Hallowed Ground (Violent Femmes album)

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Hallowed Ground
Hallowed Ground.jpg
Studio album by Violent Femmes
Released June 1984
Recorded January 1984
Studio Secret Sound Studio, New York City
Length 38:57
Label Slash
Producer Mark Van Hecke
Violent Femmes chronology
Violent Femmes
(1983)Violent Femmes1983
Hallowed Ground
The Blind Leading the Naked
(1986)The Blind Leading the Naked1986
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]
The Village VoiceC+[3]

Hallowed Ground is the second album by Violent Femmes, released in June 1984. Like the band's first album, the songs were mostly written by singer/guitarist/lyricist Gordon Gano when he was in high school. "Country Death Song", for example, written by Gano during his high school classes, was inspired by the tradition of folk songs about "terrible, horrific stories".[4]

The Christian-related lyrics on Hallowed Ground were thought by some to be ironic, but Gano is a devout Christian.[1] The other two members of Violent Femmes were atheists, and initially refused to perform those songs, but after their debut had been recorded, they relented and several of Gano's religion-themed songs were recorded for Hallowed Ground.[1] Gano stated in 1989, "At the time, Brian (Ritchie) was very aggressively anti-anything Christian. He said he didn't want to be playing in a band that was expressing something that he felt so vehemently against."[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Gordon Gano.

1."Country Death Song"5:02
2."I Hear the Rain"1:32
3."Never Tell"7:10
4."Jesus Walking on the Water"3:07
5."I Know It’s True but I’m Sorry to Say"5:05
6."Hallowed Ground"4:18
7."Sweet Misery Blues"2:51
8."Black Girls"5:41
9."It’s Gonna Rain"4:11


Violent Femmes
Additional musicians
  • Mark Van Hecke – piano on "Hallowed Ground" and "It's Gonna Rain", organ on "I Know That It's True but I'm Sorry to Say"
  • Tony Trischkabanjo on "Country Death Song" and "It's Gonna Rain"
  • Christina Houghton – autoharp on "Jesus Walking on the Water"
  • Peter Balestrieri – vocals on "Jesus Walking on the Water", saxophone on "Black Girls", harmonica on "It's Gonna Rain"
  • Cynthia Gano Lewis – vocals on "Jesus Walking on the Water"
  • Drake Scott – cornetto on "Black Girls", sackbut on "Sweet Misery Blues"
  • John Zorn – alto saxophone, clarinet and game calls on "Black Girls"
  • John Tanner – clarinet on "Sweet Misery Blues"
  • Mark Van Hecke – production
  • John Tanner – engineering
  • Warren Bruleigh – engineering



Chart Entry
Weeks charted
ARIA Charts[6] June 4, 1984 56 11


  1. ^ a b c Woodbury, Jason P. (24 September 2014). "Violent Femmes' Profane Gospel Rock Album Turns 30". 
  2. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Hallowed Ground – Violent Femmes". AllMusic. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 26, 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  4. ^ Ripple, Angie (May 1, 2016). "Interview: Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes". Bozeman Magazine. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  5. ^ Blanco, John (14 June 1989). "Gordon Gano's Gospel Hour". 
  6. ^ Kent, David (compiler); Australian Chart Book 1970–1992: 23 Years of Hit Singles and Albums from the Top 100 Charts; p. 330 ISBN 9780646119175