Throbbing Gristle’s “20 Jazz Funk Greats” Turns 40

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In December of 1979 “Throbbing Gristle” released their “Industrial” classic 20 Jazz Funk Greats. Don’t let the name fool you, you won’t hear Jazz or Funk on this record, instead you’ll hear 11 tracks of uncompromising Industrial that incorporates various elements of Synth-Pop, Post-Punk, and Disco, but these genres are mutilated and drenched in the band’s anti-music style. The lyrical content consists of erotic themes and taboo subject matter, because, well….. it’s Throbbing Gristle. About the misleading and quite humorous album cover, member Cosey Fanni Tutti has stated “We did the cover so it was a pastiche of something you would find in a Woolworth’s bargain bin. We took the photograph at the most famous suicide spot in England, called Beachy Head. So, the picture is not what it seems, it is not so nicey nicey at all, and neither is the music once you take it home and buy it. We had this idea in mind that someone quite innocently would come along to a record store and see the record and think they would be getting 20 really good Jazz/Funk greats, and then they would put it on at home and they would just get decimated.” This album is regarded by many as the band’s best work, and it’s hard to argue with that. This was some of the most unique and innovative music unlike anything that came out of the 70’s, and is still a tough and incredibly disturbing listen today, and let’s not forget the massive influence the band had on all of the Industrial artists that followed. Happy Anniversary. 

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