|Studio album by Bush|
|Released||19 November 1996|
|Recorded||1996, Sarm Hook End, Berks, England and Abbey Road Studios, London, England|
|Genre||Post-grunge, alternative rock|
|Singles from Razorblade Suitcase|
Razorblade Suitcase is the second studio album by British rock band Bush, released on 19 November 1996, through Trauma Records. It was the follow up to their Multi-Platinum album Sixteen Stone and debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200, selling 293,000 copies during its first week of release in the US. To date it remains the only Bush album to top the Billboard 200. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London with engineer Steve Albini, the album's sound has been compared by many to Nirvana's In Utero album, which was also engineered by Albini.
Recording and production
Gavin Rossdale wrote most of the songs for Razorblade Suitcase in under one month. "Swallowed," along with others from the album were written while on the road. In an interview with Deseret News published on 2 January 1997, Rossdale explained:
"I was trying to write songs while my life was falling apart. While my longtime girlfriend of five years was leaving and packing in one room, I was writing in the other room."
The band chose Steve Albini for the album. In an interview with Spin during the final stages of the recording process Rossdale was quoted as saying that Albini "has been more important to me in terms of records I've listened to than any other person." Around the same time Albini declared that he put more time and energy into Razorblade Suitcase than he had with any previous albums.
In 1997, Bush embarked on a worldwide tour, the Razorblade Suitcase Tour, to promote the album. Stretching from late January into November of that year, it took the band through Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Australia. It included stops at many major music festivals around the world, including Glastonbury Festival, Pinkpop Festival, Reading Festival, Rock am Ring, Rock im Park, and Pukkelpop.
Release and reception
Razorblade Suitcase was released on 19 November 1996, through Trauma Records and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 293,000 copies in its first week. It remained at No. 1 during its second week of release in the US. The album also debuted at No. 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, where it reached number four on the UK Albums Chart.
The band originally planned to release the album in early 1997 but decided it would be better for a late 1996 release, especially considering that U2's next album was pushed into 1997.
The lead single from the album, "Swallowed", was released in October 1996 and was a huge success in the US, holding the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart for 7 weeks. It remains the band's longest charting No. 1 single.
"Greedy Fly" was the second single released from Razorblade Suitcase and reached No. 3 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart. The singles "Swallowed" and "Greedy Fly" peaked at No. 7 and No. 22, respectively, on the UK Singles Chart.
"Mouth" was remixed and later released as a single from the album Deconstructed and reached No. 5 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. "Mouth" is featured on the soundtrack and in the film "An American Werewolf in Paris". The "Mouth" music video features Julie Delpy, who also starred in the film.
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's 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".
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 and Adrian Philpott. Oliver had also done the artwork for Surfer Rosa.
|6.||"A Tendency to Start Fires"||4:04|
|8.||"Straight No Chaser"||4:02|
|13.||"Distant Voices - ends at 5:16; includes hidden track"||6:20|
- "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.
Charts and certifications
Tha Doggfather by Snoop Doggy Dogg
|Billboard 200 number-one album
7–20 December 1996
Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt
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