...hang the dj

...hang the dj is a music blog. Old school, shoegaze, psych, and darkwave are featured genres.

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Send music submissions, press releases, or questions/concerns to: cristina [at] 89xradio.com or: hangthedjmag [at] gmail.com

Or just hit me up on Twitter @cristinarocks

...hang the dj

...hang the dj is a music blog. Old school, shoegaze, psych, and darkwave are featured genres.

Legal disclaimer: This blog is my personal, independent website. It is not affiliated with Bell Media, nor does it represents the thoughts, opinions, desires, etc of Bell Media

For music submissions, press releases, or questions/concerns:

hangthedjmag (at) gmail.com

Or hit me up on Twitter: @CristinaRocks

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Listen to Time Warp on 89X - the long running classic alternative show airs Sunday mornings from 8am - 12pm ET. Listen on the radio (88.7) in Detroit, or stream it worldwide on the net. The Time Warp playlist archive is posted here.
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2018/05/10


Ministry's debut studio album With Sympathy was released on this day in 1983.

The legendary synthpop record remains a favorite among fans and perhaps a bit of a curiosity to newer Ministry fans who are only familiar with the band's thrashier output! The album is a solid-gold cult club classic despite being a source of pain and embarrassment to Al Jourgensen, who has been very vocal over the years about his disdain for Ministry's "British Al" era. With Sympathy isn't widely considered to be Ministry's finest hour, however the nine tracks make for an incredibly fun and fantastic record that gave Jourgensen the experience and the confidence to take his soon-to-be groundbreaking and influential music to the next level.

At the time, along with the Chicago house scene, Jourgensen was heavily influenced by British music and was intent on "sounding British" as he detailed in his 2013 autobiography The Lost Gospels According To Al Jourgensen:

"But after we tried out twelve vocalists who all sucked, I figured, "Fuck. I might as well do this myself and save myself the pain of listening to some other knucklehead who isn't as good at sounding British as I am."



As the story goes, Arista's Clive Davis had signed Ministry and promised to make them the next Joy Division, however according to Jourgensen the reality was that the label was more intent on using him to mold Ministry into a voiceless synthpop Milli Vanilli-esque version of A Flock Of Seagulls.

The recording sessions for With Sympathy took place in England, and Jourgensen has said that the only good memory he has of the entire time was playing Asteroids in the lounge with Paul McCartney (McCartney was recording in the same studio complex at the time). Throughout the sessions Jourgensen became more and more disenchanted with the lack of control, being treated like a puppet, and being told what he could and couldn't do. Davis supposedly hated a lot of the new music Jourgensen was working on and thwarted his songwriting attempts. Even so, Jourgensen continued to write music, some of which was later released on Wax Trax!

Nonetheless, With Sympathy was finished and released. Jourgensen begrudgingly hit the road with Ministry to promote the record, supporting Depeche Mode, Madness, A Flock of Seagulls and The Police, however it was clear Jourgensen needed to escape the confines of Arista to pursue his vastly different creative vision. Davis tried to pressure Jourgensen to remain with Arista, even going so far as to force the Thompson Twins (who were a big deal at the time) to call Jourgensen to persuade him to stay. Davis ultimately lost the battle and Jourgensen parted ways with Arista. The move was an integral moment in alternative music history and paved the way for Ministry to thrive creatively, push industrial boundaries, and take the world by storm.

Stream With Sympathy in full here or on Spotify.



Al rocking a beret and guitar with a Front 242 sticker



Published May 10th, 2018