Black Monk Time

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Black Monk Time
Studio album by Monks
Released May 1966
Recorded November 1965 in Cologne, Germany
Genre Garage rock, proto-punk
Length 29:48
Label Polydor
Producer Jimmy Bowien
Monks chronology
Black Monk Time
Five Upstart Americans
(1999)Five Upstart Americans1999
Singles from Black Monk Time
  1. "Complication"
    Released: May 1965

Black Monk Time is the debut studio album by Germany-based American rock band The Monks. It was released in May 1966 through Polydor Records and was the only album released during the band's original incarnation. The album's subversive style and lyrical content was radical for its time and today is considered an important landmark in the development of punk rock.

In 2017, Black Monk Time was ranked the 127th greatest album of the 1960s by Pitchfork.[1]


The album was produced by Jimmy Bowien and recorded November 1965 in Cologne, Germany. "Complication" b/w "Oh, How to Do Now" was released as a single to promote the album. Like the album, it failed to garner commercial success. The single was re-issued in 2009 by Play Loud! Productions.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau (1-star Honorable Mention)[3]
The Observer 4/5 stars[4]
Paste favorable[5]
Pitchfork Media 9.2/10[6]
Prefix 9.0/10[7]
The Quietus very favorable[8]
Spin favorable[9]
The Daily Telegraph 5/5 stars[10]

The album was initially released to a muted critical and commercial reception, but has since gone on to become widely critically acclaimed and is now viewed as an important protopunk album. Anthony Carew in a retrospective review for called it "possibly the first punk record, and is the obvious birthplace of krautrock" and "one of the 'missing links' of alternative music history".[11] The Daily Telegraph wrote, "Listening to it now, finally, in full, remastered glory, it's hard to imagine how this primitive and often nightmarish music could have been allowed to be made at that particular time and place. [...] It may not be to every taste but, lurching according to its own sublimely clueless logic, it has a purity and heedlessness which can never be repeated." [10] Uncut wrote, "there's really nothing that can dull the impact of hearing the Monks' music for the first time."[12]


Legacy and impact[edit]

Black Monk Time was described in the mid-1990s by Julian Cope of The Teardrop Explodes as a "lost classic".[14] Of the album's raw style, and the context of its production, Cope writes:

NO-ONE ever came up with a whole album of such dementia. The Monks' Black Monk Time is a gem born of isolation and the horrible deep-down knowledge that no-one is really listening to what your [sic] saying. And the Monks took full artistic advantage of their lucky/unlucky position as American rockers in a country that was desperate for the real thing. They wrote songs that would have been horribly mutilated by arrangers and producers had they been back in America. But there was no need for them to clean up their act, as the Beatles and others had had to do on returning home, for there were no artistic constraints in a country that liked the sound of beat music but had no idea about its lyric content.[15]

In 2006 Play Loud! Productions released a Monks tribute album, the double-LP Silver Monk Time, featuring input from 29 international bands (including the original Monks) in conjunction with the film Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback.

English post-punk band The Fall has covered four of the album's songs: "I Hate You" and "Oh How to Do Now" on their 1990 album Extricate, "Shut Up" on their 1994 album Middle Class Revolt, and "Higgle-Dy Piggle-Dy" on the 2006 Play Loud! Productions compilation Silver Monk Time.

"Monk Time" was featured in a 2000 Powerade advertisement.[16]

Beastie Boys, Jack White of The White Stripes, and Colin Greenwood of Radiohead have praised the album.[7]

"Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice" was featured in a commercial for the Apple iPhone in 2017.[17]

"We Do Wie Du" is featured in the 2017 film Logan Lucky. [18]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Gary Burger, Larry Clark, Dave Day, Roger Johnston and Eddie Shaw.

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Monk Time" 2:42
2. "Shut Up" 3:11
3. "Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice" 1:23
4. "Higgle-Dy-Piggle-Dy" 2:28
5. "I Hate You" 3:32
6. "Oh, How to Do Now" 3:14
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Complication" 2:21
2. "We Do Wie Du" 2:09
3. "Drunken Maria" 1:44
4. "Love Came Tumblin' Down" 2:28
5. "Blast Off!" 2:12
6. "That's My Girl" 2:24


  • Gary Burger – vocals, guitar
  • Larry Clark – vocals, organ
  • Roger Johnston – vocals, drums
  • Eddie Shaw – vocals, bass guitar
  • Dave Day – vocals, electric banjo

Release history[edit]

Region Date Title Label Format Catalog
Germany May 1966 Black Monk Time International Polydor Production Stereo LP 249 900
Germany 1979 Black Monk Time Polydor Stereo LP 2417 129
Germany January 19, 1994 Black Monk Time Repertoire Records CD REP 4438-WP
USA February 11, 1997 Black Monk Time[a] Infinite Zero CD 9 43112-2
USA October 12, 2004 Monk Time Retribution Records CD 105523
Germany March 13, 2009 Black Monk Time[a] Polydor LP/CD 1785 208 [LP], 177 1723 [CD]
USA April 14, 2009 Black Monk Time[a] Light in the Attic Records LP/CD LITA 042

^a This release includes extensive liner notes, including interviews and photographs


  1. ^ "The 200 Best Albums of the 1960s". Pitchfork. August 22, 2017. 
  2. ^ Mark Deming. "Black Monk Time". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  3. ^ Robert Christgau. "The Monks". Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Peter Kimpton (15 March 2009). "Rock review: The Monks, Black Monk Time". Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Stephen M. Deusner (14 April 2009). "The Monks: Black Monk Time". Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  6. ^ Joe Tangari (20 April 2009). "The Monks: Black Monk Time". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Dan Nishimoto (12 June 2009). "Review". Prefix. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  8. ^ Alex Ogg (23 April 2009). "The Monks". The Quietus. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  9. ^ Spin. May 2007.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ a b Andrew Perry (23 April 2009). "The Monks, Black Monk Time: pop CD of the week". Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  11. ^ Anthony Carew. "Definitive Albums: The Monks 'Black Monk Time' (1965)". Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  12. ^ Len Comaratta (4 September 2010). "Monks - Black Monk Time". Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Monks Black Monk Time". Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  14. ^ Cope 1995, p. 6.
  15. ^ Cope 1995, p. 7.
  16. ^ "Powerade "Bus Ride"". Adweek. 13 January 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  17. ^
  18. ^


External links[edit]