Red Mecca

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Red Mecca
Studio album by Cabaret Voltaire
Released September 1981
Recorded May 1981 at Western Works, Sheffield, England
Genre Industrial, post-punk
Length 40:11
Label Rough Trade
Producer Cabaret Voltaire
Cabaret Voltaire chronology
Three Mantras
Red Mecca

Red Mecca is the third studio album by English band Cabaret Voltaire. It was released in September 1981, through record label Rough Trade.


In November 1979 Cabaret Voltaire toured the United States, and became strongly interested in the rise of the Christian right and its use of television, especially the fund-raising broadcasts of TV evangelist Eugene Scott. They compared this to the rise of Islamism, devoting a side to each strand of religious politics on their 1980 mini-album Three Mantras. Red Mecca was a culmination of this interest. According to Richard H. Kirk: "The whole Afghanistan situation was kicking off, Iran had the American hostages [...] we were taking notice [...] it's not called [Red Mecca] by coincidence. We weren't referencing the fucking Mecca Ballroom in Nottingham!"[1]

Red Mecca was recorded at Western Works, Sheffield in May 1981.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Cabaret Voltaire (Chris Watson, Richard H. Kirk, Stephen Mallinder). 

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "A Touch of Evil"   3:11
2. "Sly Doubt"   4:59
3. "Landslide"   2:08
4. "A Thousand Ways"   10:35
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Red Mask"   6:54
2. "Split Second Feeling"   3:47
3. "Black Mask"   3:19
4. "Spread the Virus"   3:40
5. "A Touch of Evil (Reprise)"   1:32


Red Mecca reached No. 1 on the UK Independent chart.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[3]

AllMusic praised the album, writing "Unlike a fair portion of CV's studio output, Red Mecca features no failed experiments or anything that could be merely cast off as 'interesting'. It's a taught [sic], dense, horrific slab lacking a lull."[3]


Cabaret Voltaire
  • Christopher R. Watson – organ, tape, production, recording, sleeve design
  • Richard H. Kirk – synthesizer, guitar, clarinet, horns, strings, production, recording, sleeve design
  • Stephen Mallinder – vocals, bass guitar, bongos, production, recording, sleeve design
Additional personnel
  • Nik Allday – drums
  • Porky – mastering
  • Neville Brody – sleeve design


  1. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2005). Rip it Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984. Faber and Faber. pp. 171–172. 
  2. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980–1989. Cherry Red. p. 311. 
  3. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Red Mecca – Cabaret Voltaire : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 

External links[edit]