Cop (album)

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Swans - Cop.jpg
Studio album by Swans
Released 1984
Recorded Feb-May 1984 at Vanguard Studios, New York City; Platinum, Zurich, Switzerland
Genre Noise rock, no wave, industrial
Length 40:48
Label K.422
Producer Michael Gira, Roli Mosimann
Swans chronology
Young God

Cop is the second studio album by American experimental rock band Swans. It was released in 1984, through record label K.422.


On Cop, Swans took the style of their previous LP, 1983's Filth, and intensified it, utilising slower tempos, more tape loops and even more abrasive musical textures.[1] The lyrics are again concerned with ambiguous themes like physical, often sexual domination and/or submission. According to Jarboe, who first met the band shortly after this album was recorded, the photograph on the cover is the profile of a morbidly obese woman.[citation needed]

Cop was remastered by Michael Gira in 1992 for release on CD along with the Young God EP as bonus tracks. The 1999 double disc re-issue Cop/Young God / Greed/Holy Money combines Cop and Young God with the compilation Greed / Holy Money (itself compiled from the albums Greed and Holy Money.) The packaging for all issues states that the recording is "designed to be played at maximum volume".

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
The Quietus favourable[2]

AllMusic wrote of the album: "Ugly, compelling and overpowering, Cop remains the pinnacle of Swans' brutal early days", calling it "quite possibly one of the darkest recordings ever done.".[1] The Quietus compared the sound of the album to an "open wound".

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Michael Gira; all music composed by Swans.

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Half Life" 4:18
2. "Job" 4:46
3. "Why Hide" 5:50
4. "Clay Man" 5:05
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Your Property" 4:48
2. "Cop" 6:47
3. "Butcher" 4:02
4. "Thug" 5:12
CD bonus tracks (Cop / Young God)
No. Title Length
1. "I Crawled" 5:40
2. "Raping a Slave" 6:22
3. "Young God" 7:03
4. "This Is Mine" 5:24


  • Michael Gira – vocals, tapes, production
  • Harry Crosby – bass guitar
  • Norman Westberg – guitar
  • Roli Mosimann – drums, production
  • Lee Ranaldo – sleeve back cover photography
  • Jonathan Thayer – engineering (at Vanguard Studios)
  • Mark Berry – engineering (at Vanguard Studios)
  • Harry Lombardy – engineering (at Platinum)
  • Voco – engineering (at Platinum)


Chart (1984) Peak
UK Indie Chart[3] 12


  1. ^ a b c Raggett, Ned. "Cop – Swans : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]