Severed Heads

Severed Heads

Severed Heads is an Australian group based and founded in Sydney in 1979. The group was originally known as Mr And Mrs No Smokin' Sign who started recording in 1977 and comprised of Richard Fielding and Andrew Wright (8). Tom Ellard joined the group in 1979 and shortly thereafter Wright departed. Once Wright left the group Fielding decided to change the name to Severed Heads. Fielding eventually left the group too, in 1981, citing it as becoming "too rock 'n roll", leaving Ellard as the sole continuing member of the group. A variety of people have played in Severed Heads, including Garry Bradbury, Paul Deering, and Stephen Jones (3), but over time the group has devolved to Tom Ellard.

Early Severed Heads music was characterised by the use of tape loops, noisy arrangements of synthesizers, and other dissonant sound sources, putting Severed Heads in the general category of industrial music. After several releases in that vein, Severed Heads began incorporating various popular music tropes, such as a consistent 4/4 rhythm, strong melodic lines, and resolving chord arrangements. This move was underscored by the incorporation of mimetic devices, such as drum machines. The result was a striking hybrid of the avant-garde, EBM and Synth-pop.

Severed Heads were signed to Nettwerk Records in North America, and Volition Records in Australia, and charted in 1984 with the song "Dead Eyes Opened". This deal lead to a world tour, which was as much a multimedia event, thanks to the video work of Stephen Jones. A period of more or less dance music influenced releases followed until Volition went bankrupt and Nettwerk dropped the band which led to a re-activation and digital distribution via their own Sevcom imprint.

On 4th February 2008 Tom Ellard announced the end of the "Severed Heads". Severed Heads played very last live shows on the 16th and 17th December 2011 at the 10th Anniversary BIM Fest in Antwerp, Belgium. In 2013 they played the Adelaide Festival in Australia again. Various reissues are prepared for 2014.

Severed Heads Discography


TRS005 Severed Heads Side 2 (Album) Terse Tapes TRS005 Australia 1980 Sell This Version
Wrong/Terse TRS 001/2 Severed Heads / Rhythmyx Chymx Severed Heads / Rhythmyx Chymx - Ear Bitten / No Vowels, No Bowels Terse Tapes Wrong/Terse TRS 001/2 Australia 1980 Sell This Version
Terse 007 Severed Heads Clean (Album) Dogfood Production System Terse 007 Australia 1981 Sell This Version
none Severed Heads Media Jingles(Cass) Conventional Tapes none UK 1981 Sell This Version
TRS822 Severed Heads Blubberknife (Album) Terse Tapes TRS822 Australia 1982 Sell This Version
INK 002 Severed Heads Since The Accident (Album) Ink Records INK 002 Australia 1983 Sell This Version
INK 9 Severed Heads City Slab Horror (Album) Ink Records INK 9 UK 1985 Sell This Version
Ink 16D Severed Heads Clifford Darling, Please Don't Live In The Past (Album) Ink Records Ink 16D 1985 Sell This Version
NTLC 30003 Severed Heads The Big Bigot (Album) Ink Records NTLC 30003 Canada 1986 Sell This Version
NTL 30018 Severed Heads Bad Mood Guy (Album) Volition NTL 30018 Canada 1987 Sell This Version
VOLT 028 Severed Heads Rotund For Success (Album) Nettwerk Europe VOLT 028 Australia 1989 Sell This Version
88561-5041-4 Severed Heads Cuisine (With Piscatorial) (Album) Volition 88561-5041-4 US 1991 Sell This Version
VOLTCD080 Severed Heads Gigapus (Album) Volition VOLTCD080 Australia 1994 Sell This Version
none Severed Heads Haul Ass (Album) Sevcom none Australia 1998 Sell This Version
none Severed Heads Contoured Stimulation (Music Server Lite) Sevcom none Australia 1998 Sell This Version
none Severed Heads Airconditioning Your Productivity (Music Server Lite) Sevcom none Australia 1999 Sell This Version
none Severed Heads Ear Bitten 79 - 99(CDr, Album, RE) Sevcom none Australia 1999 Sell This Version
none Severed Heads Gashing And Kato Sevcom none Australia 2001 Sell This Version
SEV12A Severed Heads Cubicle Broadcasts (Music Server Lite V.1)(CDr, Album) Sevcom SEV12A Australia 2002 Sell This Version
none Severed Heads OP(CDr, Album) Sevcom none Australia 2002 Sell This Version
none Severed Heads Controlled Time (Music Server Volume 4 Of 4)(CDr, Album) Sevcom none Australia 2003 Sell This Version
none Severed Heads Op 1.2(CDr) Sevcom none Australia 2004 Sell This Version
20022 Severed Heads The Illustrated Family Doctor (Original Film Soundtrack) Mana Soundtracks 20022 Australia 2005 Sell This Version
none Severed Heads Op 2.0(CDr) Sevcom none Australia 2005 Sell This Version
none Severed Heads Op 2.5 (Millenium Cheesecake)(CDr, Album) Sevcom none Australia 2005 Sell This Version

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April 30, 2015
edited 9 months ago
Without doubt a pivotal band in the history of rythmic electronics , while moroder was the first who managed to splice and pin multitrack to
sequencer gate clock output to create subdivided rythmic loops it is mister Ellard that took it to a whole new level. The sheer madness of sounds that whirled around my head on the brilliant 'goodbye tonsils' , from it's barroom brawl tapeloops and spittoon ms20 wrangling's , a
world of sounds sometimes so complex yet mesmerising. Come visit album was they're highpoint and from then on they kind of lost it , balancing between hunger for a hit record or the cleaned up version of the 'heads' sound winking to early house , a lesson to be learned in music is don't try to do many things mediocre , stay with the one trick you know best. The legacy of 'heads' copycats was manyfold but perhaps the most blatant ones were Aphex T. on his early output.


May 18, 2011
Apparently they are still going and are supposed to be supporting Gary Numan on his Australian tour, May 2011


March 7, 2008
Severed Heads are important because they more or less invented the whole industrial-electronic cross-over genre. Without them, and albums such as City Slab Horror, Bad Mood Guy, Come Visit The Big Bigot and of course the quintessential Stretcher; bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, KMFDM, et al would perhaps never have been what they are and were. Severed Heads, without anyone hardly even realizing it in the 80s, managed to invent a whole new style of music that would sweep the world in the 90s all on their little own out of the far removed antipodes, without any radio station in Australia or ARIA ever even acknowledging they existed. A touch of genius perhaps and also a necessary and inevitable loop in the structure.

January 1, 2006
edited over 10 years ago
One of my favorite bands to listen to when I was in high school. Over the years they went from industrial/experimental to techno/industrial-pop and I must say that I don't care for anything after the release "Cuisine (With Piscatorial)". What I loved most about Severed Heads was their ability to make industrial and cheese sounds so cool and it was something to sing to as well. "Dead Eyes Open" will always be a classic but I loved "Petrol (Remix Five)" and "We Have Come To Bless This House (Remix Two)" best, which just so happen to be on the Maxi single as "Dead Eyes Open".
Tom Ellard also runs Sevcom and his focus is re-releasing the old Severed Heads releases on CDr, which is good seeing as how most of the originals are sold out.


August 9, 2003
One of the greatest electronic artists ever. Apparently they were influences on NIN and Skinny Puppy. At times they sounded like New Order, Erasure and Throbbing Gristle all ran into each other in a blender and then were poured over some ear splitting noise. I have too many favorite songs to name but my all time favorite that never changes is 'Harold And Cindy Hospital'.

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