Over the Shoulder

"Over the Shoulder"
Single by Ministry
from the album Twitch
  • "Isle of Man" (Version II)
  • "Twitch" (Version II)
ReleasedNovember 1985
Length6:44 (single version)
5:13 (album version)
Songwriter(s)Al Jourgensen
Producer(s)Adrian Sherwood
Ministry singles chronology
"(Every Day Is) Halloween"
"Over the Shoulder"
Music video
“Over the Shoulder” on YouTube

"Over the Shoulder" is a song by American rock band Ministry, from their second studio album, Twitch (1986). Written by frontman Al Jourgensen, produced by Adrian Sherwood, and released in November 1985 as a 12-inch single, it was the band’s first recording after signing with Sire Records;[1][2] the accompanying music video was directed by Peter Christopherson.


"Over the Shoulder" has been described as an early example of electro-industrial,[3][4] as well as synth-pop[5] and synthrock.[2] On Twitch, it is the fifth track with a length of five minutes and thirteen seconds;[6] the single version is six minutes and forty-four seconds long.[7][2] Musically, the song contains multiple layers of looped synthesizer parts along with distinctive heavy drum machine pattern and Jourgensen's weak vocal appoarch; Billboard editors compared this approach with music of Scritti Politti and Bee Gees,[1][8][2] while Miami New Times' Jean Carey wrote that the song "sounds like a giant mosquito"[9][10] In a later review for the March 1986 issue of Spin Magazine, columnist John Leland praised Sherwood's work with Ministry's “typically banal ideas.”[11]

The single version of "Over the Shoulder" and "Isle of Man" were included as additional tracks on compact disc edition of Twitch in 1990;[12]:32 the song was also to be featured on a 2001 compilation album Greatest Fits, but was left off due to medium limitations.[13]

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