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HOLY MONEY

Swans

Post Rock/Math rock


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Swans Holy Money album cover
3.91 | 15 ratings | 2 reviews | 13% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. A Hanging (5:48)
2. You Need Me (1:23)
3. Fool (#2) (5:54)
4. A Screw (Holy Money) (5:00)
5. Another You (7:43)
6. Money Is Flesh (#2) (5:02)
7. Coward (5:10)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


Michael Gira / vocals, piano, sampler, production
Norman Westberg / guitar
Harry Crosby / bass guitar on tracks A3, B1 and B3
Algis Kizys / bass guitar on tracks A1 and A4
Jarboe / vocals on tracks A1 and A2
Ronald Gonzalez / drums on tracks A1 and B1-B3
Ted Parsons / drums on tracks A1 and A4
Ivan Nahem / drums on track A3

Releases information

K.422 Records 1986 Studio Album

Thanks to The Truth for the addition
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Buy SWANS Holy Money Music


Cop / Young God / Greed / Holy MoneyCop / Young God / Greed / Holy Money
Import
Universal UK 2010
Audio CD$8.73
$6.81 (used)
Cop / Greed / Holy MoneyCop / Greed / Holy Money
Thirsty Ear 1999
Audio CD$61.25
$19.99 (used)
Greed/Holy MoneyGreed/Holy Money
K.422 1993
Audio CD$99.99
$29.99 (used)
Cop/Young God/Greed/Holy MoneyCop/Young God/Greed/Holy Money
Import · Single
Some Bizzare 2005
Audio CD$35.41
$22.99 (used)
Cop / Young God / Greed / Holy Money by Swans (2010)Cop / Young God / Greed / Holy Money by Swans (2010)
Universal UK
Audio CD$34.16
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SWANS Holy Money ratings distribution


3.91
(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (47%)
47%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

SWANS Holy Money reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Holy Money should be considered as a sister album of Greed rather than a successor since these songs were recorded during the same sessions as the band's prior release. I also think it's generally a superior album due to a couple of stunners plus alternate takes on a couple of Greed tracks in which I find these Holy Money versions more fleshed out and preferable.

"Fool", sparse yet effective in Greed as an opener, is now amped up with pounding drums and more bombastic guitarwork that almost comes across like some deranged take on Pink Floyd's "In The Flesh". The lyrics are still clear and freakish, an important part of the 'dollar sign' era. "Money Is Flesh" (I find myself saying "flesh" a lot here) also utilizes more percussion to add an extra layer to that monstrous industrial swing effect. This is the version generally heard regarding reissues and compilations.

"A Hanging" opens things on a pretty grim note, featuring Jarboe's ceremonial wailing while Gira dishes out some humdinger prose.

"Dear God in Heaven, I'll hang for you."

The music has that clanging industrial vibe, and eventually finishes with a storm of tribalistic drumming. I always thought it would make for an unforgettable 'walk down the aisle' wedding tune. The version of "A Screw" found here is creepy with the pulsing industrial throb juxtaposed with menacing whispering vocals and the eventual chanting also found on the single versions.

Jarboe actually gets a tune of her own this time around, "You Need Me", although it plays more like an interlude, or a brief oasis between two shambling behemoths. Eerie yet pretty.

As I mentioned before, there are a couple of doozies. "Coward" is similar in style musically to Greed's "Anything For You", but more provocative and punishingly depressing. The corker though is one of my all-time favorite SWAN tracks, "Another You". The inclusion of a harmonica in this venomous dirge adds a whole new element, like a boat tour through the deepest, murkiest, most alligator-ridden swamp in the bayou led by a lunatic. Halfway through the song the guitars & bass go bonkers while cavernous moans slink there way into the music, as if things couldn't get darker. This monster tapers off with the repeated line "I should have hurt you". Brilliant.

I can't deny that Greed has some memorable beasts lurking within, but overall I think Holy Money got the better batch of tunes in the end, as it's a bit heavier and no less depraved.

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Review by TCat
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is the last full album in the Swans dollar sign series. This, just like all the previous albums, is very dirge-like and brutal throughout. It takes you down into the depths of the muddiest swamps of depression and darkness. Early Swans music is known for being the most brutal music out there, and this album is no exception to that. But you also begin to hear a little more experimentation in the music in this album, and you also get a short interlude sung by Jarboe ("You Need Me"), who would from this point forward have more of an influence in the overall sound of the music in the subsequent albums. This acts as a quick break in the otherwise extreme sound of this album.

But in the tracks like "A Hanging" and "Fool #2", you also hear a break away from the constant rhythm that usually would establish itself in previous Swans tracks and would remain mostly unchanging throughout each track. In this album, the rhythm, ground line and guitar follows a repetitive pattern as before, but now the sound will suddenly change mid-track, showing the band's new penchant for exploring sounds and possibilities in their music.

The album still features unrelenting heavy and depressing music and was considered post-punk at the time. At this point though, you will start hearing experimentation into post and math rock, and this works to this albums advantage and at even greater levels in future albums. As for now, most people will still find this music too heavy, but it is better than previous efforts as some variety and experimentation starts to show through. The music is better quality and the band shows interest in exploring new musical avenues. Of all the heavy, industrial sounding post punk albums from Swans, this one is the one I consider the best. This is a good introduction to the earlier discography, if you are inclined to explore this music that lives in the depths of dark human souls. 4 stars.

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