Cold Life

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"I’m Falling / Cold Life"
Cold Life Ministry.jpg
Single by Ministry
A-side
  • “I’m Falling” (1981, US)
  • “Cold Life” (1982, UK)
B-side
  • “Cold Life” (1981, US)
  • “I'm Falling” (1982, UK)
Released 1981, 1985 (re-release)
Format Vinyl
Recorded 1981
Studio Hedden West Studios (Chicago, IL)
Length 6:11
Label
Songwriter(s) Al Jourgensen
Producer(s)
Ministry singles chronology
"I’m Falling / Cold Life"
(1981)
"Work for Love"
(1983)

"Cold Life"
(1981)
"Work for Love"
(1983)

"I’m Falling" and "Cold Life" are songs by American rock band Ministry. Written by Al Jourgensen, these were first released in 1981 by Wax Trax! Records, as the band's debut single. Initially featuring "I'm Falling" as the A-side, the single found success via its B-side, "Cold Life", which was chosen as the A-side on release in the UK. In 1985, during Ministry's short-lived return on Wax Trax!, the single was reissued with "Cold Life" as the A-side.

Background and composition[edit]

“I’m Falling” is a synthpop song[1] which bears influences from British post-punk acts such as The Sisters of Mercy and Killing Joke.[2][3]; in his 2013 autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels..., Al Jourgensen admits that “I’m Falling” was influenced heavily by the music of Joy Division and The Cure.[4][5]:70 Meanwhile, “Cold Life” bears influence of 1970’s funk and soul acts such as James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Tyrone Davis and Chic,[6] and was written about Jourgensen's experience living in a Chicago African-American neighborhood.[7][1]

Initially, Jourgensen had recorded a demo tape of “I’m Falling” in his apartment, using a newly-bought ARP Omni synthesizer, a drum machine, and a reel-to-reel tape recorder; for vocals, Jourgensen assumed an English accent.[4] At one occasion, Jourgensen had presented a demo to Jim Nash, the co-founder and co-owner of the independent record label Wax Trax! Records. Impressed by demo once listening to it, Nash had offered Jourgensen to record a single, as well as to form a touring band.[8][6][9]

After assembling the first line-up of the band subsequently known as Ministry, Jourgensen went to Hedden West studios with co-producer Jay O'Roarke and an English-born engineer Iain Burgess, while Nash had paid for the band to record.[8][9] For the recording, beside the core line-up of Jourgensen, keyboardists John Davis and Robert Roberts and drummer Stephen George, also approached were backing vocalist Steve Brighton, bassist Lamont Welton, and a horn player Preston Klik (also of The Book of Holy Lies); Jourgensen assumed an English accent for his vocals on “Cold Life”, like he did on “I’m Falling”.[8][10] Nash and his Wax Trax! partner Danny Flesher liked both recorded songs, but requested Jourgensen to record one more track, an instrumental titled “Primental”, for the single; Jourgensen states that “Primental” resembles some of music written for performances held by his then-girlfriend, Shannon Rose Riley.[11]

Release[edit]

“I’m Falling / Cold Life” single was initially released in late 1981.[12] The first pressing featured a gray and peach packaging portraying Chicago’s Union Station, designed by Jim Nash and Brian Shanley; the later pressing featured the cover in a die-cut red and yellow motif, also designed by Nash and Shanley.[8] Some time after, in March 1982, a British label Situation Two released the single in Europe with “Cold Life” as the A-side, as well as its extended dub version on the B-side.[13][14][15] This release was packaged with a cover depicting four naked men, seemingly taking a sunbath.[16]

The single, mainly its B-side “Cold Life”, had achieved immediate success on both dancefloor and college radio in the US and the UK.[17] As of September 1982, “I’m Falling / Cold Life” reached number 5 on the charts of a New York-based magazine Rockpool and peaked at number 45 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Disco chart with approximately 10,000 copies,[18]:54[19] and was later labelled the Wax Trax!' first hit.[9]

Track listings[edit]

Original release (1981)
No.TitleLength
1."I'm Falling"3:59
2."Primental"5:10
3."Cold Life"6:11

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
position
US Dance[20] 45

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of the single, as well as the liner notes of Twelve Inch Singles (1981–1984).[21][22]

  • Ministry (namely Al Jourgensen, John Davis, Stephen George, Paul Taylor, Marty Sorenson, and Robert Roberts)[a] – performing and recording
    • Al Jourgensen – vocals, guitar, co-production
    • Stephen George – drums on "Cold Life"
  • Lamont Welton – bass on "Cold Life"
  • Steve Brighton – backing vocals on "Cold Life"
  • Preston Klik – horns on "Cold Life"
  • Jay O'Roarke – co-production on "I'm Falling"
  • Iain Burgessengineering, co-production on "Cold Life"
  • Nancy Taylor – assistant engineering
  • Jim Nash and Brian Shanley – cover design

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States 1981 Wax Trax! Records Vinyl record 110072X
United Kingdom 1982 Situation Two SIT17
United States 1985 Wax Trax! Records WAX 003

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The liner notes, given in the single's early pressing, lists Marty Sorenson and Paul Taylor as the band members, instead of Roberts—listed in the later pressing.[21]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b Zaleski, Annie (May 10, 2018). "35 Year Ago: Ministry Release Disavowed Debut, 'With Sympathy'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Townsquare Media. Retrieved June 7, 2018. 
  2. ^ Jeffries, David. "Early Trax – Ministry". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved March 4, 2018. ...while 'I'm Falling' is shocking because of its unapologetic swiping of Sisters of Mercy's detached delivery. 
  3. ^ Reed 2013, p. 236.
  4. ^ a b Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 49: “I got a reel-to-reel tape recorder and a rhythm box at home, so I wrote the song ‘I’m Falling,’ which was kind of like the Cure or Joy Division, with these swells of noise and fake British vocals.”
  5. ^ Masuo, Sandy (January–February 1996). "Ministry: It's Not Easy Being Mean". Option: Music Culture. No. 66. pp. 66–73. ISSN 0882-178X. 
  6. ^ a b Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 49.
  7. ^ Sweeting, Adam (July 10, 1982). "Ministry of Offence". Melody Maker. ISSN 0025-9012. Retrieved February 5, 2018 – via Prongs.org archive. See also Reed 2013, p. 236. 
  8. ^ a b c d Baker, Cary (September 1982). "Ministry: Ordained by Dance". Illinois Entertainer. Vol. 2 no. 103. Retrieved February 3, 2018 – via Prongs.org archive. See also Reed 2013, p. 236. 
  9. ^ a b c Rod Smith (March 27, 2014). "Wax Trax: An Introduction". Red Bull Music Academy Daily. Red Bull Music Academy. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  10. ^ Greene 1993, p. 26; Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 50.
  11. ^ Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 50: “Jim and Danny loved the songs and wanted to release them as the third single on Wax Trax! But they wanted a third song, so I put together ‘Primental,’ which was this real cheeseball, dancey instrumental with a drum machine, handclaps, and moog keyboards that sounded like some of the atmospheric stuff I used to write for Shannon’s performance art.”
  12. ^ Greene 1993, p. 26.
  13. ^ Greene 1993, p. 26; Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 51.
  14. ^ Gimarc, George (1997). Post Punk Diary, 1980-1982. New York: St.Martin's Griffin. p. 250. ISBN 031216968X – via Internet Archive. 
  15. ^ Fontenoy, Richard (1999). "Ministry". In Buckley, Jonathan; Duane, Orla; Ellingham, Mark; Spicer, Al. Rock: The Rough Guide (2nd ed.). London, New York: Rough Guides. pp. 645–646. ISBN 1-85828-457-0 – via Internet Archive. 
  16. ^ Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 51.
  17. ^ Greene 1993, p. 26; Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 50; Reed 2013, p. 236.
  18. ^ McCormick, Moira (September 11, 1982). "Indie New Music Labes Proliferating In Chicago". Billboard Magazine. Vol. 94 no. 36. pp. 9, 54. Retrieved March 6, 2018. See also Reed 2013, p. 236. 
  19. ^ Greene 1993, p. 26; Jourgensen & Wiederhorn 2013, p. 50; Reed 2013, p. 236.
  20. ^ "Ministry - Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved February 18, 2018. 
  21. ^ a b
    • “I’m Falling / Cold Life / Primental” (vinyl disc). Ministry. Chicago, IL: Wax Trax! Records. 1981. 110072X. 
    • “I’m Falling / Cold Life / Primental” (vinyl disc; reissue). Ministry. Chicago, IL: Wax Trax! Records. 1982. 110072X. 
  22. ^ Twelve Inch Singles (1981–1984) (Media notes). Ministry. Chicago, IL: Wax Trax! Records. 1987. WAXCD 035. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Greene, Jo-Ann (April 2, 1993). "Ministry". Goldmine. Vol. 19 no. 7 (331). pp. 26, 28, 32, 38, 40. ISSN 1055-2685 – via Prongs.org archive. 
  • Jourgensen, Al & Wiederhorn, Jon (July 9, 2013). Ministry: The Lost Gospels According To Al Jourgensen. Boston, MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN 9780306822186 – via Internet Archive. 
  • Reed, S. Alexander (2013). Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199832606 – via Google Books. 

External links[edit]