Until Nine Inch Nails crossed over to the mainstream, Ministry did more than any other band to popularize industrial dance music, injecting large doses of punky, over-the-top aggression and roaring heavy metal guitar riffs that helped their music find favor with metal and alternative audiences outside of industrial's cult fan base.
Ministry were formed in 1981 by Alain Jourgensen (born October 8, 1958, Havana, Cuba); he had moved to the U.S. with his mother while very young and lived in a succession of cities, eventually working as a radio DJ and joining a new wave band called Special Affect (fronted by future My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult leader Frankie Nardiello, aka Groovie Mann). Featuring drummer Stephen George, Ministry debuted with the Wax Trax! single "Cold Life," which was more in the synth pop/dance style of new wavers like the Human League or Thompson Twins.
Ministry were nominated for a Grammy in 2000 for "Bad Blood," but they lost to Black Sabbath and were dropped from Warner Bros. around the same time. They were also added to the Ozzfest tour, but they were kicked off before it even began because of a management change. In 2001, Ministry filmed a scene for Steven Spielberg's A.I. and released their contribution to the film on a greatest-hits album, appropriately titled Greatest Fits.
In September 2005 Ministry celebrated their 25th anniversary with Rantology. Jourgensen remixed such past hits as "Jesus Built My Hotrod" and "N.W.O. for the set; it also included live material, rarities, and the new track "Great Satan." An extensive tour with Revolting Cocks in tow followed. The band then released Rio Grande Blood in May 2006; the second installment in what Jourgensen promised to be a George W. Bush-hating trilogy (which began with Houses of the Molé); the album earned Ministry another Grammy nomination (Best Metal Performance) for "Lies, Lies, Lies." In 2012 they returned with the very thrash, very angry album Relapse.
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