Cold Life

"I’m Falling / Cold Life"
Cold Life Ministry.jpg
Single by Ministry
  • “I’m Falling” (1981, US)
  • “Cold Life” (1982, UK)
  • “Cold Life” (1981, US)
  • “I'm Falling” (1982, UK)
Released1981, 1985 (re-release)
StudioHedden West Studios (Chicago, IL)
GenreSynth-pop, dance-punk
Songwriter(s)Al Jourgensen
Ministry singles chronology
"I’m Falling / Cold Life"
"Work for Love"

"I’m Falling" and "Cold Life" are songs by American rock band Ministry. Written by Al Jourgensen, these were first released in 1981 by Wax Trax! Records, as the band's debut single. Initially featuring "I'm Falling" as the A-side, the single found success via its B-side, "Cold Life", which was chosen as the A-side on release in the UK. In 1985, during Ministry's short-lived return on Wax Trax!, the single was reissued with "Cold Life" as the A-side.

Background and composition

“I’m Falling” is a synthpop song[1] which bears influences from British post-punk acts such as The Sisters of Mercy and Killing Joke;[2][3] in his 2013 autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels..., Al Jourgensen admits that “I’m Falling” was influenced heavily by music of Joy Division and The Cure.[4][5]:70 Meanwhile, “Cold Life” bears influence of 1970’s funk and soul acts,[6] and was written about Jourgensen's experience living in a Chicago African-American neighborhood.[7][1]

Initially, Jourgensen had recorded a demo tape of “I’m Falling” in his apartment, using a newly-bought ARP Omni synthesizer, a drum machine, and a reel-to-reel tape recorder.[4] At one occasion, Jourgensen had presented a demo to Jim Nash, the co-founder and co-owner of the independent record label Wax Trax! Records. Impressed by demo once listening to it, Nash had offered Jourgensen to record a single, as well as to form a touring band.[8][6][9]

After assembling the first line-up of the band subsequently known as Ministry, Jourgensen went to Hedden West studios with co-producer Jay O'Roarke and an English-born engineer Iain Burgess, while Nash had paid for the band to record.[8][9] For the recording, beside the core line-up of Jourgensen, keyboardists John Davis and Robert Roberts and drummer Stephen George, also approached were backing vocalist Steve Brighton, bassist Lamont Welton, and a horn player Preston Klik (also of The Book of Holy Lies); Jourgensen assumed an English accent for his vocals on “Cold Life”, like he did on “I’m Falling”.[8][10][11] Nash and his Wax Trax! partner Danny Flesher liked both recorded songs, but requested Jourgensen to record one more track, an instrumental titled “Primental”, for the single; Jourgensen states that “Primental” resembles some of music written for performances held by his then-girlfriend, Shannon Rose Riley.[12]

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