Killing Joke – “Love Like Blood”

Killing Joke – “Love Like Blood”
Killing Joke - "Love Like Blood"

I’ve sampled Killing Joke’s discography at various points in their four-decade career, and for whatever reason the only record of theirs that really does anything for me – so far, at least – is 1985’s Night Time. Not any kind of surprise, I guess, since it was their biggest record and had their most successful singles, including this one. Because it just rips.

Vocalist Jaz Coleman discussed the inspiration for the song in conversation with SongFacts:

That’s an interesting one. That was inspired by the author Yukio Mishima, who wrote The Samurai Ethic and Modern Japan. He was a great author. It was his views on writing with your blood as an artist that really inspired me. It’s a metaphor for the commitment an artist must take to his art form. And I loved the warrior principal, to freedom with blood, if you like. When I was reading Spring Snow, one of Mishima’s novels, I really couldn’t speak for 24 hours after reading that book – it hit me so hard. And it inspired me at the same time.

The song itself was a distillation of everything that we hold dear, and one must aspire to walk and talk what you write about in your songs – actually live it. That’s the other part of art, isn’t it? You can’t just be conceptual, writing songs. It’s the way you live your life, as well. It’s as important as the way you play your instruments or the music you create. This is just as important.

Jaz Coleman to SongFacts

The video is an interesting curio of the ’80s, with the band styled very presentably and Coleman half-hidden behind a keyboard on a lectern.

Their 1986 performance on Top Of The Pops smartly did away with the prop – they weren’t actually playing anyways – allowing Coleman to properly terrify the audience with his eyebrows unobstructed. Journalist Steve Pafford wrote about the appearance, and also that whole Nirvana-“Eighties” thing.

Memorable Top Of The Pops moments: Killing Joke unleash a Love Like Blood in Milton Keynes @ Steve Pafford

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