Ministry "With Sympathy"

Posted 06 Aug 2019 in Albums of 1983, Albums of the 80s, New Wave, Techno



Today’s Cool Album of the Day (# 1006 in the Series) is Ministy, With Sympathy

This was the debut album by Ministry in 1983. I know the band hated it, but I loved it.

Ministry is and always has been, Alain ‘Al’ Jourgensen. He’s used numerous sidemen throughout his career.  With Sympathy was their only release on Arista. They jumped to Warner Brothers for their next release which wouldn’t come for three more years. They did release some EPs to fill the void. Those were very good as well. “(Everyday is) Halloween” being the standout to me.

Ministry progressed into a much harder industrial sound. This was more synth-pop, heck it was 1983.

If you do know any song it would probably be “Work For Love.” That was the one that received the most play. Other highlights included “I Wanted to Tell Her,” “I’m Not an Effigy,” “Revenge” and “I Should Have Known Better.” They might sound a little dated over 35 years later but that’s not the point here. I’m writing this regarding how I felt at the time.  Dated? Maybe, but not as bad as I expected really. I think the production and the songs hold up much better than I thought they would. I was a blast hearing these again since I really had not played them in a long, long time.  Yes, it did bring back memories of fun times as this was one of those album that I did play on more than a regular basis. It was in heavy rotation with me for a long period.

It was produced by Vince Ely. Vince would go on to play drums for the Psychedelic Furs.  It engineered by a then mostly unheard of gent named “Flood.” He would become a highly sought after engineer and eventually producer.  Some of his most well known production works would include U2, PJ Harvey, The Killers, Erasure, Nine Inch Nails, Nick Cave and The Smashing Pumpkins.

The album peaked in 1984 at number 94 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart.

You can listen to the album below on the video playlist. I’ve also included some pretty crude live videos. I know they’re bad quality but they’re still kind cool to see.

— Larry Carta

Track listing

Side One

  1. “Effigy (I’m Not An)”  3:51
  2. “Revenge”  3:48
  3. “I Wanted to Tell Her” 5:29
  4. “Work For Love”  4:44

Side Two

  1. “Here We Go”  3:21
  2. “What He Say” 4:04
  3. “Say You’re Sorry” 4:18
  4. “Should Have Known Better”  4:31
  5. “She’s Got a Cause”  3:33



  • Alain Jourgensen – vocals, guitar (1, 3, 4), keyboards, drums (8)
  • Stephen George – drums (1-7, 9), percussion (4, 5, 9)

Additional musicians

  • Robert Roberts – keyboards (2, 3, 4, 9), bass (4)
  • Marybeth O’Hara – vocals (2, 4)
  • Shay Jones – feature vocals (3)
  • John Davis – keyboards (3, 4, 9)
  • Walter Turbitt – guitar (3)
  • Martin Sorenson – bass guitar (3)
  • Vince Ely – percussion & keyboards (4)
  • Antonia de Portago – vocals (4)
  • Brad Hallen – bass guitar (5, 6)
  • Ministry of Horns – horns (6)
  • Ziv Gidron – chanting (6)
  • Doreen Chanter – vocals (7)
  • Bob Suber – saxophone (7


Give it a listen below and then check out the live stuff too.

Here’s some live stuff. Crude but very rare.

Posted by Larry Carta

1 Comment

  1. twostepcub (07 Jul 2012, 13:21)

    I agree, I am a fan of “With Sympathy”, even though (and possibly because) its so different from their later stuff. It sounds like they listened to A Flock Of Seagulls and Depeche Mode for a month straight before recording this.

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