32 Years Ago: BIG BLACK release Songs About Fucking

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32 Years Ago: BIG BLACK release Songs About Fucking

The term 'rock & roll music' originally meant dirty songs about fucking, it was rhythmic songs that were euphemistically or explicitly about fucking. Songs about fucking - that's what rock & roll meant. And then the Parents' Music Resource Center was trying to rein in the subject matter of popular music and art at the time. We wanted to explicitly decline to participate in that reining in. We wanted to make filthy music. We wanted to make our records. We wanted to be explicit about our willingness to offend people.

Steve Albini / Big Black interview, Rolling Stone, 2017

BIG BLACK released their second, and last, album on this day in 1987 through Touch and Go.

One song on the new LP, called 'L Dopa', is about a Sleeping Sickness epidemic in America in 1926. It's a true story I read about in a book called 'The Awakening', written by Dr. Oliver Sachs, the guy responsible for waking up all these people from deep sleep. Some were woken up as late as 1965, awoke to find themselves old people, their entire productive life just slept away. And all these people either committed suicide or asked to be killed. They were so fucked up, so unable to cope with what they'd lost, that they wanted to throw away the little they had left.

Steve Albini / Big Black interview, Melody Maker, 1987
Big Black - L Dopa

Side A ("Happy Otter") was recorded with John Loder at Southern in London, Side B ("Sad Otter") was recorded by Albini in Chicago.

The best was side one of Songs About Fucking. I was real pleased with the way we did that. We just hopped into the studio, banged all the songs out and hopped out. Didn't take long, didn't cost much, just real smooth. Side two we recorded at a more leisurely pace and I think that hurt us. And that Cheap Trick song got on the tape and the CD by accident, and we just left it on.

Steve Albini / Big Black interview, Maximumrocknroll, 1992

Songs About Fucking was released a month after their last show, which concluded with the band destroying their instruments. The split had been announced well in advance.

I felt like we were playing really well as a band. Our camaraderie was very strong because there was an end in sight. It was the conclusion of the project, so let's do this and be proud of it and be done with it. Ending that band was one of the most satisfying things I've ever done.

Steve Albini / Big Black interview, Rolling Stone, 2017