Greatest Fits (Warner Brothers)
by Scott Hefflon
Shoulda been called Greatest Fix, as much to play with their notorious drug intake as to fuck with Reznor for releasing that metal record, Broken, about the same time as Ministry hit their peak/entered their “slow and systematic decline.” (Sorry to reference NIN twice here, he’s just plain a better lyricist – hell, you can understand the little prick – not to mention a more diverse musician and artist. Really just ask him…) There’s some stuff here I’m not familiar with (“Supermanic Soul” and “Bad Blood,” the former being a not-great example of their noisy, early stuff and the latter being a not-great example of their monster rock latter stuff) and some I think I remember and am still trying to forget (“Reload” and their Dylan cover “Lay Lady Lay” from Filth Pig, a record I listened to twice and have almost sold repeatedly since). Hell, Dark Side of the Spoon left so little an impression, I forgot all about it… And that’s bad for a band like Ministry who were pioneers of industrial dance/metal music.
Christ, where else can ya say dance and metal together and not get punched? They spawned cheap-knock-offs galore, and they themselves basically became a Ministry cover band after a while, which doesn’t much matter cuz they’ve written enough great songs to be able to pick and choose and still fill a set list, encore included. So if you live under a rock and don’t have the albums that matter – The Land of Rape and Honey, The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste, In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up (Live), and Psalm 69 – get this for a few of the highlights. As is always the case, there are a number of good songs per record that didn’t make the cut here, so you really do need to get the original albums anyway.
Also included here is the new song, “What About Us?,” from A.I., a different, not-great live version of “So What?,” and a new studio version of the Black Sabbath cover, “Supernaut,” from that Nativity In Black thing from the mid-’90s. The near six-minute “What About Us?” is plodding, Psalm 69 monster metal with a noisy guitar solo, some samples, and a good ol’ pounding tirade at the end similar to a better version of “So What?” That song title reflects my feeling toward this record, in case you didn’t feel like paying attention.