Soft Cell and Clint Ruin Covering Suicide's "Ghost Rider"

I've been on a Soft Cell kick lately, which might not be that strange considering the band is a favorite of mine. Yesterday, while combing YouTube for more Soft Cell goodness, I ended up watching (and tweeting) this live cover of Suicide's song "Ghost Rider." It dates back to 1983. Another, lower quality video indicates that it's from the BBC. The guest vocalist on this track is Clint Ruin, aka J.G. Thirlwell. He's perhaps best known for his work as Foetus, but, more recently, he scored The Venture Bros. (just one of the reasons I love the show).


  1. Ah, nothing like seeing Thirlwell during his chicken-head phase.

    Don’t forget that Thirlwell and Marc Almond made the deliriously dirty Flesh Volcano record together. It even has a cover by Robt. Smith.

  2. Since you’re a Soft Cell fan, tell me you’ve heard Cruelty without Beauty! Probably the BEST album to come out that year (and in my opinion SC’s best!)

    1. I actually saw them on tour after the release of “Cruelty Without Beauty.” It was a big deal for me because the band broke up before I could really go to shows or anything like that, so it was my first Soft Cell experience and they did not disappoint.

  3. I dig the Henry Rollins band cover of this from the first Crow movie. This is good too, but damn HR is the man!

  4. Checked it out, didn’t think it looked like BBC footage. I believe it’s from a Channel4 programme called Switch: Switch filmed by a production company, CTVC. Tis 1983 though. Reminds me of the early days of The Tube on Channel4.

  5. Those Venture Brothers soundtracks are pretty great. If you’re in the mood for more Thirwell, let me recommend “Manorexia: The Mesopalegic Waters”. It’s sort of a blend of creepy thriller soundtrack music and classical chamber music. Very well done.

  6. I’m old enough to remember watching this on TV first time round – I must have been 14 and a Soft Cell fan – but it would have been the first time I’d heard of Suicide or Jim Thirlwell. Seem to remember Switch being something that filled in between the early series of The Tube on Channel 4.

    Clint Ruin was / is a fairly controversial character. I have a vivid memory of him being interviewed by Paula Yates on The Tube and him, taking off his ubiquitous black sunglasses, looking her straight in the eye and telling her “a woman’s place is on my face”. Quite shocking for a Friday dinner time in the mid 80s.

    Love the early Foetus stuff but am particularly fond of ‘Dirtdish’ the album he recorded with Roli Mosimann under the name Wiseblood.

    Thanks for posting this, brought back a lot of memories.

  7. For those keep score at home Suicide’s original version provided the sample used by M.I.A’s recent “Born Free” (aka Ginger Apocalypse)

  8. @UncaScrooge – I would also add Steriod Maximus’ “Ectopia” to the list. it’s kind of a precursor to Thirlwell’s Venture Bros. stuff. I wish they would collect all of his commercial work he did (like the MTV Sports theme) on one CD.

  9. i got a copy of Hole and a copy of Nail
    back when they were fresh
    noisy noisy
    i really like the covers
    helstinki indeed
    the scrotum-tightening sea
    the snot-green sea

    it’s gotta be close to thirty years since i last listened to the dammed things
    and i still remember some lyrics
    so they got something
    dont ask me what or why

  10. VERY nice. Ströck und Stroll, bebe…

    Thirwell looks like Malcolm McLaren from a distance here.

  11. I might be crazy, but it kind of sounds like the opening break on The Chemical Brothers “Piku” lifts (with liberal adjustment) a sample from this cover.

    Anyone else hear it?

  12. Nice to see Thirlwell again. I remember buying “Spite Your Face” and “What is the Bane of your Life?” after hearing them on the John Peel show. I saw Gary Barnacle, the saxophonist, playing with Elvis Costello and the Attractions in Newcastle, and he was excellent. Possibly best known for playing sax on M’s “Pop Muzik.” Ah (puffs on briar), happy times. But you just try telling that to the young folk these days…

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