Mittageisen

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For the band, see Mittageisen (band).
"Mittageisen"
Single by Siouxsie and the Banshees
from the album The Scream
B-side "Love in a Void"
Released September 1979
Format 7" single
Recorded 1978
Genre Post-punk
Length 03:00
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Siouxsie Sioux, John McKay, Kenny Morris, Steven Severin
Producer(s) Nils Stevenson
Mike Stavrou
Siouxsie and the Banshees singles chronology
"Playground Twist"
(1979)
"Mittageisen"
(1979)
"Happy House"
(1980)

"Mittageisen" is a single by the English band Siouxsie and the Banshees. Originally appearing on the band's 1978 debut album The Scream as "Metal Postcard (Mittageisen)", the track was re-recorded in 1979, this time with the lyrics sung in German.

The title "Mittageisen" is a word play based on the German words "Mittagessen" (literally: "noon meal", i.e. lunch) and Eisen ("iron"). The title was inspired by John Heartfield's photocollage Hurrah, die Butter ist Alle![1] ("Hurray, the Butter is Finished!"), which was also used as the single's cover art.

John Heartfield's photocollage was initially used on the frontpage of the "Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung / Workers Illustrated Journal", published on December 19th, 1935. Heartfield (1891–1968) was an early member of Club Dada, which started in 1916 as Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich. The picture with the title 'Hurrah, die Butter ist Alle! / Hurray, the butter is finished!' shows a family who eats various pieces of metal. The trigger for it was the following quote from Hermann Göring: "Iron always made a nation strong, butter and lard only made the people fat."

"Mittageisen" was composed by Banshees members Siouxsie Sioux, John McKay, Kenny Morris and Steven Severin, the lyrics were translated by Dave Woods.[2] The single is dedicated to John Heartfield.

Track B, "Love in a Void" was composed by Sioux, and former short-lived Banshee guitarist Peter Fenton. The track was an early live favourite, but had not been properly recorded until this release.

The record was promoted as a double A-side release at the time, but only "Mittageisen" was tracked on the UK singles chart, where it peaked at number 47. Nevertheless, "Love in a Void" -- but not "Mittageisen" -- was included on the band's 1981 singles compilation Once Upon a Time: The Singles, which compiled all their A-sides up to that time. Putative A-side "Mittageisen" later appeared on the band's B-side compilation Downside Up.

"Mittageisen" was later covered by Massive Attack as "Superpredators (Metal Postcard)" in 1997 on the soundtrack to the film The Jackal. "Love in a Void" was later covered by black metal group Darkthrone, on their Too Old, Too Cold EP. The Swiss band Mittageisen was named after this song.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hurrah, die Butter ist Alle! full original poster
  2. ^ Paytress, Mark (2004), Downside Up Booklet notes