The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste

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The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste
Ministry - The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste.png
Studio album by Ministry
Released November 14, 1989 (1989-11-14)
Recorded 1987–1989 at Chicago Trax Studios
Genre Industrial metal
Length 50:18
Label Sire/Warner Bros.
Producer Hypo Luxa, Hermes Pan
Ministry chronology
The Land of Rape and Honey
The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste
In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up
Singles from The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste
  1. "Burning Inside"
    Released: November 7, 1989
  2. "So What"
    Released: 1990[1]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Metal Storm 10/10 stars[3]
Robert Christgau B+[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[4]

The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste is the fourth studio album by industrial metal band Ministry, released in 1989 through Sire/Warner Bros. Records. The music took a more hardcore, aggressively guitar-driven direction. As with most of Ministry's work, the album's lyrics deal mainly with political corruption ("Thieves"); cultural violence ("So What"); environmental degradation, and nuclear war ("Breathe"); drug addiction ("Burning Inside"); and insanity ("Cannibal Song").

The album peaked at #163 in the US and was certified Gold by the RIAA for sales in excess of 500,000 units in December 1995.[6][7]

Many fans consider The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste as one of the top three Ministry albums but Jourgensen admits he cannot stand it, mainly because of the condition he was in at the time; he was heavily into drugs during recording and had a poor relationship with his bandmates. In one instance, he chased bassist Paul Barker around the studio with a chair and hit him on the head because he "couldn't stand him anymore."[8]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Thieves" Alain Jourgensen, Paul Barker, Chris Connelly, Kevin Ogilvie 5:02
2. "Burning Inside" Jourgensen, Barker, William Rieflin, Connelly 5:20
3. "Never Believe" Jourgensen, Barker, Connelly 4:59
4. "Cannibal Song" Jourgensen, Barker, Connelly 6:10
5. "Breathe" Jourgensen, Barker, Rieflin, Connelly, Ogilvie 5:40
6. "So What" Jourgensen, Barker, Rieflin, Connelly 8:14
7. "Test" Jourgensen, Barker, Rieflin, K. Lite 6:04
8. "Faith Collapsing" Jourgensen, Barker, Rieflin 4:01
9. "Dream Song" Jourgensen, Barker 4:48



  • "Get up! Get on your feet!" "You will not kill!" "I can't hear you!" - dialogue from R. Lee Ermey's drill instructor character in Full Metal Jacket.

"Burning Inside"[edit]

"Cannibal Song"[edit]


  • "Opening musical sequence (first 30 seconds)" - taken from the film Cry Freedom.

"So What"[edit]

  • The dialogue spoken during the song ("You have had all that money can give you", "Kill for a thrill", etc.) is from the judge's summing up at the end of the Ed Wood-scripted film The Violent Years.
  • "Die!" and the laughter sample are from the film Scarface.

"Faith Collapsing"[edit]

  • Features dialogue samples taken from the films 1984 ("There have been spontaneous demonstrations by party workers, voicing gratitude and joy") and Fahrenheit 451 ("The system will eat itself").

Chart positions[edit]



Additional personnel[edit]

  • William Rieflindrums, programming, background vocals (8)
  • Mars Williamssaxophone (4)
  • Chris Connelly – lead vocals (3, 4), background vocals (5, 6)
  • The Grand Wizard (K. Lite) – vocals (7)
  • Joe Kelly – background vocals (1)
  • Kyle McKeough – background vocals (6)
  • Jeff Ward – background vocals (5)
  • Dave Ogilvie – background vocals (5, 8), engineer
  • The Slogan God (Tommie Boyskee) – vocals (7)
  • Bobbie DiBartollo – background vocals (8)
  • Angela Lukacen – vocals (9)
  • Keith Auerbach – engineer
  • Jeff Newell – engineer
  • Julian Herzfeld - engineer
  • "Dog" – cover design
  • "Ill" – cover design
  • Maura – cover design
  • Tom Young – cover photos
  • Tom Baker – mastering


  1. ^ "Ministry So What (Single)". Spirit of Metal. Retrieved December 30, 2014. 
  2. ^ van der Pol, Marc. "The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste - Ministry". AllMusic. Retrieved March 20, 2010. 
  3. ^ jupitreas. "Ministry - The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste review". Metalstorm. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan. "Ministry". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004, p. 544. Cited March 20, 2010
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Ministry"., Retrieved on March 20, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste - Ministry". Billboard. 
  7. ^ "RIAA certifications". Recording Industry Association of America. 
  8. ^ Jourgensen, Al; Wiederhorn, Jon (2013). Ministry: The Lost Gospels (2 ed.). Da Capo Press. p. 97.