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Throbbing Gristle 20 Jazz Funk Greats album cover
4.14 | 48 ratings | 4 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. 20 Jazz Funk Greats (2:51)
2. Beachy Head (3:42)
3. Still Walking (4:56)
4. Tanith (2:20)
5. Convincing People (4:54)
6. Exotica (2:53)
7. Hot on the Heels of Love (4:24)
8. Persuasion (6:36)
9. Walkabout (3:04)
10. What a Day (4:38)
11. Six Six Sixties (2:07)

Total time 42:25

Bonus tracks on 1991 remaster:
12. Discipline (Berlin) (10:45)
13. Discipline (Manchester) (8:06)

Bonus CD from 2011 remaster:
1. Weapon Training - The Factory, Manchester 1979 (1:34)
2. Convincing People - The Factory, Manchester 1979 (6:12)
3. They Make No Say - Guildhall, Northampton 1979 (5:28)
4. Five Knuckle Shuffle - The Factory, Manchester 1979 (6:27)
5. His Arm Was Her Leg - The Factory, Manchester 1979 (3:51)
6. See You Are - The Factory, Manchester 1979 (5:45)
7. What A Day - The Factory, Manchester 1979 (6:17)
8. Discipline - Manchester (8:10)
9. Discipline - Berlin (10:46)

Total time 54:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Christine "Cosey" Newby / lead guitar, synth, cornet, vocals
- Chris Carter / synths, sequencers, drum programming, vocals
- Peter Christopherson / tapes, vibes, cornet, vocals
- Neil "Genesis" Megson / bass, violin, synth, vibes, vocals

Releases information

LP Industrial Records - IR0008 (1979, UK)

CD The Grey Area - TGCD 4 (1991, UK) Remastered by Chris Carter with 2 bonus tracks from single
2xCD Industrial Records - IRLCD003 (2011, Europe) Remastered by Chris Carter with bonus CD

Thanks to philippe for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THROBBING GRISTLE 20 Jazz Funk Greats ratings distribution

(48 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

THROBBING GRISTLE 20 Jazz Funk Greats reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Throbbing Gristle are frequently and quite correctly credited for inventing the genre we commonly know as "industrial." Their abrasive, post-punk, nihilist noisemaking ushered in a whole generation of lienated misanthropes who felt they could relate to machines better than to their fellow human beings. After several albums of relentlessly abrasive material, however, TG decided to go another direction on "20 Jazz Funk Greats." The title is obviously tongue in cheek, but there is a grain of truth behind it. This is certainly TG's jazziest, as well as their funkiest record. Most of the tracks are laid back and subtle. hey are still just as menacing as ever, but this time the threat is more akin to being slowly poisoned rather than stabbed in the face.

Chris Carter's subdued electronics, trending ever closer towards straightforward dance music are heavily utilized here, but everything sounds far away and cloaked in a mysterious English fog. Geneis P-Orridge is as creepy as ever with his deadpan ramblings, the standout being the genuinely disturbing "Convincing People." One track entitled "Exotica" gives a clue to the inspiration for the album. There is indeed an element of Martin Denny and Les Baxter's method of creating evocative palettes designed to take the listener away to distant and exotic locales, although here this time it will not be anywhere so safe and welcoming as Polynesia. There's even a vibraphone to complete the tribute.

My favorite track on the album is the borderline mainstream "Hot on the Heels of Love." It is a perfectly produced slice of rhythmic electronica that could easily have been a club hit. It also features the all too rarely heard oice of Cosey, the groups only female member, breathily repeating the words "hot on the heels of love / waiting for help from above" in a tantalizing whisper.

"20 Jazz Funk Greats" is not Throbbing Gristle's best work, but it is an easy jumping off point for beginners, who might be a little intimidated by the band's more aggressive material. More importantly, this is the album that really shows just how influential TG were. Together with Kraftwerk (and maybe Tangerine Dream and Gary Numan) this album played a defining role in shaping the sound of modern electronica.

Review by Dobermensch
5 stars Sounding like a personal death threat, the incongruously named '20 Jazz Funk Greats' is a sleazy, hot and dirty album that is far easier on the ear than any of their previous recordings. There are actual tunes! Yes... can you believe it, TG recording songs you can actually sing along to. Well I never.

The sleeve should be enough to give you the creeps, with the strangely attired band members standing over a dead body at Beachy Head - suicide central - in England. The body may be deleted on the cover... but it's not in the black and white inner sleeve. You'll be glad to know that there's no jazz and no funk whatsoever on this album. You will however get a primitive industrial feel to proceedings, mixed up with lots of electronics and just about everything played being squashed through filters and effects.

None of the TG nastiness has dissipated. It's just awash with better production making this a bit more user friendly than most of their LP's. Kraftwerk's 'Trans Europa Express' is given an outing on 'Still Walking'. (Jeez - Kraftwerk pop up everywhere don't they?) This is a bit less experimental than my favourite of their albums '3rd Annual Report' -but it's by no means inferior. In fact it's probably the best entry point for any new listener. There's a lot more electronics present and more care seems to have been made over the actual recording.

This isn't as visceral as past Throbbing Gristle but if anything it's their best release to date. You actually get musical 'hooks' to grab on to. An unforgettable album that sounds very much as though it was recorded in '79 with all the grime and grayness inherent in scabby Britain at that time. Ideological chunks of splinter band 'Coil' are starting to appear throughout.

As usual Genesis P-Orridge sounds like his soul is dead. A ghost with no heart and lifeless corpse-like eyes as he delivers his vocals in the most deadpan of manners. Still, he's always good for a laugh is old Gen. Actually he's not - take a look at him now on google images .... Arrghh! What the?.... Cozy Fanni Tutti does TG disco beat on 'Hot on the Heels of Love' which swelters at 90˚F. This is as commercial as they got, but it still sounds filthy with all those cracking whips.

Genesis P-Orridge delivers the one heavily sexually dodgy number with 'Persuasion'. It's probably best I don't talk about this on the Archives or I may be banned for life. No... I'm being serious...

These are not folks you'd want to introduce to your parents. God knows what would come out of their mouths. You'd be a bag of nerves sitting there, fidgeitting, twiddling your thumbs waiting for something awful to happen.

The continually creepy and degenerate '20 Jazz Funk Greats' is all the more disturbing because you get the idea that they weren't trying to be controversial at all.

You'll either find this album repellent or captivating. I'd set out to give this 4 stars but... hell's bells after 50 minutes of hearing this loveless recording for the 100th time I think it deserves the full whammy!

And blimey! doesn't Cozy look hot?

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars Seems like our Progressive net is getting wider these days, and bringing up some odd fish. Throbbing Gristle, in a Prog Rock forum? Good grief, who's next: Alan Vega and Suicide? (On the other hand, why not?)

Throbbing Gristle scared me in my sheltered adolescence, and even now, as a more worldly-wise adult, I still feel uneasy in their company. The band's transgressive audio-visual ethos was akin to lifting a rock and seeing the writhing mass of creepy-crawly things beneath it: all part of the rich tapestry of life, but hardly something you want your nose rubbed in.

Their 1997 studio album is probably the quartet's most accessible effort, but with this group that's a relative measure at best, and it doesn't extend too far beyond the parody cover art and title track: a rinky-dink robotic pop rhythm, complete with groovy, whispered interjections like "yeah..!" and "nice!" Just a touch of ersatz beatnik humor to brighten an otherwise nightmarish soundscape; some editions of the album telegraphed the punchline by adding a naked corpse to the faux-'60s cover photo.

But don't be fooled. Throbbing Gristle was notorious for exploring the darker recesses of the human condition, operating in a dark industrial netherland of post-punk electronics. The German bands that inspired them (KLUSTER, early KRAFTWERK, the first TANGERINE DREAM) were formed in reaction against the horrors of their collective past. But groups like TG embraced those same terrors as a way to confront our darker impulses, without flinching. Torture, genocide, pornography, disfigurement, etc...all set to a throbbing mechanical backbeat, with atonal brass accents, eerie tape effects, and soulless vocals conjured from somewhere beyond the grave.

Disturbing stuff, but...well, you decide. If nothing else, the band offered a challenging antidote to all those vapid synth-pop superstars hogging the limelight at the dawn of the 1980s. For the best effect, play the album late at night, with all the lights off. But hide the knives first.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Bearing its ironic title and insincere cover (snapped at an infamous British suicide spot), Throbbing Gristle's 20 Jazz Funk Greats finds Genesis P-Orridge and gang combining more nuanced electronic industrial (compared with the rawer Second Annual Report) and disturbing lyrics to dynamite effect. Fusion fans expecting something more up their alley from the title may wish to step back and reconsider, but alternately anyone interested in exploring the origins of industrial music will find this one of the more accessible jumping-on points in the Throbbing Gristle discography - though with Gristle "accessible" is very much a relative term. You could even dance to some of this if you broke your kneecaps first.

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