Razorblade Romance

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Razorblade Romance
Studio album by HIM
Released 19 December 1999 (FIN)
24 January 2000 (EU)
15 May 2000 (UK)
28 October 2003 (US)
Genre Rock
Length 54:33
Label BMG, RCA, GUN, Supersonic {EU)
Jimmy Franks, Universal (US}
Producer John Fryer
HIM chronology
Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666
(1997)
Razorblade Romance
(1999)
Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights
(2001)
Singles from Razorblade Romance
  1. "Join Me in Death"
    Released: February 11, 1999 (1999-02-11)
  2. "Right Here in My Arms"
    Released: January 3, 2000 (2000-13-03)
  3. "Poison Girl"
    Released: March 7, 2000 (2000-03-07)
  4. "Gone with the Sin"
    Released: November 10, 2000 (2000-23-10)

Razorblade Romance is the second studio album by Finnish band HIM, released on 19 December 1999 in Finland and 24 January 2000 in the rest of Europe—except for the UK, where it was released 15 May 2000. It was produced by John Fryer and recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales by John Fryer and Paul Read.

Overview[edit]

The original working title for the album was Gotham Roll, Goth’n’Roll or Slippery When Dead, and a demo or properly recorded song from this session titled "Too Happy to Be Alive" leaked onto the internet in mid-2004. A drum machine was not used for this particular session as it is rumored, but was recorded with Pätkä still in the band. Another track that did not make the final cut in its original form was ”I’ve Crossed Oceans of Wine to Find You” (the title, a play on the line "I've crossed oceans of time to find you", from Bram Stoker's Dracula. It was made available as a b-side on the limited edition Right Here in My Arms maxi single. This song has few lines from later song "Resurrection", although the demo of "Resurrection" was recorded on 1998 session where "Too Happy to Be Alive" can be found.

The album was met with major success in Europe when their single "Join Me In Death" was featured in the sci-fi movie The Thirteenth Floor. It reached #1 on German sales charts, going platinum, and is the biggest-selling single in Finnish music history. The album sold more than 2,500,000 copies worldwide. Upon its US release in 2004, the album peaked at number 8 on the Top Heatseekers Chart.[1] The album has been certified 2X platinum in Finland.[2]

Razorblade Romance was released shortly after in the US under the pseudonym "HER". There was a jazz band in Chicago named HiM who did not want to give up the rights to their name, but eventually HIM bought the rights to use their name in the United States and now can release their albums under it. The American albums were released under Jimmy Franks Recording Company, run by Jimmy Pop, singer of the Pennsylvania band Bloodhound Gang. They released the HER Razorblade Romance around the Boston area, and once HIM regained the rights to their name, they re-released Razorblade Romance nationwide under Universal Records.

Sounds and Themes[edit]

The overall sound of the album was a noticeable step in a more pop oriented direction, without completely abandoning their hard rock overtones, while musically bearing strong glam and, as some have observed, an "'80s vibe."[3]

The album has been described as "...combining elements of vintage glam, old-school goth, and classic rock[...]an infectious blend of metallic riffs and goth keyboards; mixing hard rock anthems with softer ballads, the band allows Valo to wax poetic about tragic love, romantic fatalism, and monstrous obsession [...] a perfect fit for the retro-rock revival. "[4]

Upon its US release in 2003, CMJ referred to the album as "...a gothically tinged, new wave-ish entry into the heavy metal sweepstakes..."[5]

Versions[edit]

Multiple versions of this album exist, including the Finnish and German version with two bonus tracks ("Sigillum Diaboli" and "The 9th Circle (OLT)", which are alternative versions of "Stigmata Diaboli" and "One Last Time" respectively). The British version includes a new version of "Your Sweet Six Six Six" entitled "Your Sweet 666" and a new version of "Wicked Game". A new version of "It's All Tears (Drown in This Love)" was also recorded for the album, but it didn't make it to the final track list (it was later made available on the U.K. version of the compilation And Love Said No). In addition to this, the title of "I Love You (Prelude to Tragedy)" was truncated to "I Love You".

There are two different US versions; one with the UK track listing, plus "Sigillum Diaboli" and "One Last Time" (one had a Parental Advisory label and one did not); another US edition released under the name "HER" with "The 9th Circle" added; a special US vinyl released in 2005 featuring the same track listing of the US CD; and a few others. Since 2008, there has been a range of fake copies of the HER version on eBay. The most notable difference is that the fake is missing "One Last Time" on the back sleeve. All versions of the HER release had that particular song on the back cover.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[6]
Road Runner 3.5/5 stars[7]
Rock Hard (de) 9/10[8]

In 2005, Razorblade Romance was ranked number 379 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[9]

Track listing[edit]

All songs are written by Ville Valo.

No. Title Length
1. "I Love You (Prelude to Tragedy)"   3:09
2. "Poison Girl"   3:51
3. "Join Me in Death"   3:36
4. "Right Here in My Arms"   4:03
5. "Gone with the Sin"   4:22
6. "Razorblade Kiss"   4:18
7. "Bury Me Deep Inside Your Heart"   4:16
8. "Heaven Tonight"   3:18
9. "Death Is in Love With Us"   2:58
10. "Resurrection"   3:39
11. "One Last Time"   5:10
Total length:
54:33

B-sides[edit]

  1. ”Too Happy to Be Alive” – 6:00 (Unreleased demo - 1998)
  2. ”I’ve Crossed Oceans of Wine to Find You” – 4:39 (Limited edition Right Here in My Arms Maxi Single)
  3. "Join Me" (13th Floor Mix) – 3:39 ([Join Me in Death]] international release single)
  4. "Rebel Yell" (live) – 5:12 (Join Me in Death single)
  5. "Gone With the Sin" (O.D. Version) - 4:58 (Gone with the Sin single )
  6. ”It's All Tears" (Re-Recorded Version - 1999) - 4:30 (Found on the UK version of And Love Said No: The Greatest Hits 1997-2004)
  7. "For You" (Acoustic Version) - 4:08 (Gone with the Sin single )
  8. "The Heartless (Space Jazz Dubmen Mix)" - 3:58 (Right Here in My Arms Maxi Single)
  9. "It's All Tears (Unplugged)" – 3:48 (Join Me in Death single)
  10. "Dark Sekret Love" – 5:17 (originally from 666 Ways to Love: Prologue)(German Limited Edition bonus track/Join Me Maxi Single)
  11. "Sigillum Diaboli" – 3:53 (Originally from 666 Ways to Love: Prologue, titled "Stigmata Diaboli" (German Digipak/Canadian iTunes Bonus Track)
  12. "The 9th Circle (OLT)" - 5:11(German Digipak/Canadian iTunes Bonus Track)

Personnel[edit]

HIM[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2001) Peak
position
Finnish Albums Chart[10] 1 Gold & Double Platinum [11] 101,000
German Albums Chart[12] 1 Platinum, 3x Gold 750,000
Polish Albums Chart[13] 46

References[edit]