Being Boiled

Album: Travelogue (1978)
Charted: 6
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This dark, menacing song with mentions of "slaying," "torture," and being "boiled alive" is a condemnation of the silkworm industry. The lyrics link the slaughter of silk worms with Buddhism.
  • Human League were heavily influenced by the German electronic group Kraftwerk, and came up with the concept of making music without conventional instruments. In 1978 they recorded in mono for £250 with a Roland System 100 synthesizer they had acquired, creating this song along with "Circus Of Death" on the independent Fast Product record label. It created something of a stir on the independent scene but didn't chart.
  • In 1982 after the success of "Don't You Want Me," EMI, who the band were now signed with, re-released "Being Boiled." It was the same version as the 1978 single, but but ran for an extra 35 seconds and faded out rather than cutting out abruptly as on the original release. This time it became a hit in the UK. By now the song was being acknowledged as a significant piece of music that had influenced many artists including Soft Cell and Depeche Mode. Vince Clarke of Depeche Mode and later Erasure has said that "Being Boiled" is his favorite record and that the early Human League was a large inspiration for him in forming Depeche Mode.
  • In 2003 the British group Liberty X had a #3 UK hit with their merging of the lyrics from Rufus' "Ain't Nobody" and the music from this song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

Rickie Lee JonesSongwriter Interviews

Rickie Lee Jones on songwriting, social media, and how she's handling Trump.

Song Titles That Inspired MoviesSong Writing

Famous songs that lent their titles - and in some cases storylines - to movies.

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top ProverbSong Writing

How a country weeper and a blues number made "rolling stone" the most popular phrase in rock.

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?

Corey HartSongwriter Interviews

The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."