Danzig (album)

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Danzig
Studio album by Danzig
Released August, 1988
Recorded 1987-1988 at Atlantic Recording Studios and Chung King Metal in New York City
Genre Heavy metal, blues rock, hard rock
Length 40:57
Label Def American, Warner Bros.
Producer Rick Rubin
Danzig chronology
Danzig
(1988)
Danzig II: Lucifuge
(1990)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars [1]
College Music Journal (favorable) [2]
Melody Maker (favorable) [3]
Rock Hard 7.5/10 stars [4]
Thrasher (favorable) [5]
Trouser Press (mixed) [6]

Danzig is the debut album of the American heavy metal band Danzig, released in August, 1988. The album was the first release on producer Rick Rubin's new label Def American Recordings.[7] Def American's successor, American Recordings reissued the album in the USA and UK in 1998. It remains the band's best-selling album having been certified Gold in the U.S. in 1994,[8] and has since been certified Platinum.[9]

Music and recording[edit]

Danzig was recorded at Atlantic Recording Studios and Chung King Metal, and mixed at Smoke Tree and Village.[10]

The song "Mother", retitled as "Mother '93" and with live audience overdubs, became a hit on radio and MTV in 1993-94 after a new video-single with live footage was created to mark its inclusion on Thrall: Demonsweatlive.[8][11] The song was also later included on various hard rock and heavy metal music compilations, and featured in the video games Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, True Crime: New York City, the Guitar Hero series, and F.E.A.R. 3. It also appeared on the soundtrack to the 2013 film The Hangover Part III.

Glenn Danzig originally wrote the songs "Twist of Cain" and "Possession" for his previous band, Samhain.[12] Lyrically, "Twist of Cain" is inspired by the biblical story of Cain and Abel.[13] Guitarist John Christ described the recording of "Twist of Cain": “We started writing that song even before Biscuits joined the band. At first we started recording it in G, then at the last minute we decided that A was better. We kept the drum tracks as they were and re-recorded the guitars, bass and vocals. Not many people know this, but James Hetfield (of Metallica) came down and recorded some backing vocals on that track.”[14] Hetfield also recorded backing vocals on "Possession", however, due to contractual reasons he could not be credited in the album insert.[15] A backwards piano track is used during the intro to "Possession".

John Christ has described "She Rides" as “Our first sex song...it's such a stripped-down song, just a couple of guitar tracks and almost no bass. "She Rides" probably has the best vocal performance on the album, though. There are also some really weird background noises and moaning sounds on it.”[14]

While the album's liner notes expressly state "All songs written by Glenn Danzig", the song "The Hunter" was written by Booker T. & the M.G.'s and Carl Wells. Originally recorded by Albert King, the Danzig version of the song only features slightly modified lyrics.

Folk musician Bonnie 'Prince' Billy recorded a cover version of "Am I Demon" for his 2007 EP Ask Forgiveness.

Artwork and packaging[edit]

Original LP, CD, and cassette versions of the album cover had no identifying text whatsoever, only a white skull on a black background. The skull, also used on the Samhain albums Initium and November-Coming-Fire, was taken from the cover of the Marvel comic book The Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior (issue 8). It was drawn by the artist Michael Golden.

Later pressings of the compact disc added the Danzig band name logo in the lower right. While 1990-1998 pressings of the CD had the Parental Advisory label in the form of a sticker on the cellophane wrap, pressings since 1998 have the label printed on the artwork. Danzig is one of few albums labeled as "explicit" despite the virtual absence of profanity, save for one use of "whore". Glenn Danzig commented on this use of the advisory label: “That's because of its content. We're making people think. You're not allowed to make people think in the United States. You're not allowed to have them question the government or authority.”[15]

Reception[edit]

  • AllMusic - "Danzig debuts with a record of simple, pounding, bluesy metal featuring lead singer Glenn Danzig's trademark Elvis-meets-Jim Morrison bellow and outlandishly dark, evil lyrics. There isn't a great deal of musical variety or complexity here, but the band powers its way through such signature tunes as "Twist of Cain," "Am I Demon," and the (future) hit "Mother" with a primal energy."[1]
  • Thrasher - "Glenn Danzig has built up a new unit that's so damn powerful, so relentlessly brutal, it staggers the senses just to comprehend. The ensemble drives forth with a new force, an ambitious direction and absolutely ferocious power. Glenn's vocals have matured with age; his croons are commanding expressions of the full range of his voice...the music explodes with a vigorous combination of hooks and punches that wallop a tight, clean drive; a forceful nucleus of hard rocking energy. All together Danzig provide a heavy dose of pure entertainment that has awesome momentum and pile-driving fury. Danzig becomes more impressive with every listen."[5]
  • Trouser Press - "Danzig is a crunchy and lusty demonic cross between The Doors, Misfits and Black Sabbath. Roughly half of the album is ominous and mighty, the rest displays the weak underbelly of Rubin's thinly homogeneous production."[6]

Music videos[edit]

Music videos were released for the songs "Twist of Cain", "Am I Demon", "Mother" and "She Rides". Upon its release the music video for "Mother" was banned by MTV for containing controversial imagery.[16] All four music videos later appeared on the Danzig Home Video.[17]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Twist of Cain" – 4:17
  2. "Not of This World" – 3:42
  3. "She Rides" – 5:10
  4. "Soul on Fire" – 4:36
  5. "Am I Demon" – 4:57
  6. "Mother" – 3:24
  7. "Possession" – 3:56
  8. "End of Time" – 4:02
  9. "The Hunter" – 3:31
  10. "Evil Thing" – 3:16

All songs written by Glenn Danzig, except "The Hunter" by Booker T. Jones, Al Jackson, Jr., Donald Dunn, Steve Cropper and Carl Wells

Credits[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Producer: Rick Rubin
  • Engineers: Dave Bianco, Steve Ett, Jim Scott
  • Mastering: Howie Weinberg
  • CD Mastering: Barry Diament
  • Photography: Mark Weiss

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)
Year Chart Position
1988 The Billboard 200 125
Singles - Billboard (North America)
Year Single Chart Position
1993 "Mother" Mainstream Rock Tracks 17
1994 The Billboard Hot 100 43

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://allmusic.com/album/danzig-r5073
  2. ^ http://prod1.cmj.com/articles/display_article.php?id=12281
  3. ^ http://www.misfitscentral.com/display.php?t=darticle&f=melodym.88
  4. ^ http://www.rockhard.de/index.php?smod=p209MJ56rKOyMTyuWz1iMUIfo2qAo2D9pz9wn2uupzDhpzI2nJI3pl5xMKEunJkJnJI3Wzqlo3IjFHD9pzuspzI2nJI3WzAioaEyoaEWEQ0kAQH3ZvL%3D
  5. ^ a b http://www.misfitscentral.com/display.php?t=darticle&f=thrasher.87
  6. ^ a b "DANZIG". Trouser Press. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  7. ^ Ma, Maria (December 10, 1988). "DANZIG: Def New Music". Concrete Foundations. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  8. ^ a b Chirazi, Steffan (Spring 1994). "Black Gold!". Kerrang!. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  9. ^ Farr, Sara (August 2005). "DANZIG Interview". Unrated Magazine. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  10. ^ Danzig liner notes
  11. ^ "On the Same Track". Entertainment Weekly. February 18, 1994. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  12. ^ Cipollini, Christian. "Glenn Danzig - Horror Business". Penny Blood. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  13. ^ Gitter, Mike (October 1987). "Glenn Danzig: Resurrection of a Misfit". RIP magazine. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  14. ^ a b Kitts, Jeff (July 1994). "Prime Cuts: John Christ". Guitar School. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  15. ^ a b Grow, Kory (August 16, 2013). "Glenn Danzig: Democrats are Fascists Disguised as Liberals". City Pages. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  16. ^ Zogbi, Mariana (Spring 1989). "Danzig on Thin Ice". Metal Mania. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  17. ^ "Danzig - Home Video". Danzig-Verotik.com. Retrieved 2009-12-20.