|Studio album by Bush|
|Released||19 November 1996|
|Recorded||1996, Sarm Hook End, Berks, England and Abbey Road Studios, London, England|
|Singles from Razorblade Suitcase|
Razorblade Suitcase is the second album by the British grunge band Bush, released in November 1996 by Trauma Records. The album is widely believed to have signalled the demise of the "grunge" genre, as it was one of the last widely known albums released bearing a grunge-sound.
It has a slightly darker tone than Bush's previous album, Sixteen Stone, which led to comparisons between Razorblade Suitcase and Nirvana's album In Utero, because some believed Bush sounded similar to Nirvana, and Steve Albini recorded both albums. Albini had also recorded the Pixies' breakthrough LP Surfer Rosa, and was co-art directed by Vaughan Oliver and Adrian Philpott.
The album's working title was Ghost Medicine, but was changed for unknown reasons. The title is a line from the lyrics of the song "Synapse" and is lead singer Gavin Rossdale's interpretation of 'emotional baggage'. The album artwork was done by Vaughan Oliver. Oliver had also done the artwork for Surfer Rosa. Gavin Rossdale made statements around the time of the release that he only hoped that Bush would be one day as successful as the Pixies were in England.
Release and reception
Razorblade Suitcase debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 293,000 copies in its first week. The album also debuted at #1 in Canada, with first-week sales of 45,900 copies. Despite the album selling fewer copies than Sixteen Stone in the US, it marked a commercial peak for the band in their native Britain – it reached number four on the UK Albums Chart, whilst "Swallowed" and "Greedy Fly" both peaked in the Top 20 of the UK Singles Chart. Bush released the first single from the album, "Swallowed", in late 1996, and it was a big hit in America, poising the band for a successful album. "Swallowed" was number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart for 7 weeks, the band's longest charting number 1 single. The second single, "Greedy Fly," was released after the two-week long number one stay for Razorblade Suitcase in America, and reached number three. "Bonedriven" and "Cold Contagious" followed and did not make an impact on the charts. "Mouth" was remixed and released on the album Deconstructed and reached the Top 5 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. "Mouth" also appeared in the movie An American Werewolf in Paris and had a video co-starring Julie Delpy, who also starred in the movie.
Reviews have been generally negative to average towards the album, with reviewers citing too many filler songs and a lack of memorable tracks as the album's downfall. Allmusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine stated
"The problem is that Gavin Rossdale has not come up with any hooks, which means that while Razorblade Suitcase is more pleasing and visceral on the surface, it offers no hooks to make it memorable, unlike the hit singles from Sixteen Stone."
Other critics also dismissed the album because they felt that although the band attempted to distance themselves from bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam in terms of their sound, they ultimately failed at creating a sound of their own. Entertainment Weekly reviewer David Browne stated that some of the songs on the album could have easily been on the record Nirvana never made (due to Kurt Cobain's suicide). Andy Gill from The Independent also stated that portions of the album are very reminiscent of Nirvana, citing songs such as "Swallowed" and "Bonedriven" as irrestistible reminders of Nirvana. Rolling Stone criticised the album in their 1996 review, giving the record only 2 out of a possible 5 stars and named it the worst record of the year. However, Sputnikmusic gave the album a more positive review, although they also cited too many filler songs as the album's weakness, they praised the songs "Swallowed", "Greedy Fly", "Synapse" and "Distant Voices".
All songs written by Gavin Rossdale.
|6.||"A Tendency to Start Fires"||4:04|
|8.||"Straight No Chaser"||4:02|
- "23 Seconds" (hidden track)
- "A Tendency to Start Fires", "Straight No Chaser" and "Synapse" do not appear on the LP version due to time constraints.
|US Billboard 200||1|
|Canadian Albums (Billboard)||1|
|UK Albums (OCC)||4|
Tha Doggfather by Snoop Doggy Dogg
|Billboard 200 number-one album
7–20 December 1996
Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review: Razorblade Suitcase – Bush". Allmusic. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- "Bush's Razorblade Suitcase cuts to top". Jam!. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- Browne, David (22 November 1996). "Review: Razorblade Suitcase (1996) – Bush". Time Inc. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- Gill, Andy (17 January 1997). "Review: Razorblade Suitcase". Independent News & Media. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- Diehl, Matt (13 November 1996). "Review: Bush – Razorblade Suitcase". Jann Wenner. Archived from the original on 16 February 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- Lawrence, Eddy. "Review: Bush – Razorblade Suitcase, Trauma Records". Select (EMAP Metro) (March 1997): 102.
- "Bush Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Bush. Prometheus Global Media.
- "Bush Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Canadian Albums Chart for Bush. Prometheus Global Media.
- "Bush | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company.