Journey of the Mekons

An enduring "lack of success" story

"It's not a case of some songs being recorded entirely in one city or the other," Greenhalgh explains. "All the songs have elements that were recorded in both, depending on where people live. All the bass, violin, and some piano and guitar were done in London and put together with the drums, vocals, et cetera, through the miracle of modern technology, like Pro Tools and hard-disk recording, in Chicago. We couldn't afford to get the band all in the same place."

Journey to the End of the Night ultimately may be considered one of the best works in the Mekons' voluminous catalogue, and Greenhalgh concurs that everything seemed to click with this one. "Each Mekons album is a unique project in its own right, in terms of its particular ambition, structure, and aims," he says. "Journey, I think, picks up on a lot of themes that have been explored over the years and puts them together in different ways. I'm personally very pleased with it, in that I think it is the record we set out to make, which is not always the case."

The Mekons carry their long day's journey into night through their fourth decade
The Mekons carry their long day's journey into night through their fourth decade

With a formula that most bands would find maddeningly fragmented, the Mekons have managed to find greater success as a group separated by an ocean yet bound together tightly in a creative pursuit they all believe in with the same vigor and passion that brought them together in Leeds in 1976. By any yardstick the Mekons' legacy is easily one of the true marvels of the modern age of rock and roll.

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