Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the industrial genre had its heyday. There were numerous bands that came and went–does anybody remember Die Warzau? Other bands like Skinny Puppy, KMFDM, and Nine Inch Nails still release new music and still tour. Yesterday, Jon Smith played “Lightning Man” by Nitzer Ebb on X96 90’s at Noon, and that sparked a discussion between the two of us about the mostly forgotten industrial genre. On the air, I stated that if anyone wanted us to do a special old-school industrial hour, they should text us. Surprisingly, we got a decent response, so we are putting together a industrial music special that will likely air on the night of Black Friday. Stay tuned for details about that. In the meantime, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 favorite industrial songs. Put on your black Doc Martens, smoke a clove cigarette–smoking is bad, please don’t actually do that, go crazy with the eye-liner, and enjoy my play list.
#10 Front 242 “Headhunter”
I met these guys back in the day when they played at the Fairgrounds Coliseum. They were very nice Belgian gentlemen who know how to deliver a solid sound.
#9 Nitzer Ebb “Getting Closer”
They signed my CD (see the photo above) when I met them, and even wrote part of the lyrics of this song on it!
#8 Nine Inch Nails “Down In It”
This song actually scared me when I first heard it. I was puzzled and frightened at first, and then I fell in love with NIN!
#7 Machines of Loving Grace “Butterfly Wings”
They gave us three albums in the 90’s before disbanding. This was one of my favorites.
#6 Contagion “Scratch”
I saw these guys at Club DV8 in about 1993, and I was so impressed, I shaved the sides and back of my head. I had a family reunion the next day, and my mom was pissed! True story.
#5 Gravity Kills “Guilty”
I saw them at Club DV8. When I announced them, it was the first time in my life where I used the F-word on stage while announcing a band. I don’t know why I still recall that!
#4 KMFDM “Light”
Remember when X96 buried the word “Alternative” and then had KMFDM play a concert to celebrate? Me, neither. It never happened!
#3 Nitzer Ebb “Lightning Man”
I remember playing this at KJQ when I was a young DJ just starting my career.
#2 Ministry “Stigmata”
I never saw these guys live because it seemed like one of those shows where I’d be scared to death!
#1 Skinny Puppy “Testure”
I always thought this should have been the one song that broke these guys into the mainstream of alternative music. And it might have done that had they recorded it in 1990. But it came out in 1984 and the world just wasn’t ready. I didn’t even know it existed several years later.
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