Junkyard (album)

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Studio album by The Birthday Party
Released 10 May 1982
Recorded 1981–1982
Studio A.A.V. Studio 2, Melbourne, Australia and Matrix Studios, London, England
Genre Post-punk
Length 47:08
Label Missing Link
Producer Richard Mazda, Tony Cohen and Nick Launay
The Birthday Party chronology
Drunk on the Pope's Blood
Mutiny/The Bad Seed

Junkyard is the third studio album by Australian post-punk group The Birthday Party. It was released on 10 May 1982 by Missing Link Records in Australia and by 4AD in the UK. It was the group's last full-length studio recording.


Junkyard was inspired by American Southern Gothic imagery, dealing with extreme subjects like an evangelist's murdered daughter.[1] Nick Cave's then-girlfriend Anita Lane co-wrote with him on two songs, "Dead Joe" and "Kiss me Black".

The album was a somewhat transitional record for a variety of reasons. On 16 February 1982 in Melbourne, Tracy Pew (the band's bass player) was arrested for drunk driving. For this and several other outstanding offences he served 2.5 months in Pentridge Prison in Australia, and so Barry Adamson was drafted in on bass duties for several tracks.

Recording and artwork[edit]

The album was recorded with Tony Cohen at Armstrong's Audio Visual (A.A.V.) Studios in Melbourne in December 1981 and January 1982. Additional tracks were recorded in London's Matrix Studios with punk producer Richard Mazda in May 1982. Mazda's previous work with ATV and The Fall had brought him to their attention. Later CD re-issues added the "Release the Bats/Blast Off!" single recorded at London's Townhouse Studio with Nick Launay in April 1981. A 2nd version of Dead Joe also appears on the re-issue.

The cover art is by Ed Roth and Dave Christensen.

Critical Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
MusicHound 4.5/5 stars[2]
Spin (9/10)[3]
Stylus Magazine Very favourable[4]
The Quietus Very favourable[5]

Critic Ned Raggett called the album a "scuzzy masterpiece" that saw "Cave's now-demonic vocals in full roar while the rest of the players revamped rhythm & blues and funk into a blood-soaked exorcism."[6] Julian Marszalek of The Quietus writes that "Junkyard still sounds as if it’s waiting for rock music to catch up with it," calling it "a high example of uncompromised music and art [...] that exists purely on its own terms."[7] Stylus's Chris Smith describes the album as "transcendent and captivating."[8] In October 2010, Junkyard was listed at No. 17 in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.[9]

Track listing[edit]

Original LP release
No. Title Lyrics Music by Length
1. "She's Hit" Nick Cave Cave, Tracy Pew 6:06
2. "Dead Joe" Cave, Anita Lane Cave 3:09
3. "The Dim Locator" Rowland S. Howard R. Howard 2:50
4. "Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)" Cave R. Howard 5:33
5. "Several Sins" R. Howard, Harry Howard R. Howard, H. Howard 2:56
6. "Big-Jesus-Trash-Can" Cave Mick Harvey 3:00
7. "Kiss Me Black" Cave, Lane Cave 2:48
8. "6" Gold Blade" Cave Harvey 3:35
9. "Kewpie Doll" Cave Harvey 3:32
10. "Junkyard" Cave Cave, R. Howard 5:49
CD reissue
No. Title Lyrics Music by Length
1. "Blast Off!" R. Howard R. Howard 2:19
2. "She's Hit" Cave Cave, Pew 6:06
3. "Dead Joe" Cave, Lane Cave 3:09
4. "The Dim Locator" R. Howard R. Howard 2:50
5. "Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)" Cave R. Howard 5:33
6. "Several Sins" R. Howard, H. Howard R. Howard, H. Howard 2:56
7. "Big-Jesus-Trash-Can" Cave Harvey 3:00
8. "Kiss Me Black" Cave, Lane Cave 2:48
9. "6" Gold Blade" Cave Harvey 3:35
10. "Kewpie Doll" Cave Harvey 3:32
11. "Junkyard" Cave Cave, R. Howard 5:49
12. "Dead Joe" (2nd Version) Cave, Lane Cave 3:08
13. "Release the Bats" Cave Harvey 2:32


The Birthday Party[10][edit]

Additional Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
UK Albums Chart[11] 73
UK Independent Albums Chart[12] 1


External links[edit]