Hang on to your hats, this is going to get very weird.
Geoff Rushton (aka John Balance) first became Coil when he was still at school, releasing very experimental cassettes and corresponding with the likes of Throbbing Gristle. When he arrived in London, he naturally gravitated to the TG circle and became a part-time member of Psychic TV (see Day 50). He eventually paired up (musically and romantically) with Peter (‘Sleazy’) Christopherson. They remained at the core of Coil throughout its long and varied existence, exploring the darkest recesses of human behaviour and releasing some of the most terrifying sounds ever committed to vinyl.
They released this single in 1985 – an extended version of a track from their LP Scatology – and the B-side featured their radical reworking of ‘Tainted Love’. They turned the erstwhile Gloria Jones Northern Soul classic (and Soft Cell Number 1 hit) into a song about HIV and AIDS (‘I gave you all a boy could give you’), which was just starting to make the headlines in the UK.
All the proceeds from this single were donated to the Terence Higgins Trust, while the video for ‘Tainted Love’ earned them hate mail from the US record company they were licensed to. Since I’ve already shared that in another blog, I’ve gone for the A-side here.
Neither Balance nor Sleazy are with us any longer. When Sleazy’s death was announced, I posted one of their shorter songs on Facebook. I thought it was fitting to have two minutes’ noise in his memory. Incidentally, I own a signed copy of their second LP, Horse Rotorvator. Great bunch of lads!
John Balance – vocals, synths; Peter Christopherson – synths, sequencers; Bily McGee – bass; Clint Ruin – drum programs