Unsound Methods

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Unsound Methods
Studio album by Recoil
Released 27 October 1997
Recorded September 1996 to March 1997, The Thin Line, Sussex
Genre Electronica
Length 58:58
Label MuteSTUMM 159
Reprise/Warner Bros.46820
Producer Alan Wilder
Recoil chronology
Unsound Methods
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
babysue 4/5 stars[2]
CDNOW 4.5/5 stars[3]

Unsound Methods is the third Recoil studio album, released in 1997. It was recorded at Alan Wilder's home studio, The Thin Line, in Sussex, during sessions that lasted from September 1996 to March 1997. The album was produced by Alan Wilder, with assistance and coordination by Hepzibah Sessa, and additional production and engineering by Steve Lyon. The album was mixed by Wilder (with assistance from Paul Stevens and Simon Shazell).

Unsound Methods was Alan Wilder's fourth Recoil release, and his first since leaving Depeche Mode in June 1995.

The music was very different from previous Recoil offerings. According to Wilder, "...[T]he sound relates much more to the approach taken on Depeche Mode's Songs of Faith and Devotion LP, which featured and combined lots of snatches of performance (with all their inherent feel). These parts were then sampled and sequenced utilizing all the available technology, to hopefully achieve something more interesting than the sound of a band playing together."[4]

Spoken word artist Maggie Estep, Nitzer Ebb vocalist Douglas McCarthy, Songs of Faith and Devotion backup singer Hildia Campbell, and Siobhan Lynch were all vocalists. The performers could not be more different, but it helped make the album diverse and original.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All music written by Alan Wilder

  1. "Incubus" (Words: Douglas McCarthy/Francis Ford Coppola (listed as F. Copolla))
  2. "Drifting" (Words: Siobhan Lynch)
  3. "Luscious Apparatus" (Words: Maggie Estep)
  4. "Stalker" (Words: McCarthy)
  5. "Red River Cargo" (Words: Thomas A. Dorsey)
  6. "Control Freak" (Words: Estep)
  7. "Missing Piece" (Words: Lynch)
  8. "Last Breath" (Words: Ernest Gold/Pat Boone)
  9. "Shunt" (Words: Wilder)



CD: Mute / CD MUTE 209 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Drifting"–Radio Mix (by Wilder)
  2. "Drifting"–Poison Dub (by Wilder)
  3. "Control Freak"–Barry Adamson Mix
  4. "Shunt"–Panasonic Mix

"Stalker/Missing Piece"[edit]

CD: Mute / CD MUTE 214 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Stalker"–Punished Mix (by Alan Wilder and PK)
  2. "Missing Piece"–Night Dissolves (by Wilder and PK)
  3. "Red River Cargo"–(album version)

Credits and personnel[edit]


  • Francis Ford Coppola is listed as a co-writer of "Incubus" as the song is filled with quotes from Apocalypse Now. Douglas McCarthy even sounds like Martin Sheen's Capt. Benjamin L. Willard.
  • Pat Boone and Ernest Gold are listed as a co-writer of "Last Breath" because an interpolation of their song "Exodus (This Land Is Mine)", from the 1960 film Exodus, is used.
  • Hildia Cambell was tapped to sing on the album after joining Depeche Mode as a touring singer during the Devotional Tour. She also sings on the song "Get Right With Me" on the Depeche Mode album Songs of Faith and Devotion.
  • Douglas McCarthy is the only collaborator to sing lead vocals on two Recoil albums. He also sang the single "Faith Healer" on the Bloodline album.
  • "Red River Cargo" is based on the Thomas A. Dorsey gospel song "Take My Hand, Precious Lord", written in 1932.
  • In "Control Freak", there is an interpolation of part of the Ashford & Simpson song "You're All I Need to Get By" (made popular by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell). The words are changed to "You're all I need to get high".


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ babysue review
  3. ^ CDNOW review
  4. ^ Lastsigh.com interview, June 1998
  5. ^ From Recoil's official website: Shunt