Songs About Fucking

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Songs About Fucking
Studio album by Big Black
Released January 1, 1987 (1987-01-01)
Genre Noise rock, punk rock
Length 31:45
Label Touch and Go
Producer Big Black
Big Black chronology
The Rich Man's Eight Track Tape
(1987)
Songs About Fucking
(1987)
Pigpile
(1992)

Songs About Fucking is the second and final album by the noise rock band Big Black. It placed 54th on Pitchfork Media's 'Top 100 Albums of the 1980s'. Included are covers of Kraftwerk's "The Model" (in a remixed version from the one on their recent B-side) and on the CD version; Cheap Trick's "He's a Whore".

Production[edit]

Steve Albini has said that Songs About Fucking is the Big Black album that he is most satisfied with. In a 1992 interview with Maximumrocknroll magazine, Albini said:

The best was side one of 'Songs About Fucking'. I was real pleased with the way we did that. We just hopped into the studio, banged all the songs out and hopped out. Didn't take long, didn't cost much, just real smooth. Side two we recorded at a more leisurely pace and I think that hurt us. And that Cheap Trick song got on the tape and the CD by accident, and we just left it on.

The band had already decided to split up before the album was recorded, prompted by guitarist Santiago Durango's decision to enroll in law school, and the band's desire to quit while at their peak.[1]

In 2009, punk bands The Copyrights and The Dopamines parodied the cover with their Split E.P. Songs About Fucking Up.

In 2010, Kid606 released an album called Songs About Fucking Steve Albini. The album cover is a parody of Songs About Fucking.

In 2012, noise / tape musician Jason Lescalleet released an album called Songs About Nothing; both the album cover and several track titles reference Songs About Fucking.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau A−[4]
Underground (2.5/3)[5]

Songs About Fucking has been called "certainly the most honest album title of the rock'n'roll era".[6] Lyrical themes on the album include South American killing techniques ("Colombian necktie"), bread that gets you high ("Ergot"), and how "slowly, without trying, everyone becomes what he despises most".[6] While the album's title (commonly blanked out when displayed in shops on its release) and the sleeve were controversial, according to one reviewer, "as brutal as that cover is, the music is even more so",[7] and it was considered "as dark and frightening as the band name suggests" by another, Treble's Hubert Vigilla, who goes on to say "Songs About Fucking is loud, it's abrasive, it's unattractive in the extreme...So really, it's everything that made Big Black so great in the first place".[8] Dave Henderson of Underground magazine gave the album a two and a half out of three rating, calling it "a napalm attack that sticks to your skin like burning party-jell, spiced with hundreds and thousands, a prickly sensation that's as all-consuming as it is repellent".[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Big Black, except where noted.

Side "Happy Otter"

  1. "The Power of Independent Trucking" – 1:27
  2. "The Model" – 2:34 (Karl Bartos, Ralf Hütter, Emil Schult)
  3. "Bad Penny" – 2:33
  4. "L Dopa" – 1:40
  5. "Precious Thing" – 2:20
  6. "Colombian Necktie" – 2:14

Side "Sad Otter"

  1. "Kitty Empire" – 4:01
  2. "Ergot" – 2:27
  3. "Kasimir S. Pulaski Day" – 2:28
  4. "Fish Fry" – 2:06
  5. "Pavement Saw" – 2:12
  6. "Tiny, King of the Jews" – 2:31
  7. "Bombastic Intro" – 0:35

CD Bonus Track

  1. "He's a Whore" – 2:37* (Rick Nielsen)

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 90. ISBN 1-84353-105-4. 
  2. ^ Kellman, Andy. "allmusic ((( Songs About Fucking > Review )))". Allmusic. Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  3. ^ Brackett, Nathan. "Big Black". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 69, cited March 17, 2010
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Big Black". robertchristgau.com, Retrieved on March 17, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Henderson, Dave (1987) "Big Black - Songs About F***ing", Underground, October 1987 (Issue 7), p. 10
  6. ^ a b Taylor, Steve (2004). The A to X of Alternative Music. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 35. ISBN 0-8264-8217-1. 
  7. ^ McCusker, Eamonn (November 2003). "Big Black - Songs About Fucking (review)". CD Times. Retrieved 30 March 2008. 
  8. ^ Vigilla, Hubert (December 2006). "Album Review: Big Black - Songs About Fucking". Treble. Retrieved 30 March 2008.