Songs About Fucking is the second and final studio album by Big Black, released in 1987. Its also their most infamous, thanks to the outrageous title. A big-name fan was influential British radio DJ John Peel who, in 1997, placed it at nr. 15 in a list of his 20 personal favourite albums note when asked by the newspaper "The Guardian".
Side One/"Happy Otter"
- "The Power Of Independent Trucking" (1:27)
- "The Model" (2:34)
- "Bad Penny" (2:33)
- "L Dopa" (1:40)
- "Precious Thing" (2:20)
- "Colombian Necktie" (2:14)
Side Two/"Sad Otter"
- "Kitty Empire" (4:01)
- "Ergot" (2:27)
- "Kasimir S. Pulaski Day" (2:28)
- "Fish Fry" (2:06)
- "Pavement Saw" (2:12)
- "Tiny, King Of The Jews" (2:31)
- "Bombastic Intro" (0:35)
- "He's A Whore" (2:37)
- Steve Albini - lead vocals, guitar
- Santiago Durango - guitar
- Dave Riley - bass
The Power Of Independent Troping:
- Album Filler: The Cover Version of Cheap Trick's "He's A Whore" wasn't intended to be on the album, but was kept nevertheless.
- Alliterative Title: "Fish Fry".
- Animesque: The album cover.
- Anti-Love Song: All the tracks!
- Badass Boast: The spoken word segment of "Bad Penny."I think I fucked your girlfriend onceMaybe twice, I don't rememberThen I fucked all your friends' girlfriendsNow they hate you
- Bawdy Song: Virtually all tracks.
- Black Comedy: The album features arsehole truck drivers, a Kraftwerk cover, a guy who has sex with other people's girlfriends, a young girl who slept away the majority of her life and wanted to kill herself but couldn't, sexual humiliation as a habit, a killing method in which the throat is cut open and the tongue is pulled out through the hole, an eccentric man who parties all night, a fungus that can grow on bread and cause serious hallucinations if ingested, a Mafia killing in which a parked car was rigged to explode when the target's car passed by, a guy who had sex with a woman, who refused his brother's earlier advances, and killed her with his shoe then hid her body in a pond while hosing down his truck with loud music on, people who slowly turn into what they hate most without trying, and a Cheap Trick Cover.
- Brutal Honesty: The band clearly didn't sugar-coat what the album is about.
- Cats Are Mean: "Kitty Empire" seems to be about a cat's less than loving relationship with its owner.You'll do anything for me
In exchange, I'll piss on everything you value
I am the emperor of cats
I do what I want now, cats
I do what I want now, cats
I shit outside if I want to
All a part of my, ow, kitty empire
- Cluster F-Bomb: All throughout the album.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: "Colombian Necktie", which references a murder method wherein the victim's throat is slashed horizontally, with a knife or other sharp object, and his or her tongue is pulled out through the open wound. This is not actually possible because the tongue is entirely in the mouth and is thus entirely above the neck.
- Cover Version: "The Model", originally by Kraftwerk from The Man-Machine, and "He's A Whore", originally by Cheap Trick from their eponymous debut.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
- Zig-Zagged. The first track, "The Power Of Independent Trucking" isn't directly about the topic. Also, despite its outrageous title you'll be hard-pressed to make out most of the lyrics,note because the music is so loud.
- Subverted by "Bombastic Intro"... which is the final track!
- Intentionally Awkward Title: That would be an understatement.
- Mood-Swinger: The first half of the record is titled "Happy Otter", the second "Sad Otter".
- Murder Ballad:
- "Fish Fry"Now I fuck you and I hit you with my shoe
And I hide your bloody body in Frenchtown pond
Sometimes you know you want to fuck somebody up
Sometimes you just want to fuck
- "Kasimir S. Pulaski Day" is about a car that blew upThere were pieces of a man all over the skyway.
- "Fish Fry"
- New Technology is Evil: The quote "The future belongs to the analogue loyalists. Fuck digital." on the back cover of the album, and the quote [sic] "this compact disk is made from analog masters recorded without noise reduction. half the tracks, in fact, were recorded in a dismal, cheap basement eight-track studio with puddles of water on the floor. digital technology will now faithfully reproduce those noisy, lo-fi, unprofessional masters for you at great expense. feel stupid yet?" on the CD copy of the album, parodying the label on most albums converted from analog to digital mediums. Steve Albini later installed a Pro Tools rig in his recording studio which, while he never uses and is only there for the artists' use, makes these quotes Hilarious in Hindsight.
- Packaged as Other Medium: The cover looks like a Manga image.
- Refuge in Audacity: Some record stores covered the verb in the title with tape.
- Sexy Packaging: The album cover shows an Animesque woman in close-up, while she's having intercourse.
- Shout-Out: The album cover has been parodied by punk bands The Copyrights and The Dopamines as the EP Songs About Fucking Up (2009). Electronic musician Kid606 released an album called Songs About Fucking Steve Albini (2012), even parodying the album cover with an Anime drawing of Albini. In 2012, Jason Lescalleet released Songs About Nothing, again parodying the album cover and even track titles.
- The Something Song: Songs About Fucking.
- The Unintelligible: Some of the tracks are so loud that the lyrics are drowned out.