Gretchen Goes to Nebraska

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Gretchen Goes to Nebraska
Studio album by King's X
Released June 27, 1989
Recorded Rampart Studios, Houston TX
Genre Hard rock, progressive metal
Length 52:20
Label Megaforce
Producer Sam Taylor & King's X
King's X chronology
Out of the Silent Planet
(1988)
Gretchen Goes to Nebraska
(1989)
Faith, Hope, Love
(1990)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [2]
Q 4/5 stars [3]

Gretchen Goes to Nebraska is the second studio album by American heavy metal/hard rock trio King's X. It is a concept album based around a short story written by drummer Jerry Gaskill.[4] Having received strong critical praise and fan support, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska is considered among the best work of King's X.

Music and lyrics[edit]

Characteristic of the band's early material, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska features various lyrical Christian themes in tracks such as "Over My Head" but also criticism of televangelism in "Mission." It further questions religion with reference to the burning of Giordano Bruno in "Pleiades." Musically, the album covers various styles; it emphasizes tight melodies and grooves while incorporating elements of gospel and psychedelia.

When asked about the truth behind the album's title, drummer Jerry Gaskill responded in a 1990 interview:

"It actually started as a joke. Six or seven years ago we were unloading the truck, and we were throwing out these silly album titles and one of our roadies just came out with that off the top of his head. So we just said 'Yeah, someday we're going to call an album that'. We just saw him on our last tour, and we told him, 'we named the album because you said that'; he didn't even remember it."[5]

Touring and promotion[edit]

King's X toured considerably in promotion of their second album. The band's second London, England performance at the Astoria was filmed via camcorder. In 2008, nearly twenty years after its recording, the sold out concert would be released on a DVD entitled Gretchen Goes to London. According to frontman Doug Pinnick, after the concert, a distressed Jerry Gaskill locked himself in a room, thinking he may have ruined the band's career. Despite this, Pinnick described the show as "real encouraging."[6]

In keeping with current concert trends, in late 2009, the band expressed interest in performing Gretchen Goes to Nebraska in its entirety on tour. Pinnick elaborated, "We like the idea of doing the whole of that record with a great light show, as part of something we’d call An Evening With King’s X. It wouldn’t be a full-blown tour, playing every hell-hole for three months. But we’d select specific, quality venues, make it special for the fans."[7]

The song "Over My Head," a soulful, metal groove, and the power ballad "Summerland" both had promotional music videos. The album's cover artwork is seen at the end of the latter video. "Over My Head" would become a fan favorite and concert staple.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Doug Pinnick, Ty Tabor & Jerry Gaskill, except where indicated. 

No. Title Length
1. "Out of the Silent Planet"   5:44
2. "Over My Head"   4:47
3. "Summerland"   3:17
4. "Everybody Knows a Little Bit of Something"   3:57
5. "The Difference (In the Garden of St. Anne's-on-the-Hill)"   3:08
6. "I'll Never Be the Same" (Pinnick, Tabor, Gaskill, Marty Warren) 4:56
7. "Mission"   5:01
8. "Fall on Me"   4:05
9. "Pleiades" (Pinnick, Tabor, Gaskill, Dale Richardson) 4:41
10. "Don't Believe It (It's Easier Said Than Done)"   3:07
11. "Send a Message"   4:02
12. "The Burning Down"   5:35
Total length:
52:20

Critical reception[edit]

Gretchen Goes to Nebraska received virtually universal critical praise for its uniquely progressive musical approach and varied styles. Allmusic's Eduardo Rivadavia named it an AMG Album Pick, noting that it tops its "brilliant" predecessor by "taking their unique sound to unprecedented heights of invention and inspiration." Major publications such as Rolling Stone and Q also offered strong praise. Gretchen Goes to Nebraska also achieved high slots on various Albums of the Year lists, including #4 in Kerrang!. Original Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin praised Gretchen Goes to Nebraska while speaking to MTV, saying "That was one of the only records of the so-called new bands that I really liked for quite a while.[8]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Kerrang! United Kingdom "Albums of the Year"[9] 1989 4
Tip Germany "Albums of the Year" (Henning Richter)[10] 1989 8
OOR Netherlands "Albums of the Year"[11] 1989 18
Sounds United Kingdom "Albums of the Year"[12] 1989 38
OOR Netherlands "The Best Albums of the 80s"[13] 1989 244
Hard Rock Magazine France "The Best Albums of the 80s"[13] 1989 18

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart Peak
UK Albums Chart 52 [14]
U.S. Billboard 200 123 [15]

External links[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Rvadavia, Eduardo. Gretchen Goes to Nebraska at AllMusic
  2. ^ Rolling Stone review 10/19/89
  3. ^ Q review 5/95, p.126
  4. ^ Gasskill, Jerry Gretchen Goes To Nebraska JerryGaskill.com. Retrieved on April 16, 2007.
  5. ^ Caughey, Dave King's X: The mainstream rock band who fuse metal attack with celtic-tinged U2-isms Cross Rhythms (July 1, 1990). Retrieved on 1-15-11.
  6. ^ MFA Interview with Dug Pinnick of King's X MammasFallenAngels.com (December 16, 2009). Retrieved on 1-15-11.
  7. ^ King's X Taking Gretchen Back to Nebraska WeWillRockYouBlog.com (November 25, 2009). Retrieved on 1-15-11.
  8. ^ MTV Interview on YouTube
  9. ^ "Kerrang! - Albums of the Year". Kerrang!. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  10. ^ "Tip - Albums of the Year". AcclaimedMusic.net. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  11. ^ "OOR - Albums of the Year". OOR. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  12. ^ "Sounds - Albums of the Year". AcclaimedMusic.net. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  13. ^ a b "OOR - The Best Albums of the 80s". OOR. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  14. ^ [1], UK charts page for King's X
  15. ^ "King's X album charts [albums]". Billboard. Retrieved 2007-12-20.