Ministry – ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’

Jesus Built My Hotrod by Ministry is not only today’s ‘Record of the Day’, it’s one of the ‘Records of the Early-Nineties’ – a time when it was possible for resolutely underworld figures like Al Jourgensen and Gibby Haines to kick their way into the mainstream, make a fearsome kerfuffle and enrage decent folk like Aaron’s aunt. It’s a relentless, breath-taking, behemoth of a tribute to souped-up engines and gibberish.

All of a sudden, I found myself in love with the world
So there was only one thing that I could do
Was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long

 

Jourgensen – the evil mastermind behind Ministry – and Haines – economics graduate, one-time Lee Harvey Oswald t-shirt salesman and erstwhile Butthole Surfers frontman – collaborated on this industrial metal classic back in 1991. Jourgensen’s account of the process has Gibby coming into the studio ‘absolutely shitfaced’ and babbling incoherent nonsense until he passed out on the floor. After this Jourgensen added a ton off race car sounds, backward tape noises, samples and weird riffs before working on Gibby’s voice tapes for weeks, convinced there was something worthwhile among the shit:

“It was like pulling a diamond ring out of a septic tank. I edited the song on my two-track at home and I spliced so much tape to make his gobbledy-gook sound like words….”

And the results speak for themselves. It became a supremely unlikely success, getting major airplay on MTV and ending up as Ministry’s best selling record by a distance. It also featured on their 1992 album Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs and helped that to go platinum too.

But more importantly than that, Jesus Built My Hotrod is a monstrous, careering, juggernaut that still sounds powerfully unique and gets the adrenaline pumping today.

It’s a love affair
Mainly Jesus and my hotrod

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Nick Perry

Nick writes fact, fiction and opinion in various places including
his music blog noisecrumbs.com. His musical tastes cover indie, grunge, golden-era hip hop, punk, funk, psychedelia and a big portion of distortion. You can and should follow him on Twitter @NoiseCrumbs.

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