This week Killing Joke release their 13th studio album "Absolute Dissent", their first with the original line-up of Jaz Coleman, Geordie, Youth and Paul Ferguson in almost 30 years, and embark on a tour that will bring them for the first time in Greece (8/10 Gagarin 205, Athens, 9/10 Principle Club, Thessalonika). To celebrate the good news and prepare for the gigs, we dedicate the 6th edition of Vintage Tracks to my two favorite songs off Killing Joke's fourth album, the almighty "Fire Dances", released in July 1983.
The years from 1980 to 1983 were Killing Joke's most prolific period, releasing four stunningly powerful albums and eventually becoming one of the decade's most influential bands (listen, for example, Nirvana's "Come As You Are" next to Killing Joke's "Eighties" or LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge" next to "Change"). By 1983 the brutal, primitive post-punk of their first eponymous album had progressed towards a more dance-influenced sound, with heavy bass-lines (courtesy of the newly recruited Paul Raven) and tribal rhythms. To my ears, "Fire Dances" sounds like the band's most joyous work, perhaps the result of the realization that the Apocalypse wasn't coming just yet (fact: in 1982 Coleman, Geordie and Youth, convinced of the impending doom, moved to Iceland to weather the storm). The album, which sits at the top of my 1983 "Best Albums" list, was remastered and reissued in 2008 with extra tracks, and includes two of my all-time favorite Killing Joke tunes, the oppressive "Dominator" with its ominous, industrial beat and the celebratory "Let' All Go (to the Fire Dances)". Both tracks were on the 12" single the band released in June '83 (the latter was the A-side and the former the B-side along with a live version of "The Fall Of Because"), which became my first Killing Joke purchase that September. Listen to both of them below:
Let's All Go (to the Fire Dances)