Saturday, April 23, 2016

Throbbing Gristle - "The First Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle" [1975]

Artist: Throbbing Gristle
Title: The First Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle
Genre: Industrial, Noise
Country: UK
Release date: 1975

Track List: 
  1. Very Friendly
  2. Dead Bait
  3. 10 Pence
  4. Whorle Of Sound
  5. Final Muzak
  6. Scars Of E
Those who aren't deeply familiar with the history of Throbbing Gristle often ask: "Why did they name their debut album "The Second Annual Report", and where's the first one?" Well, here it is, and I personally like it much more than "The Second Annual Report". All the tracks on this album were recorded in 1975, but not released to the public until 1987 (unofficially, as "Very Friendly" bootleg) and 2001 (offically, under the current name).

"AllMusic called the album "a milestone in subversive music matched only by Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music". Pitchfork praised the album's originality, but gave it a low grade in terms of listenability.

AllMusic called the album "undeniably the most important advent in the roots of industrial music. [...] Practically every act within industrial music and its offshoots – be it Merzbow, Whitehouse, Ministry, Big Black or Godflesh – owes an incredible debt to the groundbreaking music of Throbbing Gristle."

Pitchfork, too, opined, "This record is essentially the birth of industrial music, packed with samples, abrasive, irregular beats, manipulated loops and Cosey Fanni Tutti's often unrecognizable guitar. Nurse with Wound, Cabaret Voltaire, Einstürzende Neubauten, Skinny Puppy, Controlled Bleeding and Acid Bath are just a few of the outfits that owe a huge debt to Throbbing Gristle's unrelenting assault" (Wikipedia)

While all the quotes above are much more applicable to TG's two later albums simply because this one was shown to the public too late, and therefore wasn't as influental, I still find it more interesting and listenable than most other TG recordings from the same period. One more thing about early TG that needs to be mentioned is their influence on the whole power electronics genre (and Whitehouse in particular).

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