Human Clay

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Human Clay
Studio album by Creed
Released September 28, 1999
Recorded Late 1998 - Early 1999
Genre Post-grunge, hard rock
Length 56:22
Label Wind-up
Producer John Kurzweg
Creed chronology
My Own Prison
(1997)
Human Clay
(1999)
Weathered
(2001)
Singles from Human Clay
  1. "Higher"
    Released: August 24, 1999
  2. "What If"
    Released: January 2000
  3. "With Arms Wide Open"
    Released: April 24, 2000
  4. "Are You Ready?"
    Released: August 2000
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (C)[2]
Entertainment Weekly (C-)[3]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[4]
Rock Hard (de) 9/10[5]

Human Clay is the second album by American rock band Creed, released on September 28, 1999 through Wind-Up Records. This was the final album until 2009's Full Circle to feature Brian Marshall on bass guitar; he departed from the band shortly after the tour for the album in August 2000. The album has sold over 11.5 million copies in the United States alone and over 20 million worldwide, making it the best selling album of Creed's career and one of the best-selling albums in the United States. The album received mixed reviews from critics and was released in a wide variety of formats and editions.

Overview[edit]

Human Clay is the only Creed album without a title track. According to Mark Tremonti, the album cover represents a crossroad which every man finds himself at in his life and the man of clay represented "our actions, that what we are is up to us, that we lead our own path and make our own destiny." The title of the album comes from a lyric in "Say I" ("The dust has finally settled on the field of human clay"), a song which carries the same message. The album had three videos created for it: "Higher", "What If," and "With Arms Wide Open."

During the summer of 2000, bassist Brian Marshall began a spiral into alcoholism and addiction. While under the influence, Marshall threatened to beat up Tremonti, began missing band obligations, and attacking Stapp both verbally and online. The band had a meeting with management to discuss Marshall's future. Stapp and Tremonti supported Marshall going to rehab and attempted to talk Marshall into going, but at that point, Marshall was too far gone to recognize he needed help. Brett Hestla of Virgos Merlot was initially contacted to "fill in" while Marshall went to rehab, but that never happened. Initially, the public thought Marshall was let go because he criticized Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder in a radio interview with KNDD in June 2000, claiming that Scott Stapp is a better songwriter, and criticized Pearl Jam's recent albums for "having songs without hooks."[6] Stapp later distanced the rest of the band from Marshall's comments and stated, "Yes, we get tired of the PJ question, but there is no excuse for the arrogance and stupidity [of Marshall]. I ask you all not to judge Creed as a band, because the statements made were not the band's feelings, they were Brian's. I'm sorry if Brian offended anyone, and he has already apologized for his comments."[7]Although it was reported Marshall left Creed "on friendly terms," he didn't. Tremonti and Stapp were concerned for Marshall and their collective friendships, but soon after the controversy, Marshall formed a new band called Grand Luxx with his old Mattox Creed band mates. Marshall was temporarily replaced by touring bassist Hestla.[8] Stapp stated Marshall's leaving was his choice and was unrelated to the Pearl Jam comments.[9] Mark Tremonti filled as the bassist on their third album, Weathered, while Brett Hestla became their touring bassist. However, the band has since reunited with Marshall.

Critical Reception[edit]

Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album 4 stars out of 5, concluding that "it may not be the kind of thing that knocks out critics or grunge purists, but it does deliver for anyone looking for direct, grunge-flavored hard rock."[10]

Commercial Performance[edit]

The album was the band's first to hit #1 in the U.S., where it debuted with first week sales of 315,000, and stayed on top for two weeks.[11] Human Clay has been certified 11x platinum and Diamond by the RIAA, and is the 54th best-selling album of all time in the United States (as of February 2007).[12] It ranks as the eighth best selling album in the U.S. since the advent of Nielsen SoundScan in 1991.[13] It has also been certified 6 times platinum in Canada, 5 times in Australia and 7 times in New Zealand and 4 times in Switzerland among others, selling an estimated 20 million copies worldwide.[14] The album has spent a record 104 weeks on the Billboard chart survey.[15] As of October 2014, it has sold 11,690,000 copies in the United States alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[13]

Legacy[edit]

In 2001, the fourth single "With Arms Wide Open" won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.[16] In 2005, Human Clay was ranked number 422 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[17] Human Clay was ranked #5 on Billboard's 200 Albums of the Decade in 2009.[18] VH1 listed "Higher" as one of the greatest hard rock songs of all time in 2009. The music video for "With Arms Wide Open" was voted the 92nd best music video of all-time by VH1 who also ranked it #4 on its "25 Greatest Power Ballads" list.[19]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Scott Stapp, all music composed by Mark Tremonti.

Vinyl Edition[20]
No. Title Length
1. "Are You Ready?"   4:45
2. "What If"   5:18
3. "Beautiful"   4:20
4. "Say I"   5:15
5. "Wrong Way"   4:19
6. "Faceless Man"   5:59
7. "Never Die"   4:51
8. "With Arms Wide Open"   4:38
9. "Higher"   5:19
10. "Wash Away Those Years"   6:04
11. "Inside Us All"   5:39
Total length:
56:28

Personnel[edit]

  • Travis McGehee - Engineer, Mixing Assistant

Additional musicians

  • John Kurzweg - B-3 organ on "Wrong Way"
  • Kirk Kelsey - Mandolin on "Wrong Way"

Charts and certifications[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1999 "Higher" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 7
U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
2000 "What If" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 102
U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 3
"With Arms Wide Open" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks
"Are You Ready?" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 125
U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 4
Preceded by
The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails
Billboard 200 number-one album
October 16–29, 1999
Succeeded by
Supernatural by Santana

See also[edit]

End of decade charts[edit]

Chart (2000–2009) Position
U.S. Billboard 200 5

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas, Stephen (1999-09-28). "Allmusic review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  2. ^ "CG: Creed". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  3. ^ Morgan, Laura (1999-10-08). "Human Clay Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  4. ^ Powers, Ann (1999-10-28). "Creed: Human Clay : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-10-02. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  5. ^ Schnädelbach, Buffo. "Rock Hard review". issue 149. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  6. ^ David Basham (June 19, 2000). "Creed Bassist Disses Pearl Jam In Radio Interview". CMT. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ Steve Huey. "Creed". Allmusic. 
  9. ^ Joe D'Angelo (August 9, 2004). "Scott Stapp Breaks His Silence". MTV. 
  10. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/human-clay-mw0000245596
  11. ^ Mancini, Robert (1999-10-13). "News - Articles - 1427609". Mtv.com. Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  12. ^ "RIAA - Recording Industry Association of America". Riaa.com. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  13. ^ a b c Caulfield, Keith (2014-10-10). "Adele's '21' Surpasses 11 Million In U.S. Sales". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2014-10-11. 
  14. ^ "Interview: Mark Tremonti on Creed's 2012 full albums tour". MusicRadar.com. 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  15. ^ "Human Clay - Creed". Billboard.com. 1999-10-16. Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  16. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S0xVfwQQoE
  17. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 41. ISBN 3-89880-517-4. 
  18. ^ "Music Albums, Top 200 Albums & Music Album Charts". Billboard.com. 2009-12-31. Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  19. ^ "Creed: "With Arms Wide Open" (25 Greatest Power Ballads)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  20. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Human-Clay-Vinyl-Creed/dp/B00001NTOI
  21. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Human-Clay-Creed/dp/B00KX07W6M/ref=tmm_msc_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=
  22. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Human-Clay-Creed/dp/B00003IQQA
  23. ^ http://www.last.fm/music/Creed/Human+Clay+(Bonus+Disc)
  24. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  25. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Creed – Human Clay" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Creed in the field Interpret. Enter Human Clay in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  26. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Creed – Human Clay". Music Canada. 
  27. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Creed; 'Human Clay')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  28. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Creed – Human Clay". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. 
  29. ^ "Norwegian album certifications – Creed – Human Clay" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. 
  30. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2001" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  31. ^ "British album certifications – Creed – Human Clay". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Human Clay in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  32. ^ "American album certifications – Creed – Human Clay". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH