Over the Shoulder

Last updated
"Over the Shoulder"
Song by Ministry
from the album Twitch
B-side
  • "Isle of Man" (Version II)
  • "Twitch" (Version II)
ReleasedNovember 1985
Genre
Length6:44(single version)
5:13 (album version)
Label Sire
Songwriter(s) Al Jourgensen
Producer(s) Adrian Sherwood
Music video
“Over the Shoulder” on YouTube

"Over the Shoulder" is a song by American rock band Ministry, from their second studio album, Twitch (1986). Written by frontman Al Jourgensen, produced by Adrian Sherwood, and released in November 1985 as a 12-inch single, it was the band’s first recording after signing with Sire Records; [1] [2] the accompanying music video was directed by Peter Christopherson.

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>Twitch</i> (Ministry album) album by Ministry

Twitch is the second studio album by American rock band Ministry, released on March 12, 1986 by Sire Records. Recorded mostly in London and West Berlin during 1985, it was produced by the band's frontman Al Jourgensen and On-U Sound Records owner Adrian Sherwood. It stepped away from the synthpop-oriented form of their debut studio album With Sympathy (1983) and moved toward a darker, more aggressive sound, heavily influenced by industrial dance groups Cabaret Voltaire and Front 242.

Al Jourgensen musician

Allen David Jourgensen is a Cuban-American singer-songwriter, musician and music producer. Closely related with scene surrounding the independent record label Wax Trax! Records, Jourgensen has an active musical career that spans four decades, and is best known as the frontman of the industrial rock band Ministry, which he founded in 1981 and of which he remains the only constant member. He was also primary musician of several Ministry-related projects, such as Revolting Cocks, Lard, Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters, and others. Aside from the aforementioned bands, he has produced and/or recorded with numerous other artists, including The Reverend Horton Heat, Prong, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, The Blackouts, Alan Vega, Iggy Pop, Adrian Sherwood, Jello Biafra and others. Jourgensen is regarded as being one of the most prominent figures of industrial music,</ref> influencing numerous other groups and musicians, both in alternative and industrial-associated acts.

Contents

Composition

"Over the Shoulder" has been described as early example of electro-industrial, [3] [4] as well as synth-pop [5] and synthrock. [2] On Twitch, it is the fifth track with a length of five minutes and thirteen seconds; [6] the single version is six minutes and fourty four seconds long. [7] [2] Musically, the song contains multiple layers of looped synthesizer parts along with distinctive heavy drum machine pattern and Jourgensen's weak vocal appoarch; Billboard editors compared this approach with music of Scritti Politti and Bee Gees, [1] [8] [2] while Miami New Times' Jean Carey wrote that the song "sounds like a giant mosquito" [9] [10] In the later review for the March 1986 issue of Spin Magazine , columnist John Leland praised Sherwood's work with Ministry's “typically banal ideas.” [11]

Electro-industrial is a music genre that emerged from industrial music in the mid-1980s. While EBM has a minimal structure and clean production, electro-industrial has a deep, complex and layered sound. The style was pioneered by Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, and other groups, either from Canada or the Benelux. In the early 1990s, the style spawned the dark electro genre, and in the mid-/late-1990s, the aggrotech offshoot. The fan base for the style is linked to the rivethead subculture.

Synth-pop is a subgenre of new wave music that first became prominent in the late 1970s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic, art rock, disco, and particularly the "Krautrock" of bands like Kraftwerk. It arose as a distinct genre in Japan and the United Kingdom in the post-punk era as part of the new wave movement of the late 1970s to the mid-1980s.

Scritti Politti British new wave band

Scritti Politti are a British band, originally formed in 1977 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, by the Welsh singer-songwriter Green Gartside. He is the only member of the band to have remained throughout the group's history.

The single version of "Over the Shoulder" and "Isle of Man" were included as additional tracks on compact disc edition of Twitch in 1990; [12] :32 the song was also to be featured on a 2001 compilation album Greatest Fits , but was left off due to medium limitations. [13]

<i>Greatest Fits</i> album by Ministry

Greatest Fits is a greatest hits album by American industrial metal band Ministry, released on June 19, 2001 by Warner Bros. Records.

Music video

The music video for "Over the Shoulder" was directed by Peter Christopherson. [14] [15] [16] It consists of footage of two teenagers stealing a car, trashing a grocery store, making a nails-and-gasoline omelet, and driving off with no apparent consequence. [9]

Peter Christopherson English musician

Peter Martin Christopherson was a musician, video director, commercial artist, designer and photographer, and former member of British design agency Hipgnosis.

According to Jourgensen, the director [nb 1] hired two kids to perform actions featured in the video. When the band asked to film in a store, the owner refused. The director allegedly paid the same kids to break into the store and trash it, and the band asked once again. The owner, needing money to pay for cleanup, agreed. As Jourgensen put it, "Everything that happened on that video was criminal." [18]

In 2000, the video of “Over the Shoulder” was featured on compilation album Tapes of Wrath . [3] [19]

<i>Tapes of Wrath</i> compilation album by Ministry

Tapes of Wrath is a compilation of promotional videos by American industrial metal band Ministry and their side project Revolting Cocks. Available both in VHS and DVD format.

Track listing

No.TitleLength
1."Over the Shoulder" (12" Version)6:44
2."Isle of Man" (Version II)4:33
3."Twitch" (Version II)1:59

Personnel

Credits adapted from liner notes of Twitch. [6]

Notes

  1. In various interviews, Jourgensen believes the director to be either Christopherson [17] or Storm Thorgerson. [18]

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References

  1. 1 2 "Ministry: Over The Shoulder". Album & Singles Reviews. Billboard . Vol. 97 no. 47. November 23, 1985. p. 67. ISSN   0006-2510 . Retrieved February 10, 2019 via Google Books. Thundering beat boxes and vocals as mannered as Scritti Politti heard over the telephone; label debut for the adventurous band.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "12' Reviews". Dance. Cash Box . Vol. 49 no. 24. November 23, 1985. p. 20. ISSN   0008-7289 . Retrieved August 2, 2018 via the Internet Archive.
  3. 1 2 Gomes, Whitney Z. "Tapes of Wrath". AllMusic . All Media Network . Retrieved August 2, 2018. Tapes of Wrath taps into the rise and demise of this innovative and aggressive Chicago horde: from early aggro ('Over the Shoulder,' 'Flashback') to the top of the slag heap ('Burning Inside,' 'Jesus Built My Hotrod') into eclectic obscurity ('Lay Lady Lay,' 'Bad Blood').
  4. Rollman, Hans (August 6, 2015). "Ministry: Trax! Box". PopMatters . Retrieved August 2, 2018. [...] there’s also the fervent environmentalism of the catchy early electro-industrial tune 'Over The Shoulder.'
  5. Stanton, Mike (July 26, 2016). "Fourculture Classics #6 – Twitch". Fourculture Magazine. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  6. 1 2 Twitch (vinyl sleeve). Ministry. Sire Records. 1986. 9 25309-1.
  7. “Over the Shoulder” (vinyl sleeve). Ministry. Sire Records. 1985. 0-20401.
  8. Brian Chin (December 14, 1985). "Dance Trax". News. Billboard. Vol. 97 no. 50. p. 51. Retrieved February 28, 2018 via Google Books.
  9. 1 2 Carey, Jean (July 6, 2006). "Stainless Steel Providers". Miami New Times . Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  10. Chillingworth, Alec (August 18, 2016). "Every Ministry album, ranked from worst to best". TeamRock. Future Publishing . Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  11. John Leland (March 1986). "Ministry: 'Over the Shoulder' with b/w 'Isle of Man' and 'Twitch' (Sire)". Singles. Spin Magazine . Vol. 1 no. 11. p. 37. Retrieved March 21, 2018 via Google Books.
  12. Greene, Jo-Ann (April 2, 1993). "Ministry" (scans). Goldmine . Vol. 19 no. 7 (331). pp. 26, 28, 32, 38, 40. ISSN   1055-2685 via Prongs.org archive.
  13. Barker, Paul (June 28, 2001). "Ministry". Ink19 (Interview). Interviewed by Kiran Aditham. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  14. "End credits". Tapes of Wrath (DVD). Warner Music Video. 2000.
  15. Liggeri, Domenico (2013). Musica per i nostri occhi: Storie e segreti dei videoclip (electronic book) (in Italian). Giunti. ISBN   9788858761106 via Google Books. Nell’86 i Ministry per Over the shoulder lo lasciano delirare con i concetti allo stesso modo in cui loro lo fanno con i suoni, consentendogli di descrivere minuzio come due giovannissimi ladri rubano un’istigazione a delinquere, facendo poi compiere al cantante un furto con effrazione in un supermercato , quindi tendando la metafora tra una macchina distrutta dalla sfasciacarozze e l’apertura di una scatoletta, legando il tutto con il tema ricorrente delle galline in batteria: se ne potrebbe evincere che come atto di ribellione all’omologazione sociale sia giustificato perfino commettere reati.
  16. Horan, Anthony. "Ministry - Tapes of Wrath - DVD Review". DVD.net. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  17. Jourgensen, Al (January 2005). "Interview de Al Jourgensen (Ministry), pour la sortie de House Of The Molé Paris, fin mai 2004.". Metalorgie (Interview) (in French). Interviewed by Mikki Fajito. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  18. 1 2 Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 65.
  19. Mühlmann, Wolf-Rüdiger. "Ministry: Tapes of Wrath". Rock Hard (in German). Retrieved March 15, 2018.

Bibliography