Ministry is an industrial rock band of the 1980s and 90s. The band was formed in 1981 by Alain Jourgensen. The debut album was With Sympathy (1983), but sales were sluggish. Jourgensen parted ways with bandmate Stephen George and took the band in a new, more hardcore direction for Twitch (1985).
Though Twitch did not sell well, it set the stage for Ministry's move into industrial music. With Paul Barker, William Rieflin, Mike Scaccia and Chris Connelly, Jourgensen recorded The Land of Rape and Honey (1988). The album was a smash success in the underground music scene. The follow-up, The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste was just as acclaimed. Both albums stretched the definition of industrial to include the tight, thick soundscapes formerly occupied by thrash metal, albeit with jackhammer drums, obscure samples and unconventional electronic processing.
Throughout the late 1980s Jourgensen and Barker expanded their ideas beyond Ministry into a seemingly endless parade of side projects and collaborations. Many of these bore Ministry's signature sound and the duo's "Hypo Luxa/Hermes Pan" production imprint. Foremost of these was Ministry's alter ego, the Revolting Cocks. "Revco," as it was fondly referred to, was essentially the same band plus Belgian vocalist Luc Van Acker. Jourgensen and Barker also formed Lard with Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra, Acid Horse with Cabaret Voltaire, 1000 Homo Djs with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, PTP with Chris Connelly and Pailhead with Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi. Barker released his own material as Lead Into Gold and Jourgensen lent his heavy hand to treating Skinny Puppy's Rabies LP. Ministry would also inspire and inform the industrial collectives of the 1990s such as Pigface and KMFDM.
After several years of touring and recording, Ministry broke into the mainstream in 1991 with "Jesus Built My Hotrod" (co-written by Michael Balch , and Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers). The music video was a hit on MTV, and the full-length Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs was another hit. The three other albums were Filth Pig (1995), Dark Side of the Spoon (1999) and Animositisomina (2003). In spite of their growing success, Ministry was derailed by a series of drug problems and arrests, and finally, the suicide of guitarist William Tucker. Ministry's single "Bad Blood" appeared on the soundtrack album of The Matrix and was nominated for a 2000 Grammy award, but for the next several years, label problems prevented much recorded material from being released, except the Sphinctour album and DVD in 2002. Longtime bassist Barker left the band in 2003.
Ministry's latest album, The Houses of the Molé, was released in 2004.
See also: Revolting Cocks
- In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up - Live! (1990)
- Tapes of Wrath (2000)
- What About Us? - Promo (2001)
- Sphinctour (2002)