Swans is a band from New York City, New York, United States, active from 1982 to 1997, reformed in 2010, founded & led by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira.

Marginally associated with the no wave scene at first, their original sound was slow and extremely heavy, with live performances that were often so brutal and physical that in a number of instances certain audience members were made ill, police were called and venues were shut down. This early physical sound is possibly best heard on the live album Public Castration Is a Good Idea.

Their initial style shifted a little by the time Swans released seminal twin albums Greed and Holy Money. The music had sped up, at times being even more punishing than their earlier output. Drum machines and samples were slightly more prominent. Michael Gira was joined vocally by Jarboe which gave the band a broader sonic range. Tracks featuring Jarboe were often quieter, even pretty, acting as counterpoint to the more harrowing themes on the albums. Over time, this style would come to dominate the Swans’ output, although they somehow seem to have been able to make a strummed acoustic guitar seem as brutal as their earlier amped-up assaults. The lush instrumentation of their albums from the late 1980s and the 1990’s anticipated the birth of post-rock.

Swans eventually broke up in 1997; Gira went on to release some solo work, later forming the band The Angels of Light, who continue many of the themes and styles found in (later) Swans. Jarboe releases solo work and frequently works with other bands and artists; recently she released an album with Neurosis, a group clearly heavily influenced by Swans.

The influence of Swans upon the music world is profound. Across their 15 years of existence, the various styles they explored gave birth to grindcore (Napalm Death, Nasum) modern "cinematic" post-rock (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mono), and atmospheric sludge metal (Isis, Neurosis).

In January 2010, Michael Gira reactivated Swans and released a new album, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky on September 2010, and the band simultaneously embarked on a world tour scheduled to last eighteen months. The band had been chosen by Portishead to perform at the ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror festivals that they curated in July 2011 at London’s Alexandra Palace and in September 2011 in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
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Swans - Filth illustration d'album Swans Filth (Album, Comp) Neutral Records (3) Germany 1983 Vendre cette version
Swans - Cop illustration d'album Swans Cop (Album) K.422 UK 1984 Vendre cette version
Swans - Greed illustration d'album Swans Greed (Album) K.422 UK 1986 Vendre cette version
Swans - Holy Money illustration d'album Swans Holy Money (Album) K.422 UK 1986 Vendre cette version
Swans - Real Love illustration d'album Swans Real Love (Album) Not On Label (Swans) UK 1986 Vendre cette version
Swans - Public Castration Is A Good Idea illustration d'album Swans Public Castration Is A Good Idea (Album) Not On Label (Swans Self-released) UK 1986 Vendre cette version
Swans - Children Of God illustration d'album Swans Children Of God (Album) Caroline Records Spain 1987 Vendre cette version
Swans - Feel Good Now illustration d'album Swans Feel Good Now (Album) Not On Label (Swans Self-released) UK 1987 Vendre cette version
Swans - The Burning World illustration d'album Swans The Burning World (Album) UNI Records Europe 1989 Vendre cette version
Swans - Anonymous Bodies In An Empty Room illustration d'album Swans Anonymous Bodies In An Empty Room Not On Label (Swans Self-released) UK 1990 Vendre cette version
Swans - White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity illustration d'album Swans White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity (Album) Young God Records, Young God Records UK 1991 Vendre cette version
Swans - Omniscience illustration d'album Swans Omniscience (Album) Young God Records, Young God Records US 1992 Vendre cette version
Swans - Love Of Life illustration d'album Swans Love Of Life (Album) Young God Records, Young God Records UK & Europe 1992 Vendre cette version
Swans - The Great Annihilator illustration d'album Swans The Great Annihilator (Album) Young God Records, Young God Records UK 1994 Vendre cette version
Swans - Kill The Child - 1985,1986,1987 Live illustration d'album Swans Kill The Child - 1985,1986,1987 Live (Album) Disaster Records UK 1995 Vendre cette version
Swans - Soundtracks For The Blind illustration d'album Swans Soundtracks For The Blind (Album, EP) Young God Records, Atavistic UK 1996 Vendre cette version
Swans - Swans Are Dead illustration d'album Swans Swans Are Dead (Album) Atavistic, Young God Records US 1998 Vendre cette version
Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky illustration d'album Swans My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (Album) Young God Records US 2010 Vendre cette version
Swans - We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head illustration d'album Swans We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head (Album) Young God Records US 2012 Vendre cette version
Swans - The Seer illustration d'album Swans The Seer (Album) Young God Records 2012 Vendre cette version
YG6969 Swans - Not Here / Not Now illustration d'album Swans Not Here / Not Now(2xCD, Album, Ltd, Num) Young God Records YG6969 US 2013 Vendre cette version
Swans - To Be Kind illustration d'album Swans To Be Kind (Album) Young God Records Europe 2014 Vendre cette version
YG1954 Swans - The Gate illustration d'album Swans The Gate(2xCD, Ltd, Num) Young God Records YG1954 US 2015 Vendre cette version
Swans - The Glowing Man illustration d'album Swans The Glowing Man (Album) Young God Records Europe 2016 Vendre cette version
YG60 Swans - Deliquescence illustration d'album Swans Deliquescence(2xCD, Album, Ltd) Young God Records YG60 US 2017 Vendre cette version

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13 mars 2019
For Swans collectors only!
I sell the original first pressing limited black clothbound box with silver embossing, including the two CDs "White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity." and "Love of Life" on Young God Records. Very rare... Email me for further informations.


3 janvier 2019
If there is any serious(!) Swans collector here, please get in touch. I have items of interest not listed on discogs and I'm willing to trade/sell these.
Send private message for further information.


18 août 2018
I've been living with the music of Swans some two decades plus and there's STILL always some new detail that enthralls me or a moment of sound so powerful that it hits me hard as a rock to the side of the head. Love it so much I wound up interviewing 125 people Gira, Jarboe, 30+ ex-Swans, Thurston Moore, Bill Laswell...) and creating the book SWANS: Sacrifice And Transcendence - The Oral History. Whole time I was doing it I wound up using Discogs to plug in some rarities or to hear things in different formats and editions...Swans is one of those bands that rewards obsession.


31 juillet 2018
New To SWANS...
So I've been aware that Swans existed for close to 30 years. I was always curious about them, considering references I'd come across and things I'd read over the years. Always thought I might check them out one day. So about 3 months ago I decided to dive in, and ever since I've been drowning in Swans! I specifically decided to start with the output from the original period (1982-1997) first, with the intention to go to "Angels of Light" next, and then after that dive into the modern era material ("My Father" through "Glowing Man".) To date I have acquired all the albums from the original era, and here are my thoughts so far (keep in mind that I'm still just getting to know some of it)
Swans / Filth / Cop / Young God - OK - Interesting, but I don't love it.
Greed / Holy Money / Children of God- Very good, like it a lot!
Burning World - different, good.
White Light / Love Of Life / Great Annihilator - Love it!
Soundtracks for the Blind - Good, though somewhat disappointed in the lack of "songs" - my most recent purchase, still just getting to know it (2 listens so far)
So based on all that, I ask you... Do I go to Angels of Light next? Or skip straight to the modern era Swans albums?


5 octobre 2017
edité about 1 year ago
I never knew SWANS but after hearing Gira's I'm Singing To You From My Room I became a huge fan of anything he's involved with. I like it dark and crazy and he delivers the good!


13 mai 2017
Saw them in a tiny club in '86 where they filled the room with their own PA so there was hardly any room for an audience. Proceeded to play THEE heaviest skull-crushing noise for about an hour. At points I felt myself moving backwards with the force of the pulverising attack.
My trousers were flapping in the breeze and my face felt like it was melting. The best bit was the near-silence in between each downward smash of brute-force bass. The nearest thing for comparison would be a very scary fairground ride where you don't know if you're going to survive.
I heard later that structural damage was done to the club that night. My ears rang for 3 days.


22 février 2017
The Best band that ever came out and remains the best after these decades!!


25 septembre 2016
A fantastic band that has made some incredible 2-3 hour epics, really hope they will reissue "Soundtracks for the Blind" on Vinyl.


3 novembre 2014
edité over 4 years ago
SWANS were the best and ONLY doomish NO-WAVE band in all of heroindom.
Their integral no-wave-ishness is usually lost on listeners who haven't heard the screaming saxophone and churlish Lower East Side freight-elevator grit of the first EP, but in any incarnation there is a predominantly non-idiomatic quality that results from independent thought and auteurship; the SWANS molted thru several skins but always remained their own unique style underneath. If, like me, it's their amoral power that you're after, "YOUNG GOD" ep was their best by a wide margin with the EPs dominating over the LPs generally and, for me, the ass fell out after "CHILDREN.." which was the favorite of masochistic Catholics in colleges everywhere.
That being said, Gira is a real artist and doesn't adhere to phases.
Prime SWANS was:
1. The whole band strung out on Heroin, frowning AT YOU.
2. Gira STARING DOWN Audience members HATEFULLY from behind his suspenders as he set up.
3. Al Kizys BREAKING HIS BASS STRING by pulling it way too hard.
4. Dust and debris from the rafters drifting down like a filthy snowfall because ov the band's sub bass disturbances.
"Open your mouth."


19 septembre 2014
There's nothing quite like the brutal, aural raping one receives at a live Swans show.


Long may it continue.

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