Happy 25th: Ministry, PSALM 69: THE WAY TO SUCCEED AND THE WAY TO SUCK EGGS
25 years ago tomorrow, the world will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of Ministry’s fifth album, an LP which proved to be not only the most commercially success album of the band’s career but also the only one to date to earn platinum certification.
Recorded at Chicago Trax Studios partly in 1991 and partly in 1992, PSALM 69: THE WAY TO SUCCEED AND THE WAY TO SUCK EGGS was not a case of an album being recorded under clean and sober conditions. In a recent interview with Revolver, Jourgensen confirmed, “I was shooting up, smoking crack, and drinking Bushmills [whiskey] laced with acid. And it was a cycle that I’d repeat 10 times a day, at least.” Despite this debauchery, when one listens to the end result, it’s hard to say that the band’s creativity was in any way hindered as a result.
Nor, however, could you say that they’d even remotely begun to mellow, but the mainstream didn’t seem to mind. Indeed, Ministry started to find further success outside the confines of college radio. Thanks to the advent of alt-rock radio stations, songs like “Jesus Built My Hotrod” and “NWO” both scored considerable airplay, with the former track becoming a hit on the dance charts, too. (Go figure.)
Funny thing, though: despite the popularity of PSALM 69, Al still didn’t think the band had reached its artistic potential. When interviewed by the L.A. Times in October 1993 and asked about the album’s success, saying, “"I'm happy with it, yet I don't feel we have come close to making the perfect Ministry record.”