Throbbing Gristle - Greatest Hits [Industrial Records - 2011]2011 was a funny year, while new releases were hit or miss, either being decidedly dull or wildly fantastic, re-issues were a dime a dozen. Nirvana, The Smiths, Can, This Mortal Coil, The Rolling Stones and Olivia Tremor Control all gave us reissues; some were dead on, others not so much. In that list you can add Throbbing Gristle, who no less re-mastered and reissued all five of their primary releases in 2011.
Throbbing Gristle come under the heading of a band you know or a band you always heard of but never listened to. They evolved from the performance art group COUM Transmission in 1976 until they broke up in 1981. They re-united in 2004 until 2010, after the death of member Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson in 2010 the band ceased to exist. Yet they restarted their own label Industrial Records to re-release their very influential works.
Greatest Hits is aptly titled, it’s a mixture of songs from their first four releases (Second Annual Report, D.O.A., 20 Jazz Funk Greats and Heathen Earth). For the uninitiated or the die-hard fan it’s interesting to hear the development of Throbbing Gristles sound. Bits of Kraftwork inspiration, especially on “Hot On The Heels Of Love” and “Adrenalin”; the beginning sounds of Industrial on “Subhuman” and “Zyklon-B Zombie” and “United” and the birth of avant-garde/noise/ambient on “Hamburger Lady”, “Six Six Sixties” and “What A Day”.
The first disc is a re-mastered version of the original Greatest Hits, but the second disc is full of re-mixes and alternative versions of previously mentioned songs and singles. All in all a concentrated blast of Throbbing Gristle that includes some of their best work and interesting remixes. Voracious fans will find new sounds in the re-mastering, while new fans will have the cliff notes version of Throbbing Gristle to arouse their ears and delve into their other works.Viktorya Kaufholz