200 km/h in the Wrong Lane
|200 km/h in the Wrong Lane|
|Studio album by t.A.T.u.|
|Released||10 December 2002
12 November 2012 (re-release)
|Genre||Pop rock, electronic|
Russian (2 tracks)
|Producer||Trevor Horn, Martin Kierszenbaum, Robert Orton, Ivan Shapovalov (executive)|
Russian release cover
|Singles from 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane|
200 km/h in the Wrong Lane is the debut English studio album by Russian duo t.A.T.u., first released on 10 December 2002 by Interscope Records. It is the duo's first studio album to be associated with Interscope after signing to Universal Music Russia, the label they signed to in 1998. Due to the duo's lack of English vocabulary, the album was produced and written by producers such as Trevor Horn, Martin Kierszenbaum, Robert Orton and Ivan Shapovalov, who was placed as the duo's manager and executive producer. 200 km/h lyrically explores themes such as teenage rebellion, love, sexuality, sadness, independence and social rebellion.
The album received mixed reaction from contemporary music critics. Many critics praised the catchiness and production standards, while ambivalent towards the group's tacky imagery and vocal abilities. Upon its release, it debuted inside the top ten in many European countries including Denmark, Austria, Finland and Italy. It became the group's best-selling album on the US Billboard 200, peaking at thirteen. The album became the highest selling album in Russia. with estimated shipments of one million copies. They went on to promote the album with their Show Me Love Tour.
One of the three official singles "All the Things She Said" became one of the most successful singles in the 2000 era, charting at the top spot in over 20 countries. The song was responsible for bringing the group to the spotlight, particularly with the music video, which caused international controversy. "Not Gonna Get Us" and "How Soon Is Now?" charted moderately worldwide. With the sales, they became the first Russian act to have an album charting in many charts worldwide, and the second to chart on the US Billboard 200. The first was Gorky Park in 1989.
- 1 Background
- 2 Recording process
- 3 Composition
- 4 Titling and release
- 5 Promotion
- 6 Singles
- 7 Critical reception
- 8 Commercial performance
- 9 10th anniversary edition
- 10 Track listing
- 11 Charts, sales and certifications
- 12 Personnel
- 13 References
Prior to t.A.T.u. Yulia and Lena had auditioned as members of Neposedy, a group produced by Ivan Shapolavov and his business partner Alexander Voitinskyi. Shapolavov has said the two girls stood out from the rest of the those that auditioned; however, 14-year old Katina was initially the only one chosen for the band. She sang "It Must Have Been Love" by Swedish pop duo Roxette and later recorded a demo release of "Yugoslavia" for the "1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia". When both Lena and Julia were cast for the group (under the name 'Taty'), they began to record their first record. Then, in 1999 the group released "200 Po Vstrechnoy", which became successful in Poland and Russia. While the album was in development, their producer Alexander Voitinskyi left the production, leaving the album unreleased. However, Shapolavov later signed Elena Kiper as the new co-producer and co-writer for the album. With the success, Shapovalov decided to sign the group to Interscope and its parent Universal Music Group at the headquarters in Russia.
The group started recording the album in Trevor Horn's home studio in London, England and having some recording sessions in Los Angeles, California. When the group were signed and ready for recording, both Yulia and Lena felt it was easy to understand the English language. Yulia stated that Martin helped her with pronunciation, while Lena was already speaking English before production of the album. However, during the times recording in studio's, Yulia constantly lost her voice.
A large barrier was the language barrier between both girls. Katina spoke only mediocre and Volkova hardly any English, so both singers had big problems with the English lyrics. Both girls took English lessons daily. Martin Kierszenbaum helped Katina and Volkova going to memorize the correct pronunciation. Nevertheless, the inclusion of the English songs required a high concentration.
Katina commented on the collaborations, saying; "It was great [...] I think he was involved in some translations because we wanted to keep the meaning of the songs, and to keep the structure specifics. I think that Martin is a little bit of a fan of t.A.T.u, so he was really trying hard to make us big everywhere! We had an opportunity to work with great producer, it was valuable experience. I am talking about Trevor Horn. And in general, just imagine: Two girls are coming from Russia, which is another world compared to the USA, working with a high class producers and writers and management. Everybody is so professional. Working with Martin and Interscope in general brought us to an absolutely different level."
The music of 200 KM/H in the Wrong Lane is derived from a wide variety of pop and dance genres while heavily incorporating different musical styles not being present on their previous Russian record. It encompasses a broad variety of genres, such as electronic, rock, R&B, Hi-NRG and eurodance. It is considered that the album is a departure to their Russian debut, because that contained heavy europop, eurodance and techno influences. According to Allmusic, t.A.T.u. have been known for "eurodance, europop, electronica and pop rock" music through their career. A lot of fans and, surprisingly, critics have applauded their mix of electronica and pop rock styles. According to Discogs, the album is influenced by musical genres of electronic, pop, rock, europop, pop rock and balladry.
"Not Gonna Get Us" is a eurodance-inspired song. According to Allmusic, the song has music influences off pop, dance-pop, eurodance and rock music. The song "Opens with a throbbing electro beat which then builds to the shrill chorus." "All the Things She Said" was the first single released, but the second track on the album. The song opens with dreamy, trance-gated synthesizers and then shifts into a guitar-based pop rock style with Trevor Horn's trademark huge drum sound, but also lightens up to include softer R&B sounds in the middle eight. The song has the line "I'm in serious shit, I feel totally lost" in the first verse, which would be sung normally in live performance; on the album, however, the word is replaced with a "Shh!" sound, and completely removed in the music video. The third single "Show Me Love" was released in Poland. The song was described as "neutral" "30 Minutes" was later released from the album as the fourth single. The song has been described as an "slow atmospheric ballad." It was also described as "a wonderfully mellow song nonetheless."
"How Soon Is Now?" was the band's last single released from this album and was also the fifth track on the album. It is a cover version of The Smiths single of the same name. The song "is transformed by scorched synths, furious power-chords and Lena or Julia’s defiant roar “You Shut Your Mouth”, into an angry punka blast." "Clowns (Can You See Me Now?)" was the sixth track on the album. The song was written by Trevor Horn, Ivan Shapolavov and Valeriy Polienko. People had noticed that unusual style in the lyrics It was also scheduled to be the last single, but this plan was scrapped. However, for a promotional release, 200km/h in the Wrong Lane was re-issued in their native Russia under the name t.A.T.u. – Clowns. It has a synthpop and electronica style. "Malchik Gay" (translated to: Gay Boy) was the band's seventh track on the album. Allmusic had named it as an album highlight because the lyrics, which were written by their producers, had received a lot of attention. The theme of the song specializes with homosexuality. The song is an acoustic song, and has said the song shows "some genuine emotion in here that is well portrayed in the singing." "Stars" was the eighth, and final original track on the album. The song "tries for smooth world-pop with an extended Russian rap, but doesn’t linger in anyone’s memory after it’s over."
Titling and release
The album's title was revealed as 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane, which strikes a similarity to their first studio album. In a documentary on their DVD Screaming for More, the group revealed that the title of the album was to represent their imagery that was portrayed through the media and that the album represented a "dangerous" side to them. Katina also said of Volkova's dangerous driving that inspired the title.
The artwork and photoshoot off the album was shot by Sheryl Nields. There are three official covers to the album. The international version featured both Volkova and Katina leaning of a motorbike, with Katina leaning on Volkova. The Japanese version was shot with the duo in catholic school uniforms similar to the clothes they wore in the "All the Things She Said" video. Because the album issued music videos, a "G" rating was issued on the cover off the album physically. The 10th Anniversary Edition takes the artwork off "All the Things She Said" and uses the group's music videos to illustrate the border of the cover.
When the music video of "All the Things She Said" was released in August 2002, it created an immediate media storm due to the lesbian kiss between the members. The subject matter caused universal controversy, with many media outlets calling it one of the most controversial videos to date. Media outlets, including MuchMusic, FHM Music TV, Virgin Media and The Guardian have regarded it as either a "sexy" or "controversial" music video. William Leith, a publicist from The Guardian, published a separate article on how lesbianism never fails to appeal upon men. Leith commented; "the BBC ban on tATu's video, the fact that their manager, Ivan Shapovalov, has said some dodgy things about his marketing strategies, and that Richard and Judy have advised people not to buy the record. But the thing that really starts the conversation going is the mention of lesbianism." He revealed that "So, here we go again. Lesbians! Phwoar! Eyebrows are raised. Sly grins are exchanged. The subject, clearly, is fascinating to us. We approve of it." It caused massive petitions to ban the single in the United Kingdom, with TV presenters Richard and Judy to back this, accusing the record label to create a lesbianism imagery. They stated that "We are being told that these girls actually have underage lesbian sex in real life and we are being told by their manager that he spotted a gap in the market - a paedophile gap in the market [...] That's sick and it's wrong and personally I think Polydor should not be selling the record in this country. I think they should ban it, I think radio stations should take it upon themselves to ban it. This is going way too far. I think people should boycott the song and 90% of our viewers have said they will." His wife, who supported the cause, did not find the song itself or the girls the problems, but the marketing scheme. BBC, who reacted to the scheme, did not ban the video or music.
After their manager admitted to portraying the girls as lesbians to market their music and aimed t.A.T.u. to create a sexual imagery for men who enjoy pornography, media outlets had criticized him and t.A.T.u. Child protection charity had branded the group "disgusting and pathetic" and said that child pornography is not a laughing matter. ITV banned the video from its show CD:UK, as producer Tammy Hoyle responded "We could not show the video on CD:UK because it is not really suitable for children." Despite banning the video, the group performed the song on many live performances including MTV, Top of the Pops and many more.
Reviews on the group's image were immensely harsh; AllMusic review for 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane labelled the band as a tawdry gimmick. A writer from The Daily Telegraph expressed the video as "cliched", while it " titillating on a very base and adolescent level, only serves to cheapen the song's lyrical impact. The video is also a sign of how blurred the line between entertainment and exploitation has become.
The group's Show Me Love Tour was originally commenced in early 2003. In March 2003, the group announced dates for their "Show Me Love Promo Tour" in the United Kingdom. However the next month, the group dropped the dates and did not perform at the concert, due to poor ticket sales. The concert was just days after the cancellation. BBC News stated that only a fraction of the tickets were sold for the concert and said the stadiums (held in London and Manchester) had around capacities of 10,000. A spokesman from their label Interscope did not understand why the cancellation took place.
In May 2003, t.A.T.u.'s management were sued by the promoters EEM Group for the cancellations of the concerts. EEM sued their management for £300,000, claiming they put "unachievable and numerous obstacles" in the way of ticket sales for the shows. They also claimed that Yulia's illness was a reason for the cancellation, however due to the lack of evidence, the lawsuit was discarded. After the lawsuit, the group also cancelled their Asian-promo tour for Japan and China, due to Yulia's sickness, who needed urgent surgery. The same month, the group postponed their German Promo tour, due to a late invitation to the 2003 MTV Movie Awards, where they performed. The following month they also cancelled their Riga concert and Japan concert in June, which led to a lawsuit from Pasadena Group Promotion, asking $180,000 in damages, as they did not receive any official letters regarding the cancellation.
Despite tour cancellations, the group performed in many associations. To promote "All the Things She Said", t.A.T.u. performed the song on many television shows in the United States. They first appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where the girls created confusion, because they kissed each other without first having been granted permission to do so. They performed the single on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, AOL sessions, MADtv, Carson Daly Show, TRL and the 2003 MTV Movie Awards. They also performed the song on shows in many other countries such as CD:UK in the UK and Top of the Pops in Italy.
"All the Things She Said" was released as the first single off the album in August 2002. It initially received mixed reception, praising the catchiness and creativeness, while criticizing the repetition. The song topped many charts around the world, including Australia, Germany, France, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The song peaked at number twenty on the US Hot 100, becoming the highest Russian act to do so. The song was directed by their manager Ivan Shapovalov, with the girls in school uniforms kissing. The video caused controversy in countries where it was played. The album's second single "Not Gonna Get Us" was released in May 2003 by Interscope Records, both physically and digitally. It was met with favorable reception, praising their departure from their first single and felt it was radio-friendly. The video was also shot by Shapolavov, where it features the girls escaping a supposed prison-like environment and escaping in a construction truck.
"Ne Ver', Ne Boysia" was used as the official Russian entry to the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest. Released as a promotional single in May 2003, the song came third in the competition, only because of the lack of voting opportunity from the United Kingdom and Ireland. "Show Me Love" and "30 Minutes" were both released promotionally in Europe, not managing to receive success critically or commercially. Music video's for each single were released though, with "30 Minutes" receiving controversy due to nudity. A cover from The Smiths "How Soon Is Now?" was the final single from the studio album. The song received mixed reviews, praising the potential while criticizing the production and the duos vocal abilities. The song managed to chart moderately around Europe and Australia.
|Drowned in Sound|||
|The Times UK||(favorable)|
|The Guardian (UK)|||
|Daily Telegraph (UK)||(favourable)|
|Time OUT Magazine||(favourable)|
200 km/h in the Wrong Lane received mixed reviews from critics. Entertainment.ie gave it a favorable review, awarding it three stars. They had said "A teenage lesbian duo from Russia may sound like a marketing man's fantasy rather than a living, breathing pop band." and finished saying "Tatu's novelty value won't, of course, last forever. But for now, they're as entertaining as anyone in mainstream chart music." James Martin from PopDirt was very positive by saying "But all this cynicism seems irrelevant when you actually sit down and listen to 200KM/H in the Wrong Lane." He carried on saying " On the contrary 200KM/H In the Wrong Lane is one of the most innovative and unique pop records in very recent history." Sputnikmusic was generally favorable. They stated "I know, I know, I know. Tatu are a stupid manufactured Russian Euro pop band with their only bit of originality [...] However I believe that this album could just be worth that second glance." They later finished "My verdict on this album is simply this: if you consider yourself open-minded in your music taste, check it out. You just might be surprised." Michael Osborn from MusicOMH was positive, saying "Short it may be, but TATU's initial English language offerings are fresh-sounding pop songs of such a high pedigree, that this is an album which will be played to death." They later talked about the girls being on top headlines about the controversy and he stated "Ignore all the headlines - this intriguing Russian act has the ability to hit all the right notes with their music alone, and have more than just one mammoth smash to offer." David Merryweather from Drowned in Sound called the album "the first pop masterpiece of the year" and encouraged people "Don’t pretend you don’t care."
However, Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic rated the album two stars out of five, by stating "It makes no sense to discuss 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane, the first album by Russian dance-pop duo t.A.T.u., without focusing on the gimmick, since that gimmick is the band [...] Of course, gimmicks have always been central to pop music, including much of the greatest pop music, but few have felt as tawdry as t.A.T.u." He ended by saying "With those relentless, gloomy beats and those voices that cut against the grain, it's easy to concentrate on nothing but the gimmick, because it's more fun to talk about Russian teenage lesbians than listen to this noisy, oppressive murk." Todd Burns from Stylus Magazine awarded the album with a D rating, and gave it a mixed review. He said "It’s obviously pop product and probably not worth the money to buy, but certainly essential pop listening if only for the already European released singles." However, he was positive towards the single releases, calling them "phenomenal confectionary pop constructions."
In the United States, the album debuted at number thirty-six on the chart. The album then rose to thirteen, selling 51,000 copies in its second week becoming the best-gaining sales of that week end. staying in the charts for thirty-three weeks in total. In October 2005, the album sold 760,000 copies in North America, according to Nielsen Soundscan. As of a 2012 Niselen SoundScan update, the album has sold 831,000 copies there, becoming the group's best selling album there and was certified gold by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of 500,000 copies.
The album debuted at number nineteen on the Australian Albums Chart on 30 March 2003, the highest debut of that week end. It remained in the top forty until its tenth week, where it dropped to forty-four and stayed for eleven runs. The album entered at number nine on the New Zealand Albums Chart, becoming the second highest charting album of that week and the group's only top ten studio album. The album descended all its way to number thirty-eight and stayed at total of twelve runs through the chart. In Japan, the album sold more than 300,000 copies in just two days, making them the most successful Eastern European act to have the most sales in a week.
To date, the album has sold over 8,000,000 copies worldwide.
10th anniversary edition
On October 2012, the group's previous record labels Interscope Records and Cherrytree Records announced they would be re-releasing the studio album under the name 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane: 10 Year Anniversary Edition, as recognition of a ten-year anniversary from the original version. The album will contain a new song entitled "A Simple Motion", which is the English version of their Russian single, "Prostye Dvizheniya". Back in 2008, there was an interview with the group where they said that there is still an English version of "Prostye Dvizheniya", but it remained unreleased. This song is the original 2002 version that was never released.
The album is remastered along with new remixes, including remixes for "All the Things She Said" and other tracks off the album. The album features new artwork that was taken from the 2002 era. The album was released on 12 November 2012. Not long after its announcement, new artwork was released on the Cherrytree website. On 17 September 2012, just two months before the announcement, the album was already released on the iTunes Store digitally.
|1.||"Not Gonna Get Us"||Trevor Horn||4:22|
|2.||"All the Things She Said"||
|3.||"Show Me Love"||
|5.||"How Soon Is Now?"||
|6.||"Clowns (Can You See Me Now?)"||
|9.||"Я Сошла С Ума" (Ya Soshla S Uma)||
|10.||"Нас Не Догонят" (Nas Ne Dogonyat)||
|11.||"Show Me Love" (Extended version)||
|International bonus track|
|12.||"30 Minutes" (Remix)||
|Japanese bonus track|
|12.||"Malchik Gay" (Remix Edit)||
|13.||"All the Things She Said" (DJ Monk's Breaks Mix Edit)||
|European and United Kingdom bonus track|
|12.||"Malchik Gay" (Remix)||
|1.||"Behind-the-Scenes with Julia and Lena" (Part 2)||4:29|
|2.||"All the Things She Said" (music video)||3:46|
|Deluxe edition bonus track|
|12.||"Ne Ver', Ne Boysia" (Eurovision 2003)||
|Deluxe edition DVD|
|1.||"Julia + Lena are t.A.T.u." (Documentary)||23:53|
|2.||"All the Things She Said" (music video)||3:44|
|3.||"Not Gonna Get Us" (music video)||3:56|
|4.||"How Soon Is Now?" (music video)||3:11|
|200 km/h in the Wrong Lane – 10 Year Anniversary Edition|
|1.||"A Simple Motion"||
|2.||"Not Gonna Get Us"||
|3.||"All the Things She Said"||
|4.||"Show Me Love"||
|6.||"How Soon Is Now?"||
|7.||"Clowns (Can You See Me Now?)"||
|10.||"Ya Soshla S Uma" (Я Сошла С Ума)||
|11.||"Nas Ne Dagonyat" (Нас Не Догонят)||
|12.||"Show Me Love" (Extended version)||
|13.||"30 Minutes" (Remix)||
|14.||"All the Things She Said" (Fernando Garibay Remix)||
|15.||"Show Me Love" (Fabricated Remix)||
Charts, sales and certifications
- t.A.T.u. — vocals
- Martin Kierszenbaum — arranger, producer, A&R
- Cindy Cooper — production coordination
- Sheryl Nields — photography
- Trevor Horn — arranger, producer
- Robert Orton — arranger, mixing, engineer, producer
- Chris Dalston — booking
- Andrea Ruffalo — A&R
- Robert Hayes — management
- Bob Ludwig — mastering
- Sergio Galoyan — producer, composer
- Dean Beckett — package co-ordinator (10th anniversary edition)
- Greg Benninger — package design (10th anniversary edition)
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- Australian portal 2
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