BEING BOILED REVIEWS
Melody Maker June 1978
Electronic music with heavy-heavy sinister overtones. “Circus Of Death”, for example is all about the end of the world and is GRIM. Haven’t a clue what the other side’s about, but it mentions Buddha a lot if that’s any help. The machines are taking over.
Slash Magazine 1978
Throbbing Gristle, The Normal etcetera now prove to have been merely a chip off the circuit board. The Human League are part of a rapidly forming new area of experimental music that not only eschews traditional instrumentation but attempts to redefine the listener’s views of music as a listening experience. Not even the safe old 1, 2, 3, 4 intro remains. Synthesizer and rhythm machine provide a loping structure to one of the most obscure lyrics you might hope to encounter in this day and age. If you’re interested in that “death of rock n roll” concept, check it out. If you’re not, buy a pail of sand and immerse your head in it.
NME July 1990
…”Circus Of Death”, basically an apocalyptic Hawaii Five-O episode from hell, caught the listener mesmerised in the headlights. Were we supposed to laugh? What was this spoken preamble about lyrics extracted from 20-year old Guardian articles? What had Steve McGarret to do with it?...”Being Boiled”, an icy, primitive attack on “the hypocrisy of Buddhism” is one of those records that has actually got better with the passage of time; its Spartan textures perfect for a post-Acid House generation. It is also the only pop song ever to emply the word “sericulture”.
Uncut Magazine 2001 new
Eventually included on the 1980 Travelogue album and featuring the original line-up of Phil Oakey, Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, this is a crude but effectively thense prototype of electro-pop, though Oakey has subsequently admitted to having little idea as to the meaning of lyrics such as "Listen to the voice of buddah/Saying stop your sericulture"...
Q Special Editon January 2005 new
Sheffield becomes a hotbed of futuristic activity.
Released through Edinburgh-based independent Fast Product Records in June 1978, Being Boiled falls somewhere Suicide and Kraftwerk in its droning, repetitive power. Phil Oakey’s lyrics appears to reference sericulture (silk-worms are dropped into boiling water to remove their skins) as an image of genocide, or perhaps he just liked the sound of the word. Either way, his deadpan croon signalled the mergence of a new underground of British electronic music. The Human League re-recorded Being Boiled for 1980’s Travelogue LP and it finally became a Top 10 hit in January 1982