Far Beyond Driven
|Far Beyond Driven|
|Studio album by Pantera|
|Released||March 22, 1994|
|Recorded||1993 in Nashville, Tennessee|
The original cover for Far Beyond Driven.
|Singles from Far Beyond Driven|
Far Beyond Driven is the seventh studio album by American heavy metal band Pantera, released on March 22, 1994 through East West Records. Upon its release, it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making it the first extreme metal album to top the chart. It is also the first album where Darrell Abbott is credited as "Dimebag Darrell".
At the time of its release, Phil Anselmo was injured with ruptured disks in his back and was suffering from chronic pain from degenerative disk disease. Anselmo began drinking heavily, abusing painkillers, muscle relaxants and began experimenting with heroin to numb the pain.
In an interview at Loyola University in March 2009, Anselmo said:
- "Well, I think it was about the time when the record [Far Beyond Driven] came in at No. 1. I was pretty terrified. I was happy as hell; don't get me wrong, man — I was like, 'Oh, my God, yes!' At that point, I had just gotten back from the doctor — from having my second MRI done — and I realized I had two blown-out disks. Now, in order for me to be this Superman that the media had built me up to be, I had to quell that pain. So I started off with regular painkillers and muscle relaxers. Eventually, you climb up the painkiller ladder, because painkillers lie to you; they will magnify that injury. And that's all that's on your mind — the injury and painkillers."
In the liner notes of the album, all the songs' lyrics are printed apart from the cover of "Planet Caravan". The liner note reads:
- "This is a Black Sabbath song off of the Paranoid album. So don't freak out on us. We did the song because we wanted to. It has nothing to do with the integrity of our direction. It's a tripped out song. We think you'll dig it. If you don't, don't fucking listen to it. Thanks. On behalf of the rest of Pantera, Phil Anselmo '94."
The track "Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills" is a reference to the song "Good Friends and a Bottle of Wine" on the Ted Nugent album Weekend Warriors. The album is referenced in the Machine Head song "Aesthetics of Hate", the third track from the 2007 album The Blackening.
Lyrics and style
The band tuned lower on the album than on previous efforts, with many songs going as low as C# standard. Philip Anselmo's lyrics on the album were far more personal than on the previous albums. Songs such as "Becoming" and "25 Years" appear to be about Anselmo's early life. The song "Planet Caravan" is a cover from the heavy metal band Black Sabbath.
The album's original artwork (a drill bit impaling an anus) was quickly replaced with a new image, depicting a skull impaled with a drill bit. The Driven Downunder Tour '94 – Souvenir Collection box set released in Australia and New Zealand contained a copy of the album with the original artwork. The LP re-pressing by Rhino Records also uses the original artwork.
Release and reception
Commercial performance 
At midnight on March 22, 1994, Pantera launched the release of Far Beyond Driven with an extensive record store campaign. They travelled to 12 cities in almost five days with MTV documenting their progress. Bandmembers signed autographs, met fans, and promoted Far Beyond Driven. The band released "I'm Broken" as the album’s first single, which reached No. 19 on the UK Singles Chart, making it the band's highest charting single worldwide. The LP also contained the first cover song on one of their major-label releases—Black Sabbath’s "Planet Caravan" which served as the album's closing track and reached No. 21 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks and No. 26 on the UK Singles Chart. Pantera’s hard work paid off; by March the LP had sold over 185,000 copies and had reached No. 1 on the U.S Billboard 200 album charts and Australian charts upon release. It remained on the Billboard 200 for 29 weeks.
Although the album had great commercial success it has received mixed reviews since its release. Rolling Stone gave the album four out of five stars. However, AllMusic reviewer Eduardo Rivadavia stated "Far Beyond Driven may have been Pantera's fastest selling album upon release, but it's hardly their best. In fact, although it shot straight to the number one spot on the Billboard sales chart in its first week (arguably the most extreme album ever to do so), this incredible feat doesn't so much reflect its own qualities as those of its predecessor, 1992's Vulgar Display of Power."
Rolling Stone (19 May 1994, p. 103) - 4 Stars - "A kind of aesthetics of thud...the real art smolders in the noise itself."
Entertainment Weekly (1 April 1994, p. 54) - "If you're burned out on raging young men spewing aggression atop jackhammering drums and grinding guitars, then pass on Pantera. But if you've still got a yen for that sort of fare, then you can't do much better than this slab of metallic mayhem." - Rating: B+
Melody Maker (2 April 1994, p. 35) - "Like great techno, it's utterly flawless music, free of any error, minimal and animal enough to make a screaming bloody mess of the head."
In November 2011, Far Beyond Driven was ranked number six on Guitar World magazine's top ten list of guitar albums of 1994. The album was also ranked at number twenty in Guitar World's "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994" list.
On March 24, 2014, a two-disc deluxe edition of Far Beyond Driven was released to celebrate its 20th Anniversary. Disc one is a remastered version of the original album. Disc two is a live album featuring Pantera's set at the 1994 Monsters of Rock Festival.
Pantera toured South America, and were accepted into another "Monsters of Rock" billing. At that festival on June 4, 1994, the Abbott brothers got into a scuffle with journalists from the music magazine Kerrang! over unflattering cartoon depictions of drummer Vinnie Paul. Then in late June, Anselmo was charged with assault for hitting a security guard after he prevented fans from getting on stage, Anselmo was released on $5,000 bail the next day. The trial was delayed three times. In May 1995, he apologized in court and pleaded guilty to attempted assault and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. Pantera continued their tour of the United Kingdom in 1994 and eventually ended it in the United States where the band was opened for by fellow groove metal band Prong.
|1.||"Strength Beyond Strength"||3:38|
|3.||"5 Minutes Alone"||5:47|
|5.||"Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills"||2:52|
|6.||"Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks"||7:01|
|10.||"Use My Third Arm"||4:51|
|11.||"Throes of Rejection"||5:01|
|12.||"Planet Caravan" (Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward) (Black Sabbath cover)||4:03|
|Japanese edition bonus track|
|13.||"The Badge" (Jerry A., Poison Idea) (Poison Idea cover)||3:55|
Disc 2: Expanded Edition bonus CD
|Live: Monsters of Rock 1994|
|1.||"Use My Third Arm"||4:04|
|3.||"Strength Beyond Strength"||4:01|
|4.||"Domination / Hollow"||6:54|
|8.||"Mouth For War"||4:01|
|9.||"Cowboys From Hell"||4:49|
- Philip Anselmo – lead vocals
- Dimebag Darrell – guitar, backing vocals
- Rex Brown – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Vinnie Paul – drums
- Produced, engineered, and mixed by Terry Date
- Co-produced and arranged by Pantera
- Mastered by Ted Jensen
|U.S.||Gold||May 9, 1994||500,000|
|U.S.||Platinum||November 7, 1997||1,000,000|
|Canada||Gold||May 9, 1994||50,000|
|Canada||Platinum||November 21, 1995||100,000|
|U.K.||Silver||November 1, 1994||60,000|
|U.K.||Gold||November 18, 2004||100,000|
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