’ Bird.’
  36. Miller 2014, p. 82.
  37. Fontenoy 2003 , p. 676; Miller 2014 , p. 82.
  38. Miller 2014, pp. 91, 95.
  39. Donnelly, Kevin J. (October 5, 2005). The Spectre of Sound: Music in Film and Television. London: British Film Institute. p. 157. ISBN   9781844570256 via Google Books.
  40. 1 2 Murray, Noel; Modell, Josh (August 16, 2006). "The A.V. Club's Definitive Mixlist: The New Adventures Of Jesus". The A.V. Club . Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  41. 1 2 John Book. "Ministry — Jesus Built My Hotrod". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  42. 1 2 Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013 , p. 132: "While we were 'working,' Sire pressed 'Jesus Built My Hotrod' into a maxi-single, and the radio department started pimping the song to all the college and commercial radio stations across the country. The thing went supernova. They sold 1.5 million copies of the single alone—to everyone’s surprise.”
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Bibliography

Primary sources
  • “Jesus Built My Hotrod” (CD booklet). Ministry. Sire Records. 1991. 9 40211-2.
  • ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ (CD booklet). Ministry. Sire Records. 1992. 9 26727-2.
Secondary sources