Death Disco 12"


Half Mix [Death Disco (12" Mix)] / Megga Mix [Fodderstompf]

Release Date:

Label & Catalogue Number:
Virgin. VS 274 12

Highest UK Chart Position:

Vox - John Lydon
Guitar - Keith Levene
Bass - Jah Wobble
Drums - David Humphrey
(B-side Richard Dudanski)

Format Info:
Picture Sleeve. Limited edition of 15,000

Track Info:
The tracks are re-titled 'Half Mix' / 'Megga Mix' on the label.
The A-side [Part 1] is an extended 12" mix of 'Death Disco', titled as 'Half Mix'. The B-side [Part 2] is a new re-recorded version of 'Fodderstompf' titled as 'Megga Mix'.

The little known David Humphrey plays drums on both tracks. The B-side is the only track to be released from the scrapped Warner Brothers re-recording of the first album. Both tracks were unique to this 12" release until they were included on 'Plastic Box' in 1999.

NOT Trivia:
Originally titled 'Swan Lake' after the bastardised guitar line in the track; the lyrics were written by John Lydon for his dying mother.

The track was first rehearsed in December 1978 while Jim Walker was still in the band, but was not recorded until David Humphrey joined in 1979.

The confusion over the song titles meant that when Belgium artist Arbeid Adelt covered the B-side he titled it as 'Death Disco' rather than 'Fodderstompf'. The track later became something of a cult classic; and has featured on numerous dance mix compilations, most notably '2 Many dj's, Soul Wax pt.2'.

The full unedited monitor mix of 'Death Disco' later appeared as an audio extra on the John Lydon 'Best of British £1 Notes' DVD.

A promo video featuring Richard Dudanski on drums was shot for the single.


Produced by 'Public Image Ltd'
Engineered by Nick Cook & Hugh Padgham

The Manor, Oxfordshire

Sleeve Design:
Sleeve paintings/drawings by John Lydon. The 12" sleeve is slightly different to the 7" release.

I used 'Swan Lake' for the melody. The reason it was called 'Death Disco' was because it was about John's mum. The person he was singing about, 'seeing in your eyes,' was his mother dying. That's what John was singing about very passionately, I might add. From my point of view, I was just trying to do something with the music. I didn't know what he was singing about at the time – he was just: "It's 'Death Disco' Keith, that's what it is!"
- Keith Levene, Perfect Sound Forever 2001

'No Birds Do Sing' is a line from a poem by Keats. I just borrowed a bit of it because it suited this particular rant about suburbia.
- John Lydon, 'Plastic Box' sleevenotes 1999

Death Disco

Press Reviews:
NME, July 1979

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