Honeymoon In Red is a concept album released in 1987 as a Lydia Lunch album. Honeymoon In Red is sometimes referred to as a band or alternately as a collaboration between Lydia Lunch and The Birthday Party.
Honeymoon In Red is musically eclectic, combining elements of burlesque, no wave, singer/songwriter Jacques Brel, American Underground, the use of a "varispeed" for atmospherics, a song by country pop songwriter Lee Hazlewood, dissonant piano and guitar and muscular bass guitar and the darkly charismatic personas of Nick Cave and Lydia Lunch.
The album generally resembles the angular pop of The Birthday Party's Prayers On Fire, although the song "Dead In The Head" recalls the strident guitar playing of Teenage Jesus And The Jerks. Unlike The Birthday Party, Honeymoon In Red emphasises vernacular speech akin to 1970s American television and film, instead of emulating the Southern Gothic literary genre. In a 1983 television interview, Lunch spoke of the experimental music as "religious music" that was "not rock".
The album's graphic design resembled a lurid 1950s Saul Bass movie poster, with cockfighting motifs. The liner notes from Lunch titled "THE TERRORTORY" comments on commercial and religious puritanical attitudes. It included an Annie Sprinkle photograph of Lunch's body superimposed onto a rural roadmap, also a photograph by Chris Stein of Lunch wearing a "suicide blonde" wig and heavy make up, holding up a large pistol.
Mick Harvey has stated that the project was originally conceived as a new band; a collaboration between Lunch, Genevieve McGuckin and Rowland S. Howard. After the initial recording sessions in Berlin in June 1982, the tapes languished without a release. In 1987 Lunch readied the tapes for release on her own Widowspeak label, with added contributions by J.G. Thirlwell and Thurston Moore. Lunch had already fallen out with Nick Cave and Harvey, and they insisted that their names not appear on the release, as they had no hand in the remix and overdubbing. Lunch subsequently used pseudonyms for Cave and Harvey (including "A drunk cowboy junkie" and "Dick Strum", respectively) and obliquely criticized them in her liner notes as "tight asses" and "sheep in wolf's clothing".
A 12" single of "Done Dun" (a Cave/Lunch duet) was released on side B of the Lydia Lunch/Thurston Moore/Clint Ruin single "The Crumb", and referred to The Honeymoon In Red Orchestra.
Trouser Press called it "not a great album by any means, but of definite interest to fans of those involved."
01 - Come Fall
02 - So Your Heart
03 - Dead River
04 - Three Kings
05 - Done Dun
06 - Still Burning
07 - Fields Of Fire
08 - Dead In The Head
09 - Some Velvet Morning
1982 Session (Tracks 1,3-8)
Lydia Lunch – Vocals
Rowland S. Howard – Guitar, Vocals
Genevieve McGuckin – Piano, Organ
Murray Mitchell – Guitar
Tracy Pew – Bass
Nick Cave – Vocals (credited only as "Her dead twin" and "A drunk cowboy junkie")
Mick Harvey – Drums, Piano (credited only as "Anonymous", "Scatman Cramden", "Howie Dewitt", "Dick Strum", "Ralf Bellow", "Spencer Turk", and "Frank Leer")
Steve Montgomery – Mix
1987 Remix Session (Track 2)
Thurston Moore – Guitar
J.G. Thirlwell AKA Clint Ruin – Mix
Martin Bisi – Mix
"Some Velvet Morning" Bonus (Track 9)
Lydia Lunch – Vocal
Rowland S. Howard – Vocal, Guitar
Genevieve McGuckin – Piano
Barry Adamson – Bass
Mick Harvey – Drums
Peter Williams – Engineer