Killing Joke is an English group formed in 1979 by Jaz Coleman and Paul Ferguson.
Group which will have strongly influenced groups like Nirvana, Metallica, Ministry, Soundgarden, among others…
The first single produced by the group is called "Almost red" and it is John Peel himself, who is impressed by the recording, will offer them a passage on his show. This passage will change everything.
The first album of the group "Killing joke" was released in 1979. From which the single "Change", which hit the other side of the Channel and across the Atlantic, would be extracted.
The second album "What’s this for ...!" was released in 1981 and was relatively successful.
In 1982 released the album "Revelations" which produced a single hit with "Empire song". As well as the album "Birds of feather" which goes more or less unnoticed.
Following internal tensions, the group separated for the first time.
Then reformed in 1983 and released the album "Fire dances" which contains 2 interesting songs that are "Frenzy" and "Harlequin". Album with average success.
Things took a new turn with the release of two new singles in 1984 : "A new day" and "Eighties". Titles that will hit the radio much more than the previous ones.
The album "Night time" was immediately released. And there everything changes because the album contains another title that will set fire to all dancefloor on the planet : the now cult "Love like blood". We were then in 1985.
The group reaches a much wider audience with this title and its fame explodes.
In 1986, the group released their sixth album "Brighter than a thousand suns" which unfortunately does not really meet the same enthusiasm as the previous one.
And this despite the presence of two titles of good quality that are "Adorations" and "Sanity".
Two years passed and in 1988 the album "Outside the gate" was released under difficult conditions.
Failed album which will only have a meager success. Following this failure, the group separated again.
The group will reform again in 1989 but the dynamics are broken and the titles which will leave thereafter will have nothing any more to do with Killing Joke of the big time.
Except in 1994 where the group will experience ultimate success with the single "Millenium".
Despite this fairly chaotic end, Killing Joke will remain one of the major groups in the English new wave, both in its excess and its excesses as in some of its compositions which will go down in history as cult.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
• Nervous system 1979
• Wardance 1980
• Requiem 1980
• Follow the leaders 1981
• Empire song 1982
• Birds of a feather 1982
• Let’s all go (to the fire dances) 1983
• Me or you ? 1983
• Eighties 1984
• A new day 1984
• Love like blood 1985
• Adorations 1986
• Sanity 1986
• America 1988
• My love of this land 1988
• Millenium 1994
• Pandemonium 1994
• Jana 1995
• Democracy 1996
1979 ... beginnings to say the least confidential and which do not augur well for the enormous career that awaits this group. Everything in its time as they say ...
1980 ... change of decade and above all change of sound. The trend is given : they are not there to laugh ! This does not prevent them from winning their first classified hit ...
1980 ... it is clear that for the moment, their style, like their sound, is rather reserved for an audience of connoisseurs. Sensitive soul refrain ...
1981 ... the group will only release one title in this year 1981 but it will at least have the merit of being classified on both sides of the Atlantic. At least that's won !
1982 ... the beginning of the mutation. The basics of the sound that will make them successful are being put in place. Rather auspicious for the continuation of the events ...
1982 ... it is clear that there is still a little work for the group can hope to finally join the leading group. But it will not be long...
1983 ... things slowly fall into place for a suite that promises to be of the highest order. It was time...
1983 ... a suite which promises to be grandiose but which will not be for soon. The group has yet to find the little extra that makes all the difference. But they are getting closer, it's clear !
1984 ... the first title really structured and fully accomplished. A sound now recognizable among all and which will become the benchmark brand of the group !
1984 ... a year 1984 which saw them rise in power in an impressive way. And the rest is announced HUGE because this time, the group has all the cards in hand to start the big fireworks !
1985 ... and THE great fireworks, here it is ! They sign here an incredible title which will undoubtedly remain their Masterpiece ! A piece with a certain darkness, certainly. But this one will achieve an incredible feat : setting fire to all Dancefloor on the planet. Sacred performance !
1986 ... we find them 1 year later still as inspired. And also somewhat appeased. A change to say the least positive but which will not really benefit them unfortunately given the low level reached by this title in the Charts ...
1986 ... the group has changed, it's obvious. The sound is worked, the melodies are more refined. Good job ! But paradoxically, despite all their efforts to make themselves more affordable, the public went to look elsewhere. Go figure ...
1988 ... the start of deceleration. Slow but certain. The inspiration is not there anymore and it will not work out well ...
1988 ... which does not prevent them from suddenly having dazzling returns of inspiration which allow them to deliver extraordinary pieces. This is undeniable part of it !
1994 ... after 6 years of musical wandering, we find them in Alternative Rock mode. It's heavy but it works because success is back again ...
1994 ... in the same vein. We are far from the 80's Killing Joke version. Each style has its own style and codes. The group has managed to adapt to new trends but not sure that this will benefit them for a long time ...
1995 ... an astonishing piece which mixes their 80 influences with those of 90. For a rather positive result and which shows above all that tour is still possible ...
1996 ... well, there, it is time that the adventure ends because we begin to graze the caricature ... Too bad because we believed in it to the end ...
Official Website :
Greatest Hits :