Throbbing Gristle

Throbbing Gristle

Infobox musical artist
Name = Throbbing Gristle

Img_capt = Throbbing Gristle in 1978 (From left to right: Genesis P-Orridge, Chris Carter, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Peter Christopherson).
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Background = group_or_band
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Died =
Origin = London, England
Instrument =
Genre = Avant-garde Experimental Industrial Performance art Noise Post-punk
Occupation =
Years_active = 1975-1981, 2004-Present
Label = Industrial, Mute
Associated_acts = Psychic TV, Coil, Chris & Cosey
URL = []
Current_members = Genesis P-Orridge Peter Christopherson Cosey Fanni Tutti Chris Carter
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

Throbbing Gristle are a British avant-garde music and visual arts group that evolved from the performance art group COUM Transmissions. The band consists of Genesis P-Orridge (bass, violin, vocals), Cosey Fanni Tutti (guitars, cornet), Peter Christopherson (aka "Sleazy") (tapes, found sounds, horns), and Chris Carter (synthesizer).


First era: 1975 to 1981

Throbbing Gristle's confrontational live performances and use of often disturbing imagery, including pornography and photographs of Nazi concentration camps, gave the group a notorious reputation. However the group always maintained that their mission was to challenge and explore the darker and obsessive sides of the human condition rather than to make attractive music. Throbbing Gristle pioneered the use of pre-recorded tape-based 'samples', and made extensive use of special effects to produce a distinctive, highly distorted background, usually accompanied by lyrics or spoken-word performances by Genesis P-Orridge. Though they asserted they wanted to provoke their audience into thinking for themselves rather than pushing any specific agenda (as evidenced by the song "Don't Do As You're Told, Do As You Think" on "Heathen Earth"), Throbbing Gristle also frequently associated with the anarchist punk scene. They even appeared on the infamous Crass pamphlet Toxic Grafity, with a condensation of their own propaganda parody series, Industrial News. []

In 1977 they released their debut recording, "The Second Annual Report". Although pressed in a limited initial run of 786 copies on the band's own Industrial Records label, it was later re-released due to high demand on Mute records, however this later release was reversed with all tracks playing backwards and in reverse order. This was followed by a series of albums, singles and live performances over a four year period.

On 29 May 1981, Throbbing Gristle performed at the Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco, California, USA. This concert marked the end of the group and its mission. As Cosey succinctly put it, "TG broke up because me and Gen broke up".

Genesis P-Orridge and Peter Christopherson went on to form Psychic TV, whilst Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter continued to record together under the names of Chris and Cosey and Creative Technology Institute. Christopherson later went on to become half of the band Coil with his partner and fellow Psychic TV member, the late John Balance. Meanwhile, Gen (now known as Genesis Breyer P-Orridge) subsequently formed Thee Majesty and PTV3 with the help of his wife, Jacqueline "Jaye" Breyer.

Reunion: 2004-Present

In 2004, Throbbing Gristle reunited for a brief while to record and release the limited album "TG Now". On April 2, 2007, TG released the album "Part Two" which the group had finished recording in Berlin. With the exception of the limited release "TG Now", it was their first studio album in 25 years. It was originally set to be released by Mute in September 2006 but was delayed for unknown reasons.

In March 2007 Side-Line announced "Part Two"'s final release date, adding that a string of special live events would take place in 2007. [cite web|url=|title=Throbbing Gristle announce special live events to celebrate first new album in over 25 years|accessdate=2007-02-11]

A 7-disc DVD set, titled "TGV", is currently available for preorder. [] The set contains old and new footage of the band. "TGV" comes packaged in a deluxe box with a 64-page book, all designed by Peter Christopherson. [ [ 7DVD box set for Throbbing Gristle] ]

Throbbing Gristle are currently recording a new album based on their interpretation of Nico's album "Desertshore". [cite web|url=|title=Desertshore (new Throbbing Gristle album) planned for 2008|accessdate=2007-07-24]


Throbbing Gristle are noted for their live performances, which are often experimental and quite different from their recorded work. In addition to studio albums, a large number of recordings of live shows have been released.


Throbbing Gristle were influenced by the pioneering 1960s experimental bands Fifty Foot Hose, The Velvet Underground, Can, and classical composers such as Austin Bedell and Raphael Villalobos. Fact|date=March 2007


During Throbbing Gristle's extensive career they have released numerous volumes of music including studio albums, live releases as well as box sets.

ee also

* Post-punk
* Industrial music


Further reading

*RE/Search: "Industrial Culture Handbook"
* "Rip It up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984", Simon Reynolds
* "Wreckers of Civilization: The Story of Coum Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle", Simon Ford, Black Dog Publishing, 2001 []
* "Industrial Music For Industrial People", Éric Duboys, Camion Blanc, 2007 (In French) []

External links

* [] Official website
* [ Throbbing Gristle] at Brainwashed

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