Junkyard (album)

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Studio album by The Birthday Party
Released 10 May 1982
Recorded A.A.V. Studio 2, Melbourne and Matrix Studios, London 1981 & 1982
Genre Post-punk
Length 47:08
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. 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[edit]

Side A[edit]

  1. "She's Hit" (Nick Cave, Tracy Pew) - 6:06
  2. "Dead Joe" (Anita Lane, Cave) - 3:08
  3. "The Dim Locator"(Rowland S. Howard) - 2:49
  4. "Hamlet (Pow Pow Pow)" (Cave, Howard) - 5:33
  5. "Several Sins" (Howard, Harry Howard) - 2:56

Side B[edit]

  1. "Big Jesus Trash Can" (Cave, Mick Harvey) - 3:00
  2. "Kiss Me Black" (Barry Adamson on bass) (Lane, Cave)- 2:48
  3. "6" Gold Blade"(Cave, Harvey) - 3:34
  4. "Kewpie Doll" (Cave, Harvey) - 3:32
  5. "Junkyard" (Cave, Howard) - 5:49

CD Reissue[edit]

  1. "Blast Off!" (Howard) - 2:17 (CD bonus track)
  2. "She's Hit" - 6:06
  3. "Dead Joe" - 3:08
  4. "The Dim Locator" - 2:49
  5. "Hamlet (Pow Pow Pow)" - 5:33
  6. "Several Sins" - 2:56
  7. "Big Jesus Trash Can" - 3:00
  8. "Kiss Me Black" (Barry Adamson on bass) - 2:48
  9. "6" Gold Blade" - 3:34
  10. "Kewpie Doll" - 3:32
  11. "Junkyard" - 5:49
  12. "Dead Joe" (2nd version) (Barry Adamson on bass) - 3:07 (CD bonus track)
  13. "Release the Bats" (Harvey/Cave) - 2:09 (CD bonus track)


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]