Swans Are Dead

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Swans Are Dead
Live album (double album) by Swans
Released 1998
Recorded 1995 and 1997
Genre Experimental rock, post-rock, post-punk, art rock
Length 142:53
Language English
Label Young God
Swans chronology
Soundtracks for the Blind
Swans Are Dead
Various Failures
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media (7.7/10)[2]

Swans Are Dead is a double live album by American post-punk band Swans. It was released in 1998 and was recorded in 1995 and 1997 on the band's final tours, before reuniting in 2010.

The setlists of this era in the Swans live show were probably the most varied in terms of chronology. Although many of the songs performed were culled from Soundtracks for the Blind, the band also resurrected songs from much earlier albums, including a reworking of "I Crawled" from Young God.


Disc one (Black) was recorded in Amsterdam, New York City, Trondheim, Prague, Brussels and Atlanta on the band's final tour in 1997. Two other songs were performed on this tour, "The Man With the Silver Tongue", which appeared in a revised form on Angels of Light's 1999 debut LP New Mother; and "My Birth", which remained unreleased until it appeared on Swans's 2010 album My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky. However, neither tracks were included on the album. Other songs were also sporadically performed, such as "The Sound" (at least twice on the American leg of the tour).

The liner notes claim that disc two (white) was recorded in Norway on the band's 1995 tour, but this performance is actually the concert at Paradiso, Amsterdam, August 29, 1995.[citation needed] The songs "In", "Alcohol the Seed", and "Animus", that had been played during the tour and also for the Amsterdam concert, did not appear on Swans Are Dead (the concert has been recorded by the radio station VPRO, Animus is also cut on that recording).

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Michael Gira, except "Yum Yab" and "Lavender", written by Jarboe, and "I Crawled", written by Gira/Crosby/Mossimann/Westberg

Disc one (Black, final tour 1997)
No. Title Length
1. "Feel Happiness"   16:57
2. "Low Life Form"   4:54
3. "Not Alone"   13:12
4. "Blood On Yr Hands"   2:59
5. "Hypogirl"   3:22
6. "I Crawled"   10:05
7. "I Am The Sun"   5:27
8. "Blood Promise"   15:23
Disc two (White, 1995 tour)
No. Title Length
1. "Final Sac"   8:44
2. "The Sound"   12:52
3. "I See Them All Lined Up"   6:27
4. "Lavender"   8:03
5. "YR PRP"   8:51
6. "Yum Yab"   4:36
7. "Helpless Child"   17:44
8. "M/F"   3:25

Critical reception[edit]

The Rough Guide to Rock described the album as "a head-churning final statement".[3]


  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Swans Are Dead (Live '95-'97)". Allmusic. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ Mirov, Nick. "Swans: Swans Are Dead". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ Buckley, Peter, ed. (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 1042. ISBN 1858284570.