Ministry @ Lollapalooza ’92

Though Ministry aren’t in Chicago anymore, they – or at least head minister Al Jourgensen – still retain ties to the city. Jourgensen is a Blackhawks fanatic and friends with the team owner’s son. He retooled a shelved song in red, white, and black, and gifted it to the team. As a Ministry song, “Keys to the City” is crap; as a hockey theme song, it’s gold. It’s basically an improvement on Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2,” the most annoying sports anthem ever. You can buy it on iTunes, or stream it (and read its cheesy lyrics) here.

Black Betty (Ministry)
Black Betty (Ram Jam)

At Pitchfork, I’ve reviewed Ministry’s new covers collection, Cover Up. It’s mostly revved-up ’70s classics, and it’s a hoot. The thrash-ified traditional song “Black Betty” well suits Jourgensen’s bluesy vocals. (For other covers of “Black Betty,” including a beaut by Tom Jones, go here.) Ministry’s arrangement builds on Ram Jam’s 1977 version, featuring the world’s loudest hi-hat and lovely Allman Brothers harmonies at 2:49. These covers are a good excuse to revisit their originals, which come from a time when drums sounded like drums and bands sounded like bands. No over-compression, no Pro Tools; even on MP3, these jams sound better than any CD made today.

Ministry – Cover Up (song originals) [55.4MB .zip]

1. The Rolling Stones – Under My Thumb
2. T.Rex – Bang a Gong (Get It On)
3. Golden Earring – Radar Love
4. Deep Purple – Space Truckin’
5. Ram Jam – Black Betty
6. Mountain – Mississippi Queen
7. ZZ Top – Just Got Paid
8. The Doors – Roadhouse Blues
9. Black Sabbath – Supernaut
10. Bob Dylan – Lay Lady Lay
11. Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World