Heathen Child

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"Heathen Child"
Single by Grinderman
from the album Grinderman 2
Released September 6, 2010
Format digital download, 12" vinyl
Recorded August 2008–2010 at RAK Studios, State of the Ark and Assault & Battery 2 in London, United Kingdom
Genre Alternative rock, garage rock
Length 5:01
Label Mute Records/ANTI-
Writer(s) Nick Cave, Grinderman
Producer(s) Nick Launay, Grinderman
Grinderman singles chronology
"(I Don't Need You To) Set Me Free"
"Heathen Child"
"Worm Tamer"

"Heathen Child" is the fourth single by alternative rock group Grinderman and first from their second studio album, Grinderman 2. Released on September 6, 2010,[1] the song is the first release from Grinderman in three years and is also the band's first limited edition double a-side single.[2]

Background and production[edit]

Cave spoke of the song with Uncut magazine, mentioning that "Heathen Child" was "a quest to break from narrative song-writing in to something more impressionistic."[3]

On July 27, 2010, the final studio version of the song was previewed on music website Soundcloud by Mute Records.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

The song was described on Sonic Masala as "squalid, diseased, filthy, and oh so seductive."[5]

Track listing and formats[edit]

Digital download
  1. "Heathen Child" – 5:01
Limited edition 12" vinyl
  1. "Heathen Child" – 5:01
  2. "Star Charmer"
  3. "Super Heathen Child"

Music video[edit]

A series of trailers for the album directed by John Hillcoat have been released on Grinderman's official website and by Mute Records since June 28, 2010. Recorded near Westway in London, the music video for "Heathen Child" features a "naked lady lying in a bath of something milky."[6] Cave explained elements of the music video noting that "the video follows the fortunes of a worringly young white girl as she sits in a bath, confronted by the panoply of fiends that occupy her subconscious." The video premiered on NME's Video Box on August 9, 2010.[7]

Musicians and personnel[edit]

Guest musicians
  • Robert Fripp – electric guitar on "Super Heathen Child"
Technical personnel
  • Nick Launay – production, engineering
  • Kevin Paul - co-production
  • Tom Hough - assistant production (at State of the Ark)
  • David "Saxon" Greenep - assistant production (at State of the Ark)
  • Russell Fawkus - assistant production (at Assault & Battery 2)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2010-11) Peak
France (SNEP)[8] 41
UK Coalition (Official Charts Company)[9] 1
US Hot Singles Sales (Billboard)[10] 19


  1. ^ "Grinderman 2 single, Heathen Child, out Aug 30th". Nick Cave Fixes. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "Grinderman". Facebook. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Nick Cave: 30 Greatest Songs" (September 2010). Uncut. 2010. p. 42. 
  4. ^ "Heathen Child". SoundCloud. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Most blogged artists: Deerhunter, Grinderman, Marnie Stern". The Independent. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Grinderman" (September 2010). Uncut. 2010. p. 52. 
  7. ^ "Grinderman - 'Heathen Child' NME Video Exclusive - NMETV Latest Music Videos and Clips". NME. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "Lescharts.com – Grinderman – Heathen Child" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  9. ^ "2010 Top 40 Coalition Singles Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Hot Singles Sales : Dec 11, 2010". Billboard. Retrieved May 1, 2014.