Thieves (Ministry song)

Song by Ministry
from the album The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste
StudioChicago Trax Studios
GenreIndustrial metal[1]
Songwriter(s)[nb 1]
  • Hypo Luxa
  • Hermes Pan

"Thieves" is a song by American industrial metal band Ministry. It was released as the opening track from the band's fourth studio album, The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste (1989),[4] as well as the B-side from its single, "Burning Inside".[5] The song's lyrics deal mainly with political corruption. The song includes dialogue samples from R. Lee Ermey's drill instructor character in Full Metal Jacket. Ministry's version was featured in the 1992 science fiction film Freejack, also in the 2009 video game Brütal Legend.


The song is based on a harmonic stasis. It features the extensive use of E minor chord. 118 out of 138 measures of the song are based on the same E minor chord, while the rest are F minor chords. Al Jourgensen sings only the G note, while the song "shifts gears rhythmically" through its sections and quadruples its tempo.[6]

Tom Moon, the author of 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die, wrote, "At the two minute mark of "Thieves" and several times later in the song, Ministry's pulse is bolstered by what sounds like a whirring pneumatic drill. It's not a gimmick—it almost functions as a solo guitar, adding punctuation."[7]

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