Mittageisen

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For the band, see Mittageisen (band).
"Mittageisen"
Single by Siouxsie and the Banshees
B-side "Love in a Void"
Released September 1979
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1978
Genre Post-punk
Length 3:00
Label Polydor
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Nils Stevenson, Mike Stavrou
Siouxsie and the Banshees singles chronology
"Playground Twist"
(1979)
"Mittageisen"
(1979)
"Happy House"
(1980)

"Mittageisen" is a song by English post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees. Originally appearing on the band's 1978 debut album The Scream as "Metal Postcard (Mittageisen)", the track was re-recorded in 1979, this time with the lyrics sung in German, and released as a single in West Germany. Later in September of that year it was given a UK release by record label Polydor.

Content and sleeve[edit]

The title "Mittageisen" is a word play based on the German words "Mittagessen" (literally: "noon meal", i.e. lunch) and Eisen ("iron"). The title was inspired by John Heartfield's photocollage Hurrah, die Butter ist Alle![1] ("Hurray, the Butter is Finished!"), which was also used as the single's cover art.

Heartfield's photocollage was initially used on the front page of the Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (Workers Illustrated Journal), published on 19 December 1935. Heartfield (1891–1968) was an early member of Club Dada, which started in 1916 as Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich. The picture with the title 'Hurrah, die Butter ist Alle! / Hurray, the butter is finished!' shows a family who eats various pieces of metal. The trigger for it was the following quote from Hermann Göring: "Iron always made a nation strong, butter and lard only made the people fat".

Writing and recording[edit]

"Mittageisen" was composed by Siouxsie Sioux, John McKay, Kenny Morris and Steven Severin; the lyrics were translated into German by their manager Dave Woods and a woman named Renate. The single was dedicated to John Heartfield.[2]

The B-side, "Love in a Void", was composed by Siouxsie and short-lived former Banshees guitarist Peter Fenton. The track was an early live favourite; it was also the first song of their first John Peel session, recorded in late November 1977. "Love in a Void" had not been recorded for Polydor until this release.

Release[edit]

"Mittageisen" was released as a single in the UK in September 1979 by record label Polydor. The record was promoted as a double A-side release at the time, but only "Mittageisen" charted on the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at number 47.[3] Nevertheless, "Love in a Void" – but not "Mittageisen" – was included on the band's 1981 singles compilation Once Upon a Time: The Singles, which compiled all their A-sides up to that time, and later on the 2006 remastered edition of Join Hands. Putative A-side "Mittageisen" later appeared on the band's B-side compilation Downside Up.

Cover versions and cultural references[edit]

"Mittageisen" was covered and sampled by Massive Attack as "Superpredators (Metal Postcard)" in 1997, on the soundtrack to the film The Jackal.[4]

Black metal group Darkthrone recorded a cover of "Love in a Void" on their Too Old, Too Cold EP, released in 2006.

The Swiss band Mittageisen was named after this song.

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Mittageisen (Metal Postcard)"    
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Love in a Void"    

Personnel[edit]

Siouxsie and the Banshees
Technical
  • Nils Stevenson – production
  • Mike Stavrou – production

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hurrah, die Butter ist Alle! full original poster
  2. ^ Paytress, Mark (2004). Downside Up (Media notes). 
  3. ^ "Siouxsie & the Banshees [uk charts]". officialcharts.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "massive attack discography - tune info + lyrics - superpredators". inflightdata.com. Retrieved 1 November 2010.