Blues for the Red Sun
|Blues for the Red Sun|
|Studio album by Kyuss|
|Released||June 30, 1992|
|Recorded||1992 at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California|
|Genre||Stoner rock, heavy metal|
|Producer||Kyuss and Chris Goss|
Blues for the Red Sun is the second studio album by American stoner rock band Kyuss, released in 1992. While the album received mainly favorable reviews, it fared poorly commercially, selling only 39,000 units. It has since become a very influential album within the stoner rock genre.
Blues for the Red Sun was the last Kyuss album to feature founding bassist Nick Oliveri, who was replaced by Scott Reeder shortly after recording had been completed. Reeder had previously played with The Obsessed.
Touring, promotion, and release
In support of the album, Kyuss went on tour with such established groups as Faith No More, White Zombie, and Danzig. In early 1993, the band was chosen by Metallica to be an opening act for nine shows in Australia. Aside from their first show with Metallica, the group only used half the P.A. system for the other eight concerts.
The music videos for the songs "Green Machine" and "Thong Song" received moderate rotation on MTV's Headbangers Ball and on MuchMusic in Canada. The album also received airplay on such album-oriented radio stations as KNAC, KISW, WYSP, and KIOZ. The album was released by the independent record label, Dali, which was later bought out by Elektra Records. It ended up selling only 39,000 copies.
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Musical style and influence
Blues for the Red Sun incorporates acid rock, grunge, psychedelic rock, space rock, and doom metal, and has been compared to such acts as Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Blue Cheer, and Alice in Chains. The album is considered a pioneer to the stoner metal genre. Daniel Bukszpan, the author of The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal, has written that the album has influenced "countless" bands. Many consider Blues for the Red Sun, "the template for 21st century bands that have followed in the pioneering wake of Kyuss." Exclaim! credited the album for opening, "the way for bands like Monster Magnet and a whole host of other desert grunge practitioners." Melissa Auf der Maur has said that she attempted to "knock-off" Blues for the Red Sun for her single, "Followed the Waves", to the point that she recruited the band's rhythm section to play on the track and Chris Goss to produce. Other fans of the album include Dave Grohl and Metallica.
Steve Taylor, the author of A to X of Alternative Music, wrote that in comparison to the music, "lyrics can't really compete," and went on to call the album's lyrics, "stoned immaculate phrases." Rolling Stone described the lyrics of "Thong Song" — a song about flip-flops — as "deathless."
Guitarist Josh Homme plugged down-tuned guitars into bass amplifiers for the distortion featured on the album. Wah-wah pedals were also used by Homme on Blues for the Red Sun. Wayne Robins of Newsday described Homme's riffs as, "post-Hendrix guitar flurries." Several of the songs on Blues for the Red Sun have slow tempos and groove-laden rhythms. "Green Machine" features a bass guitar solo, and the album features several instrumental tracks. A number of songs on the album also credit lyrics to John Garcia, but have no discernible lyrics or even vocals. It is possible that the only word written by Garcia is the uttered "yeah" at the very end of the album.
|College Music Journal||(favorable)|
The album received generally positive reviews from both fans and critics. Steve Taylor considers it the best album Kyuss ever made. Allmusic's Eduardo Rivadavia gave the album four and a half out of five stars and called the album, "a major milestone in heavy music." In particular he praised producer Chris Goss, who had also been the singer-guitarist for Masters of Reality, for its "unique heavy/light formula." Debaroh Frost of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B+, and Italian music writer Piero Scaruffi gave the album an eight out of possible ten rating. Scaruffi went on to call the album, "one of the masterpieces of noise rock." Scaruffi also ranks it as the third best metal album of all time, just after Metallica's Master of Puppets and before Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction. Rolling Stone considered "Green Machine" and "Thong Song" to be the albums highlights and also thought that the production had greatly improved from the band's previous album, Wretch. Kerrang! also gave the album a favorable review. College Music Journal claimed that the album was "raw and unorthodox" and, like Rivadavia, complimented Chris Goss for the production. Q called it "one of the landmark metal albums of the '90s," and rewarded it a perfect five out of five stars.
Spin ranked Blues for the Red Sun 10th on their list of the "10 Best Albums You Didn't Hear in '92." In 2002, Spin put the album in 36th place on their list of the "40 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time." IGN listed the album as an honorable mention on their list of the "Top 25 Metal Albums." Chad Bowar of About.com named the album the 8th best heavy metal album of 1992 and went on to write that Blues for the Red Sun, "was a landmark album that influenced a lot of bands." MusicRadar included the album on "The 50 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time" and ranked it in 48th place.
|4.||"50 Million Year Trip (Downside Up)"||Bjork||Bjork||5:52|
|8.||"Freedom Run"||Homme, Bjork||Homme||7:37|
|12.||"Allen's Wrench"||Bjork||Bjork, Homme||2:44|
- John Garcia – vocals, lyricist
- Brant Bjork – drums, composer, lyricist, album concept
- Nick Oliveri – bass, composer, lyricist, lead vocals on "Mondo Generator"
- Josh Homme – guitar, composer, lyricist
- Additional personnel
- Chris Goss – producer
- Joe Barresi – engineer, mixing
- Mike Bosely – engineer, mixing
- Brian Jenkins – engineer, drum engineering
- Jeff Sheehan – engineer, assistant engineer
- Howie Weinberg – mastering
- Skiles – art direction
- Michael Anderson – photography
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- Scaruffi, Piero. "Best heavy-metal albums of all time". Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- "40 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Spin. September 2002.
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