Junkyard (album)

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Studio album by
Released10 May 1982
StudioA.A.V. Studio 2, Melbourne, Australia and Matrix Studios, London, England
LabelMissing Link
ProducerRichard 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. It has received critical acclaim.


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. In addition to his usual guitar, Mick Harvey played drums on a few songs, anticipating the upcoming termination of founding member Phill Calvert and the band's subsequent switch from quintet to quartet.

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 reissues added the "Release the Bats/Blast Off!" single recorded at London's Townhouse Studio with Nick Launay in April 1981. A second version of "Dead Joe" - originally featured on the MasterBAG August 1982 flexi-disc - also appears on the re-issue.

The cover art is by Ed Roth and Dave Christensen.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
MusicHound4.5/5 stars[2]
Stylus MagazineVery favourable[3]
The QuietusVery favourable[4]

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."[5] 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."[4] Stylus's Chris Smith describes the album as "transcendent and captivating."[3] In October 2010, Junkyard was listed at No. 17 in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.[6] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[7]

Track listing[edit]

Original LP release
No.TitleLyricsMusic byLength
1."She's Hit"Nick CaveCave, Tracy Pew6:06
2."Dead Joe"Cave, Anita LaneCave3:09
3."The Dim Locator"Rowland S. HowardR. Howard2:50
4."Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)"CaveR. Howard5:33
5."Several Sins"R. Howard, Harry HowardR. Howard, H. Howard2:56
6."Big-Jesus-Trash-Can"CaveMick Harvey3:00
7."Kiss Me Black"Cave, LaneCave2:48
8."6" Gold Blade"CaveHarvey3:35
9."Kewpie Doll"CaveHarvey3:32
10."Junkyard"CaveCave, R. Howard5:49
CD reissue
No.TitleLyricsMusic byLength
1."Blast Off!"R. HowardR. Howard2:19
2."She's Hit"CaveCave, Pew6:06
3."Dead Joe"Cave, LaneCave3:09
4."The Dim Locator"R. HowardR. Howard2:50
5."Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)"CaveR. Howard5:33
6."Several Sins"R. Howard, H. HowardR. Howard, H. Howard2:56
8."Kiss Me Black"Cave, LaneCave2:48
9."6" Gold Blade"CaveHarvey3:35
10."Kewpie Doll"CaveHarvey3:32
11."Junkyard"CaveCave, R. Howard5:49
12."Dead Joe" (2nd Version)Cave, LaneCave3:08
13."Release the Bats"CaveHarvey2:32


The Birthday Party[edit]

Additional Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
UK Albums Chart[9] 73
UK Independent Albums Chart[10] 1


  1. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2005). Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984. London, UK: Faber and Faber. pp. 429–431. ISBN 0-571-21569-6.
  2. ^ a b "Junkyard". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b "The Birthday Party – Junkyard". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b "The Quietus - Features - Anniversary - 30 Years On: We Return To The Birthday Party's Junkyard". The Quietus. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Junkyard - The Birthday Party". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  6. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9.
  7. ^ Dimery, Robert; Lydon, Michael (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (Revised & Updated ed.). Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
  8. ^ "The Birthday Party - Junkyard". Discogs. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Birthday Party | Artist". Official Charts Company. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  10. ^ Lazell, Barry. "Indie Hits: "B"". Cherry Red. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2014.

External links[edit]