With Sympathy

With Sympathy
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 10, 1983
StudioSyncro Sound Studios, Boston
55:59 (2012 re-release)
  • Vince Ely
  • Ian Taylor
Ministry chronology
With Sympathy
Singles from With Sympathy
  1. "Work for Love"
    Released: January 1983
  2. "I Wanted to Tell Her"
    Released: April 1983
  3. "Revenge"
    Released: September 1983
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music2/5 stars[2]
I-Mockery4.5/5 stars[3]
MusicHound Rock2.5/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[5]
Spin Alternative Record Guide3 / 10[6]

With Sympathy is the debut studio album by American rock band Ministry, released on May 10, 1983 by Arista Records.[7] The group was formed in 1981 by lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Al Jourgensen, with drummer Stephen George being the most notable member of its initial lineup.

Background and recording

In late 1981, Jourgensen was living in Chicago and involved in its underground scene. He began to write and record songs in his apartment, using a newly-bought ARP Omni synthesizer, a drum machine, and a reel-to-reel tape recorder. At one point, a demo tape featuring the song "I'm Falling" gained the attention of Wax Trax! Records label co-founder and co-owner Jim Nash. Impressed by the demo, Nash offered to record its material professionally and to assemble the touring band, which Jourgensen named Ministry. In Chicago-based Hedden West studios, Jourgensen, with co-producers Jay O'Roarke and Iain Burgess, recorded Ministry's first recording, a twelve-inch single featuring tracks "I'm Falling", "Primental" and "Cold Life".

Simultaneously, Jourgensen assembled the band's first live line-up, the five-piece group including Jourgensen himself on vocals and guitar, bassist Martin Sorenson, keyboardists Robert Roberts and John Davis, and drummer Stephen George.[8] Jourgensen and Roberts state that their mutual friend Paul Taylor had to perform in the original line-up, but, according to Jourgensen, refused after getting sick and proposed to invite Roberts instead.[8][9]

While touring the Midwest and the Northeast during 1982, Ministry received some commercial success with "Cold Life".[10][11] Consequently, the band gained attention of Arista label executives, who chose to sign them. With Sympathy was recorded in autumn 1982 with producers Vince Ely and Ian Taylor at the Synchro Sound studios in Boston.[12]

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