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Scatology is the debut full-length studio album by British experimental band Coil. Recorded in 1984, Scatology was co-produced by Coil and JG Thirlwell, and features a prominent appearance of Stephen Thrower, which subsequently became Coil's official member since their next studio album, Horse Rotorvator. The album focuses on alchemy, mainly an idea of turning base matter into gold. The contents of the album are having references to such a prominent figures as Marquis de Sade, Alfred Jarry, Salvador Dali, Charles Manson, and others.

An original Scatology LP cover featuring the "Anal Staircase" postcard
Studio album by Coil
Released 1984[a]
Recorded 1984
(See "Background and recording" section for details)
  • Wave Studios
  • Aosis Studios
  • Bar Maldoror
Genre Industrial, post-industrial
Label Force & Form, Some Bizarre, Threshold House
Coil chronology
How to Destroy Angels
(1984) How to Destroy Angels1984
(1984) Scatology1984
Horse Rotorvator
(1986) Horse Rotorvator1986
Singles from Scatology
  1. "Panic/Tainted Love"
    Released: May 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Scatology was first released in 1985 (with a 1984 copyright date) on LP, by Force & Form and K.422 (Some Bizzare Records sublabel). It was reissued by Force & Form in 1988 on CD and later by Threshold House in 2001. Scatology’s only single, "Panic", was accompanied with a cover version of "Tainted Love" on its B-side. Mainly positively received by critics, Scatology is considered to be one of Coil’s essential releases, and moreover of 1980’s industrial scene.


Background and recordingEdit

Work on Scatology began in May 1984,[2] soon after the release of Coil’s debut EP How to Destroy Angels. Early on, a track entitled "The Sewage Worker's Birthday Party" was recorded during sessions of the abovementioned EP,[3] and was featured on 10" free single applied to an issue of Italian magazine Free,[4]:49 previously to being included on Scatology.[2]

Recording sessions were held at Wave Studios,[2] Aosis Studios[2][5] and Bar Maldoror[6] (all situated in London). Several tracks during these sessions were recorded, but were not released or metamorphosed into another tracks.[b] The core duo of the band, including Peter Christopherson and John Balance, was extended with an appearance of J. G. Thirlwell of Foetus and Stephen Thrower, the latter of whom met Coil for the first time in August 1984.[7]

Release and designEdit

Scatology was officially released in two different formats with two different covers. For the original LP release, the black sun design that was first put on was pasted over by a postcard with a swirling and descending staircase known as the "Anal Staircase." The second edition had the "Sexual Architecture" postcard pasted on random covers with uncovered ones revealing the original black sun design.

The CD edition featured a cover with the title of the album and an image of a nude buttocks inside of an upside-down cross below it, finishing off with the original black sun below everything. According to Andreas Diesel and Dieter Gerten, this design was probably inspired by Man Ray's Monument to Sade photography.[8]

Track listingEdit

Original LP release (1984)Edit

All tracks written by John Balance and Peter Christopherson, except noted.

Side A[9]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Ubu Noir"    
2. "Panic"
3. "At the Heart of it All"
4. "Tenderness of Wolves"
5. "The Spoiler"    
6. "Clap"    
Side B[9]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. "Solar Lodge"
  • Balance
  • Christopherson
  • Thrower
8. "The Sewage Worker's Birthday Party"    
9. "Godhead⇔Deathead"    
10. "Cathedral in Flames"    

CD releasesEdit


All information adapted from 1984 release sleeve except where noted.[12]



  1. ^ A copyright date.
  2. ^ These titles are including "Ergot", "Boy in a Suitcase", "Dream Photography", "120 Dalmations in Sodom", "Thermid’or", "The Pope held Upside Down".[2]


  1. ^ Skip Jansen. "Scatology - Coil". Allmusic. All Media Network LLC. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e The Feverish (PDF) (3), April 9, 1985 
  3. ^ Balmer, Mark (1985). "Chemistry Set". Melody Maker. Retrieved August 12, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Coil" (PDF). Sounds. Vol. 1 no. 5. 1985. pp. 47–49. Retrieved August 12, 2017. 
  5. ^ Coil 1984, "At the Heart of it All".
  6. ^ Coil 1984, "Solar Lodge".
  7. ^ Keenan 2003, pp. 123-124.
  8. ^ Diesel & Gerten 2007, p. 157.
  9. ^ a b Coil 1984, track listing.
  10. ^ Coil 1988, track listing.
  11. ^ Coil 2001, track listing.
  12. ^ Coil 1984.
  13. ^ Coil 1988.
  14. ^ They Are Going To Take Me Away (PDF), 1984, retrieved September 20, 2017 
  15. ^ "Coil". Abrahadabra (in Dutch). No. 1. January 1985. Retrieved September 20, 2017.  (See English translation at Brainwashed)
  16. ^ Coil 2001.


Scatology's liner notes
  • Scatology (vinyl sleeve). Coil. Force & Form. 1984. FFK1. 
  • Scatology (CD booklet). Coil. Force & Form. 1988. FFKCD1. 
  • Scatology (CD booklet). Coil. Threshold House. 2001. LOCI CD15. 
Articles (including reviews)

External linksEdit