Thieves (Ministry song)

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Song by Ministry from the album The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste
Released 1990 (1990)
Recorded 1989 at Chicago Trax Studios
Genre Industrial metal
Length 5:02
Label Sire/Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Al Jourgensen, Paul Barker, Chris Connelly, Kevin Ogilvie
Producer(s) Hypo Luxa, Hermes Pan, Ministry

"Thieves" is a song by American industrial metal band Ministry. It is the opening track from the band's fourth studio album, The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste (1989).[1] The song's lyrics deal mainly with political corruption. The song includes dialogue samples from R. Lee Ermey's drill instructor character in Full Metal Jacket. Ministry's version was featured in the 1992 science fiction film Freejack, also in the 2009 video game Brütal Legend.

Music and critical reception[edit]

The song is based on a harmonic stasis. It features the extensive use of E minor chord. 118 out of 138 measures of the song are based on the same E minor chord, while the rest are F minor chords. Al Jourgensen sings only the G note, while the song "shifts gears rhythmically" through its sections and quadruples its tempo.[2]

Tom Moon, the author of 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die, wrote, "At the two minute mark of "Thieves" and several times later in the song, Ministry's pulse is bolstered by what sounds like a whirring pneumatic drill. It's not a gimmick—it almost functions as a solo guitar, adding punctuation."[3]



Additional personnel[edit]

Limp Bizkit cover[edit]

Single by Limp Bizkit
Released November 1, 2013 (2013-11-01)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2012–2013
Genre Nu metal, industrial metal
Length 5:31
Label Cash Money
Limp Bizkit singles chronology
"Ready to Go"
"Endless Slaughter"

American nu metal band Limp Bizkit covered parts of this song during Woodstock 99 [4] as well as releasing their cover version of "Thieves" as a single via Twitter on November 1, 2013 for free download.[5][6] Limp Bizkit's version is taken from the band's seventh studio album Stampede of the Disco Elephants. Limp Bizkit performed it throughout many of the band's live sets since 1997, but the band did not release a studio version until 2013.[7] Limp Bizkit's version does not include the samples that are on Ministry's version.

Axl Rosenberg of MetalSucks criticized the cover, stating that the band "butchered" the song.[8]


Limp Bizkit[edit]


  1. ^ Harrison, Thomas (2011). Music of the 1980s. ABC-CLIO. p. 63. ISBN 0313365997. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ Reed, S. Alexandre (2013). Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music. Oxford University Press. p. 0199339627. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ Moon, Tom (2008). 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die. Workman Publishing. p. 505. ISBN 0761153853. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Limp Bizkit - Full Concert - 07/24/99 - Woodstock 99 East Stage (OFFICIAL)". youtube. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  5. ^ Barkan, Jonathan (November 1, 2013). "[Free Download] Limp Bizkit Release Their Cover Of Ministry's "Thieves"". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ Túlio, Marcelo (November 1, 2013). "New Limp Bizkit song "Thieves" is out now!". Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ "LIMP BIZKIT: Cover Version Of MINISTRY's 'Thieves' Available For Free Download". November 4, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ Rosenberg, Axl (November 5, 2013). "Limp Bizkit Ruin Guns N' Roses, Ministry". MetalSucks. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 

External links[edit]