Horse Rotorvator


Cover Image

UK LP Force & Form/K.422/Some Bizzare ROTA 1
NL LP Boudisque Records 08-023848-20
US LP/CS Relativity 88561-8139-1/2
FR LP Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L'Acier DSA 54008
DE LP Record Vox SPV 098008
RU CS Stable Records

side a

  1. The Anal Staircase
  2. Slur - [MP3]
  3. Babylero
  4. Ostia (The Death of Pasolini) - [MP3]
  5. Herald
  6. Penetralia - [MP3]
  7. Ravenous* - [ROTA121]

side b

  1. Circles of Mania
  2. Blood From the Air - [MP3] [ROTA121]
  3. Who By Fire - [MP3]
  4. The Golden Section
  5. The First 5 Minutes After Death
  6. The Anal Staircase (A Dionysian Remix)* - [ROTA121]


First pressing of 2000 copies of the UK LP on clear vinyl with an A5 card insert and stickers. Some copies also included a lyric sheet (reverse) and a poster.
The first 2000 copies of the Dutch LP on blue vinyl.
1000 copies of the US LP on gold vinyl, probably distributed randomly amongst the regular black vinyl copies.
The label on side B of the record has "Blood From The Air" and "Who By Fire" listed in the wrong order, and "The First Five Minutes After Death" titled "The First Five Minutes A.D."
"Ravenous" and "The Anal Staircase (A Dionysian Remix)" are bonus tracks on the US cassette release however they are not listed on the cover. The sleeve also erroneously lists "Slur" as "Silk", "Babylero" as "Baby Lero" and "Herald" as "Acapulco March". It also misspels the album title as "Horse Rotovator".


Cover Image

UK CD Force & Form/K.422/Some Bizzare ROTA CD1
UK CD Threshold House LOCI CD 16 (2001 remaster)

  1. The Anal Staircase
  2. Slur - [MP3]
  3. Babylero
  4. Ostia (The Death of Pasolini) - [MP3]
  5. Herald
  6. Penetralia - [MP3]
  7. Ravenous - [ROTA121]
  8. Circles of Mania
  9. Blood From the Air - [MP3] [ROTA121]
  10. Who By Fire - [MP3]
  11. The Golden Section
  12. The First 5 Minutes After Death

John Balance
Peter Christopherson
Stephen Wyndham Thrower
Clint Ruin - brass arrangements on "Circles of Mania"
Billy McGee - string arrangement on "Ostia"
Paul Vaughn - narration on "The Golden Section"
Raoul Revere [Marc Almond] - backing vocals on "Slur" and "Who By Fire"

A promotional advance cassette uses what would become the relentless mix of "The Anal Staircase". Several track titles were changed slightly for the official album release, and "Acapulco March" was completely renamed to "Herald".
This CD has been re-pressed many times since the initial release, but all later editions are unauthorized by Coil.
"Ravenous" is listed on the cover as appearing on the end of the disc (after "The First Five Minutes After Death"), but the tracks actually appear on the disc in the order above.
A reissue of this CD via Wax Trax! Records was planned in 1992, but was cancelled when Coil severed their contract with the label following its buy out by TVT Records. A reissue was also planned via nothing records, but legal problems with Stevo/Some Bizzare put it in limbo.
The 2001 reissue was remastered by Thighpaulsandra and carries Coil's full blessing and new artwork. Test pressings of a remastered vinly edition exist, but a proper release never took place.

The Anal Staircase

And the angels kiss
Our souls in bliss
Measure the extent of a dizzying descent
Down the Anal staircase.
Put just one foot on the staircase
And the next step you're down here
On this face.
And the rapids
Of my heart
Will tear your
ship of love apart
And we'll
End up wrecked
We'll end up
at the start
Of the Anal Staircase.

And the angels kiss
Our souls in bliss
Measure the extent of a dizzying descent
Down the
Anal staircase.
Take a hollowpoint revolver
Shoot down the rapids
Of your heart
Blow the fucking
Thing apart
Blow the fucking
Thing apart.
One step
Two step
Three step
Four Step.


Roman land
Of Roman sands
And Roman sons.
As I watch the sun sink down
On the bloodred edge
Of the bloodred town
There are shadows for sale
On the edge of town
At the edge of the night
Is a darkness seen
From the side of the light
(From the side of the night).
And the winds blow round
this sleeping town
This sleeping town
This Roman land
Of Roman sands
And Roman sons.
And it seems to me
That when I close my eyes
All the lights in the world
Go out
And the night passes by
And you whisper to me
A thousand lies
I stare in surprise
Towards the desert's warm black
And the desert stirs
And the desert stares back
With a thousand eyes
Piercing eyes
Ancient eyes
And I ask my lover
"Do you know
Where the desert roses bloom and grow?"

Ostia (the Death of Pasolini)

There 's honey in the hollows
And the contours
of the body
A sluggish golden river
A sickly golden trickle
A golden, sticky trickle
You can hear
the bones humming
And the car reverses over
The body in the basin
In the shallow sea-plane basin.
And the car reverses over
And his body rolls over
Crushed from the shoulder
You can hear the
Bones humming
Singing like a puncture
Killed to keep
the world turning
Throw his bones over
The White Cliffs
of Dover
Into the sea
The Sea of Rome
And the bloodstained
Of Ostia
Leon like a lion
Sleeping in
the sunshine.
Lion lies down.
"Out of the strong
Came forth sweetness."
Throw his bones over
The White Cliffs
of Dover
And murder me
In Ostia.
The Sea of Rome.
You can hear his bones humming.
Throw his bones over
The White Cliffs
of Dover
And into the sea
The Sea of Rome
Then murder me,
In Ostia.

Circles of Mania

Nero's long hot tongue
Nero's long hot
tongue licks....
This is the sound
Of the world
turning round
The underground
This is the sound of the w
orld turning round
The world
spinning round.
You get eaten alive
By the perfect lover.
I fell in
to a burning ring
A burning ring of
And the knives
slide in
They slide deep
into my skin
And they open me
so wide
That you stick your
head inside
You get sewn
inside alive
You get eaten alive
By the perfect lover
When you've
swallowed one
You just
swallow another
To drive away
this hunger
You stay in
there forever
Caught in the centre
Of a circle of manias
Chemical Angel
Enters arena
Toro D'Or
falls to the floor
Fucking the ground
The hole in the ground
And hot wires sing
Deep in my skin
I'm writhing...
Like Dutch Schultz at
106 degrees...
And I wake up licking
I wake up licking the
bedsheets clean
Licking and

Blood from the Air

A sleeping explorer
his wandering mind
crossed over the border
a mind like a cemetery
where the corpses
are turning
where the bodies
twist deep
in the frozen grip
of a dreamless sleep
then the lowest
comes up
like a wreck
from the depths.
He hears night calling
and has dreams
of waking
here in this brightness
that burns like
slow lightening
he sees words
burnt in ice
reads, "The World is
a Wound
In the Body of Christ".
Effects of the animal -
Animal sound effects
He says, "Death,
he is my friend
He promised me
a quick end".
Says, "The world is
in pain
and should be
put down
and God is a sadist
and that he knows it".
The depths of the
night sky
reflects in his eye
He says,
"Everything changes
And everyone dies".
And the night
slits her veins
and the
darkness drains
and the void
rumbles in
like an
underground train...
Forever comes closer
the world is in pain
we all must be shown
we must realise
that everyone changes
and everything dies.

Who By Fire by Leonard Cohen

And who by fire, who by water,
who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
who in your merry merry month of may,
who by very slow decay,
and who shall I say is calling?

And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate,
who in these realms of love, who by something blunt,
and who by avalanche, who by powder,
who for his greed, who for his hunger,
and who shall I say is calling?

And who by brave assent, who by accident,
who in solitude, who in this mirror,
who by his lady's command, who by his own hand,
who in mortal chains, who in power,
and who shall I say is calling?

In his "Coil Album Guide", Dave Pinella writes: Coil's second full-length continues in the industrial vein as evidenced by the opener "The Anal Staircase," which was originally released as a 12" in a different mix. The album is full of the excesses of Roman times, full of sex, horns, drugs and death. Aside from the military motif, the album also brings to the forefront the music's homoeroticism, with tracks like "The Anal Staircase" "Slur" and "Penetralia" all stressing the point. "Ostia (The Death Of Pasolini)" is the album's centerpiece, with soothing insect-like percussion and strings over a plaintive vocal by Balance. Like Scatology, the album features a cover (this time it's a totally sick, drastically reworked version of Leonard Cohen's "Who By Fire") as well as problems with Stevo over the money from the reissue(s) of it.

Mark Coleman says: The song "Ostia" is about the death of Pier Pasolini, an Italian filmmaker. The only Pasolini I have seen is "Salo: 120 Days in Sodom," his adaptation of Sade's libertine classic set in the days of the Italian Fascists. It is an excellent work, even though it features graphic coprophagia (shit eating) and child sex. Apparently (correct me if I err, I probably will) Pasolini had finished filming "120 Days" and picked up a boy prostitute and took him to his coastal villa in Ostia on the Italian Coast. The prostitute (an Italian government agent I've heard) ran Pasolini over in his own BMW and left him dead in a ditch. This is as much as I know, but the crickets at the beginning were recorded at the Aztec Ruins of Chichen Itza (sp?) where Aztec priests made human sacrifices. I could also be wrong about Aztec, it could have been Mayan.

Nisus submits: Aside from your general moral issues, he was rather straightforward in his political attacks against the system in essays and articles he wrote. But as I understand it, the thing that really brought up the possibility of there being more to his murder than it seemed was inconsistency in the story of the boy who supposedly committed it coupled with statements made by other "hustlers" regarding another car following them with four men in it. There is an interesting documentary about Pasolini's death called "Whoever Says The Truth Shall Die" if anyone wishes to pursue the matter, and it is also discussed a bit in Enzo Siciliano's biography of Pasolini.

In reference to the lyrics of Ostia, Matt Bartels says: This is from Judges chapter 14, vs. 14.: And he said unto them: Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. It is from the the story of Samson. He had killed this lion on his way to meeting his soon to be first wife, Timnath the Philistine. After hitting it off with her, passed the lion's carcass on the way home and found a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass. Samson eats the honey and gives it to his family to eat without men-tioning its source.... Later his family is throwing a feast for Timnath and 30 of her Philistine friends and Samson poses the lines in question as a riddle, telling them if they figure it out he'll give them 30 sheets and 30 garments. and if not vice versa. Samson's wife begs the answer out of him and tells her 30 friends. Samson is pissed that he lost, and his response is first to say "If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle". Then 'the spirit of the Lord came upon him' and he went out and killed 30 people to take their sheets and garments to pay off his debt. So, is the idea here the parallel of betrayal by their lovers suffered by both Pasolini and Samson, or is it elsewhere? The golden sticky trickles seem to also stand on their own with nice multiple meanings....