Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

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Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Fonz » 27 Apr 2015, 12:37

My introduction to Killing Joke was totally intense. 'Love Like Blood' was in the charts, they were touring, my sister had tickets for the gig (Leeds Uni ('In the Refectory' which we actually thought was the name of the support band!) and she invited me along with her mates, who, being 2-3 years older were pretty cool.
I wasn't familiar with everything they'd done, but I liked what I'd heard (I was into The Damned, Banshees, some noisy punk stuff, UK Subs). I was 16, and never been to a concert.
We got to Leeds, by train, drinking cider, and generally getting into a great mood.
The support band came and went while we sat in the bar.
I thought, being pissed and all, that getting down the front next to the stage would be a good idea; Fuck yeah!
When they came on it was such a glorious, intense, sonically beautiful melee. The crowd went mental, and I was in the middle of it all, at once frightened for my existence, then giving as good as I got, in what is now called 'the moshpit'; then, it was more like a benevolent battleground (they weren't really trying to smash your face in; it was just part of the (war)dance.
It's hard to put into words just how transformative that experience was; it was a revelation(!) that music could be so fucking exhilarating, and being in the crowd, I definitely felt part of something bigger than myself.




'Eighties' was one of the standout tracks from Nighttime. That riff is familiar, eh?



I was getting into guitars at the time. Geordie has the coolest fucking guitar on the planet; check out the ES295 in the video.

Here's a whole gig from that era



I ended up getting the whole back catalogue, rarities, all sorts. They were MY band for a long time.





The energy...this music fuelled my life for several years.

The next album (Brighter Than a Thousand Suns) was great; a couple of duff tracks, but when it was good, it was stellar.



They were striving for something great and achieved it.
Around this time the band were 'obsessed' with a book called 'Genesis' which was all about the Rennes-le-Chateau story, which Rat Scabies popularised, and was made into a film (da Vinci Code).
The lyrics alluded to stuff beyond the mortal existence; there was a cinematic quality to the music.
Here's another from that era (a 'deep cut'). Fucking brilliant.



The next few years were pretty lean. The 'Outside the Gate' album was essentially a Jaz Coleman solo album; it had its moments, but was rightly derided when it came out.
A few years later 'Extremities...' came out. With its basic production and miserable lyrics it was a real return to form! Martin atkins was on board and the gig I went to from that tour (in Kilburn, I think) was sensational; brutal.

The rest of the nineties brought Pandemonium and Democracy, neither of which I really took to; the band was changed, and Jaz seemed to be relying on coughs, grunts, and cackles, instead of words, to get his point across. I had moved onto metal, instrumental rock, modern classical etc

However, 2003 brought a fresh beginning. Dave Grohl literally saved Killing Joke! (Not really, but he did play on the Killing Joke 2003 record).
It was a good album with some good songs.


The end of the decade saw Raven dead and the original line-up recording and touring again.

This is a wonderful way to commemorate him



What a comeback! Revitalised, intent, intense.
There's melody



And anger, with a musical nod to their past

Heyyyy!

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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Fonz » 27 Apr 2015, 14:59

Brilliant write- up!
Nice one!
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby der nister » 27 Apr 2015, 15:09

Great write up, Fonz

I only followed them for the first three, saw them in Dublin around What's THIS For...! . Brutal show, for brutal times.
Will use this as a guide for the later stuff. They are definitely some kind of missing link for various metals: thrash, grind, industrial, etc.,
It's kinda depressing for a music forum to be proud of not knowing musicians.

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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Copehead » 27 Apr 2015, 20:37

I saw them in Barrowlands in 84 or 85
It was as intense as you 'd imagine
Great live band
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby sloopjohnc » 27 Apr 2015, 20:43

I only followed them up until Night Time. How come no write up on the first four albums - or maybe I missed it?

It's like doing a write-up on Zeppelin and starting on the fourth album.
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Minnie Cheddars » 28 Apr 2015, 04:29

sloopjohnc wrote:I only followed them up until Night Time. How come no write up on the first four albums - or maybe I missed it?

It's like doing a write-up on Zeppelin and starting on the fourth album.


The OP says he wasn't familiar with everything they had done at the start of his post.
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby The Write Profile » 28 Apr 2015, 07:15

The self-titled debut is an immense record- from the churning, malvolent "Requiem" to the frantic "War Dance" and incessant "The Wait", it's often overwhelming in its misery and misanthropy but the sheer weight of the sound can't be denied. Jaz Coleman's drill-sergeant vocals often struggle to be heard above the din, but when they do, they're nothing if not menacing. The reissue is worth picking up- it includes the single "Change"- which is almost funky-as well as a swag of other good bonus tracks and it sounds as clean as it ever could.

Meanwhile, there's quite a strong NZ connection- Jaz Coleman lived at Waiheke Island for years, while Youth produced Crowded House's best album, Together Alone.
It's before my time but I've been told, he never came back from Karangahape Road.

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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Belle Lettre » 28 Apr 2015, 07:22

I have fallen totally in love with the new dub album.
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 28 Apr 2015, 13:23

Belle Lettre wrote:I have fallen totally in love with the new dub album.


Can you tell me what is so good about it? I haven't heard a note yet, and am no KJ fan either. I wouldn't even be able to name one song of theirs.

But as a true aficionado of classic JA dub, I would love to dip into precisely this one. People rave about it, sometimes in unexpected places (sites).
On the whole, I'd rather be in Wallenpaupack.

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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Belle Lettre » 28 Apr 2015, 20:12

The fact that I like it isn't enough for you :x

I don't know what to say - thunderous bass and fabulous noises overlaid, thumping and compelling..

Here is what Youth has to say about his project:

“I first discovered Dub in 1976, along with many other kinds of music it became the soundtrack to my late teenage years and consistent through the rest of my life. We were surrounded by Dub in Ladbroke Grove in the late 1970’s…. This is the first time a collection of Killing Joke’s Dub mixes has been released as an album, spread over 3CD’s (as well as a 40 minute bonus DJ Mix) over four hours of Dub annihilation…it has been an epic voyage. Compiling the best of the legacy and distilling all new Dub plates into a definitive collection was never going to be easy. This album has taken over a year to lovingly put together and of all of the many productions and mixes I have been fortunate enough to have been involved with, this one, I’m sure, will be one of those that tells the story best and the one that makes me feel extremely proud to be a part of the phenomena that is Killing Joke.”


And if you can't be bothered to seek any out, here's one of the tracks:
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Minnie Cheddars » 28 Apr 2015, 20:20

I love Killing Joke, and I love dub, but I'm sat at work right now listening to it on YouTube and I really don't like it which comes as something of a surprise!
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Belle Lettre » 28 Apr 2015, 20:35

There are three CDs worth..maybe a different track?
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Walk In My Shadow » 28 Apr 2015, 20:51

Belle Lettre wrote:I have fallen totally in love with the new dub album.





So have I. Hard but brilliant.
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby gash’s trollish obsession » 28 Apr 2015, 21:06

Yes that "Eighties" riff sure is familiar



Anyhoo it was this performance on The Tube that first brought them to my attention



I think the warpaint and the tribal stomps re-ignited my inner Antperson, it was said that a lot of the original Antz hardcore jumped ship to KJ when Adam hit the big time. Requiem could easily be "Whip In My Valise"'s evil twin.



I had tickets to see them live circa "Love Like Blood" but chickened out in favour of a New Model army gig - good decision :|

They peak on that first LP and the initial run of singles, after that it's diminishing returns, too one-paced and wearying. The singles from Night Time are wonderful though.

This session version of "Are You Receiving" murders the issued take, thuggish and rolling.



Check out their Peel sessions which generally trump their studio recordings, more energy.

Here they are in '81, brilliant set list. Geordie always was very cool, such nasty sounds seemingly effortlessly stroked out.

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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby sloopjohnc » 28 Apr 2015, 22:07

Minnie the Minx wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:I only followed them up until Night Time. How come no write up on the first four albums - or maybe I missed it?

It's like doing a write-up on Zeppelin and starting on the fourth album.


The OP says he wasn't familiar with everything they had done at the start of his post.


I didn't see that, but I kinda expect when folks tackle these things, the span the band's whole career.

What he wrote was good but it left out their first couple albums, which in my opinion, was a very important part of their history leading up the album we started with in this.
Last edited by sloopjohnc on 28 Apr 2015, 22:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby sloopjohnc » 28 Apr 2015, 22:08

The Write Profile wrote:while Youth produced Crowded House's best album, Together Alone.


Did not know that - interesting.
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Minnie Cheddars » 29 Apr 2015, 00:18

sloopjohnc wrote:
Minnie the Minx wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:I only followed them up until Night Time. How come no write up on the first four albums - or maybe I missed it?

It's like doing a write-up on Zeppelin and starting on the fourth album.


The OP says he wasn't familiar with everything they had done at the start of his post.


I didn't see that, but I kinda expect when folks tackle these things, the span the band's whole career.

What he wrote was good but it left out their first couple albums, which in my opinion, was a very important part of their history leading up the album we started with in this.


Oh no I get that. I mean Iove them and can't imagine my musical life without those first albums. I just listened to them now while out running - quite incredible really.
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Fonz » 29 Apr 2015, 07:11

sloopjohnc wrote:
Minnie the Minx wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:I only followed them up until Night Time. How come no write up on the first four albums - or maybe I missed it?

It's like doing a write-up on Zeppelin and starting on the fourth album.


The OP says he wasn't familiar with everything they had done at the start of his post.


I didn't see that, but I kinda expect when folks tackle these things, the span the band's whole career.

What he wrote was good but it left out their first couple albums, which in my opinion, was a very important part of their history leading up the album we started with in this.


I did the op from my personal perspective; it was never meant to be an exhaustive history of KJ. The benefit from doing it this way is that you get folks like Nev chiming in with their great posts, with that personal touch that sometimes gets missed.

The first 4 albums are great. I like all of them, and there are some real stand out tracks, but I came to them after the event, so to speak. Hearing others' first hand perspectives from the early eighties might give a fuller appreciation of the excitement that this band aroused.

Does that make sense?
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby Moleskin » 29 Apr 2015, 07:16

sloopjohnc wrote:
The Write Profile wrote:while Youth produced Crowded House's best album, Together Alone.


Did not know that - interesting.


Also Macca's collaborator in the Fireman.
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Re: Beyond the 120 - Killing Joke

Postby sloopjohnc » 29 Apr 2015, 16:23

Moleskin wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:
The Write Profile wrote:while Youth produced Crowded House's best album, Together Alone.


Did not know that - interesting.


Also Macca's collaborator in the Fireman.



I did know that one.
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