DB HOF NO. 65
The making of Type O Negative’s “Bloody Kisses”
After burying Brooklyn under the dense power-dirge cacophony of 1991’s Slow, Deep and Hard and then recording most of the album over again as a fake live set for 1992’s The Origin of the Feces—complete with Jimi Hendrix cover and a close-up of bassist/vocalist/mastermind Pete Steele’s rotten sphincter—Type O Negative decided to get almost serious. Or at least as almost-serious as Type O could ever be expected to get. As such, Steele (who was still working for the NYC Parks Department), guitarist Kenny Hickey, drummer Sal Abruscato and producer/keyboardist Josh Silver descended upon Systems Two in Brooklyn to record the album that would propel them into the bright lights and big titties of international rock stardom. Originally released on August 17, 1993, at the tail end of New York City Mayor David Dinkins’ “gorgeous mosaic” of race riots and unemployment, Bloody Kisses offered both a response to the controversy that had enveloped Type O’s debut and an enhanced pop sensibility.
Born in Alphabet City’s long-gone goth clubs, the 73-minute opus featured infectious doom-pop epics (“Black No. 1,” “Christian Woman”), sarcastic hardcore screeds (“Kill All the White People,” “We Hate Everyone”), bizarre noise interludes (“Fay Wray Come Out and Play,” “Dark Side of the Womb,” “3.0.I.F”) and a cover of Seals & Crofts’ “Summer Breeze” that somehow managed to be both lush and beefy. As the band spent two years touring with the likes of Mötley Crüe, the Exploited, Queensrÿche and Danzig, the album went gold on the strength of “Black No. 1” and “Christian Woman”—not to mention Steele’s fully erect appearance in (and on) the August 1995 issue of Playgirl magazine. By the time his well-publicized boner presumably receded, Type O had a certified platinum record on their hands. Sandwiched between a photo of two green lesbians in the throes of simulated passion and that unforgettable slogan/warning “Don’t mistake lack of talent for genius,” Bloody Kisses remains the diamond in Type O’s extensive back catalogue, and one of the most elaborate revenge records of all time. —J. Bennett
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