Unsung (song)

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"Unsung"
Single by Helmet
from the album Meantime
Released 1991[1]
Format CD
Genre Alternative metal[2]
Length 3:57
Label Interscope
Writer(s) Page Hamilton
Producer(s) Steve Albini, Andy Wallace, Helmet
Helmet singles chronology
"Sinatra"
(1991)
"Unsung"
(1991)
"Give It"
(1992)

"Unsung" is a single by the American alternative metal band Helmet from their 1992 album, Meantime. It is the album's fourth track and easily the band's most well known song. A music video was produced for "Unsung" and found significant airplay on MTV in the early 1990s. "Unsung" is recorded in Dropped D tuning on both guitars and bass, and begins with a bass intro. Its stop-and-go dynamics and catchy rhythm made it somewhat of a flagship of the growing '90s alternative metal scene. It was also reportedly influential to Pantera's similar song "Rise"; Also notable is that in 1991, a full year before the release of "Meantime" Amphetamine Reptile records issued the "Unsung" 7" record (scale 41), featuring an earlier recording of the song and putting to bed the debate of who came first in the Helmet/Pantera debate.

Release and reception[edit]

"Unsung" was Helmet's very first single to be released, and was also the lead single to their second album Meantime. The song helped Helmet attain breakthrough success and is Helmet's most commercially successful song to date. "Unsung" reached # 29 on the US Alternative Songs chart and #32 on the US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Unsung was also well received by music critics, Steve Huey from Allmusic reviewed the song positively by stating in his review 'Boasting a stuttering, grinding main riff and the wall-of-noise guitar work of Page Hamilton and Peter Mengede, "Unsung" was the second video pulled from Helmet's third full-length album, Meantime, and quickly became the band's signature song and an MTV favorite during late 1992. All told, it was probably the single best moment for a band that often emphasized sound over songwriting. "Unsung" was Helmet at their most focused, alternating between memorable verse and chorus melodies and concluding with a monolithic guitar workout featuring noisy, oddly harmonized chords repeatedly drilled into the listener's skull.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

Accolades[edit]

Year Publication Country Accolade Rank
2004 Kerrang! United Kingdom "666 Songs You Must Own (Alternative Rock)" * [4]
"*" denotes an unordered list.

References[edit]