Version 2.0

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Version 2.0
Studio album by Garbage
Released May 11, 1998
Recorded March 1997 – February 1998 Smart Studios, Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Genre Pop, electronica, alternative rock, techno
Length 49:34
Label Mushroom Records UK
Almo Sounds (North America)
Producer Garbage
Garbage chronology
Version 2.0
Beautiful Garbage
Singles from Version 2.0
  1. "Push It"
    Released: April 27, 1998
  2. "I Think I'm Paranoid"
    Released: July 6, 1998
  3. "Special"
    Released: October 5, 1998
  4. "When I Grow Up"
    Released: January 25, 1999
  5. "The Trick Is to Keep Breathing"
    Released: February 15, 1999
  6. "You Look So Fine"
    Released: May 24, 1999

Version 2.0 is the second album by the group Garbage. It was released worldwide in May 1998 by Mushroom Records UK and in North America by Almo Sounds. Version 2.0 was the follow-up to the band's multi-platinum debut album Garbage. Despite a slow start, Version 2.0 went on to equal its predecessor, becoming platinum-certified in many territories.[1] Like their first record, Garbage promoted Version 2.0 with a year-long tour, and by releasing a string of hit singles backed with boundary-pushing music videos.

In 1999, Version 2.0 was nominated for Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album.[2] The album's third single "Special" was further nominated the following year for Best Rock Song and for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.[3]

Composition and style[edit]

Building on framework sound and style Garbage established on their debut set, Version 2.0 featured musical references to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, songs featuring live strings, over 100 recorded tracks and an interpolation of the Beach Boys and The Pretenders.[4] The band claimed that the goal of Version 2.0 was to create a rapprochement between the "high-tech and low-down, the now sound and of golden memories". Manson declared that "we didn't want to totally embrace the world of electronica", so Version 2.0 juxtaposed "the super-hi-fi with the super-organic". The band wanted there to be echoes of music they like in the record, "and that means not just Björk and Portishead and Radiohead but the Beatles and Beach Boys and Frank Sinatra", Manson said, concluding that the album is overall "more diverse - more extreme."[5]

The band also aimed to channel some of the energy of their live shows into the rhythm parts of the album. Vig remarked that "the songs sound looser, tougher" that way.[5]

With the lyrics, Manson "tried to let the darker undercurrents come through to offset some of the pop melodies", adding that "like human beings, songs shouldn't be one-dimensional".[5] The singer declared that the introspective nature of Version 2.0 served to "reassure myself while I'm going crazy" due to her experiences during production, as she was "living by myself in a hotel, and I had no one to really talk to" and every day coming back by herself really late after working on the studio.[6]


Garbage began writing their second album, which would go under the working title of Sad Alcoholic Clowns, in March 1997 in the band's label-head Jerry Moss' Friday Harbor, Washington, vacation house. The group demoed and made rough outlines for new songs. When they felt they had made a good start, Garbage took the work they made in Washington back to their Madison, Wisconsin base at Smart Studios and begin fleshing out the ideas and rough sketches over the following year. The group recorded all of their work for the second album through a 48-track digital system digitally, direct to hard drives utilizing a 24bit Pro Tools rig.

Much of the percussion was recorded in a disused candy factory located in Madison; Butch Vig, Marker and sound engineer Billy Bush set up a drum kit within the factory and recorded various fills, utilising the acoustics of the dilapidated building. Forced to stop after local police officers responded to complaints about the noise, some of the percussion was later incorporated into "Temptation Waits", "I Think I'm Paranoid" and "Hammering in My Head".[7]

Garbage completed recording, producing and mixing of their second album in mid-February 1998, and the album was given the title Version 2.0.

Release and promotion[edit]

"I think the general consensus was that people feel our second record didn't do as well as the first one, but our second record did better. But I think in terms of our profile, I think our profile was probably quieter than on our first record."

Shirley Manson[8]

The entire visual campaign for Version 2.0 was tailored to play off the album cover artwork, the icons designed to represent each single release, provided point-of-sale and the band's videogenic sensibility.[5] Garbage spent three weeks in Europe providing interviews with music journalists from a multitude of territories, while Manson continued on her own to Australia and Asia.[5]

Version 2.0 was released in Japan on May 4, a week ahead of the international street date, to counteract parallel imports. The album was released in two editions, a standard album with a bonus remix of "Push It" by Boom Boom Satellites and a limited edition run of 20,000 copies featuring two international b-sides, "Lick the Pavement" and a cover version of Big Star's "Thirteen".[5] Version 2.0 debuted at #4 in the Japanese international album chart.[9]

On May 11, Version 2.0 was released worldwide, with the North American street date a day later.[5] Mushroom Records released the album in the United Kingdom on CD, LP and cassette. Version 2.0 debuted at #1 on the UK Albums Chart,[10] selling 31,476 copies.[11] In North America, Version 2.0 was released on CD and cassette by Almo Sounds in partnership with Interscope who shipped 500,000 copies to stores in the first week.[9] The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at #13[12] selling 88,000 units.[13] In Canada, where the album is licensed by Almo to Universal Music, the album debuted at #2.[14]

Version 2.0 received its first gold discs on May 22, 1998 in the UK,[15] Belgium, France and New Zealand,[9] and by early October, it was certified platinum in New Zealand, Canada, Singapore and the UK[15] and certified gold in the United States, Australia, and seven European countries.[9] On the week of March 8, Version 2.0 was officially awarded the European Platinum Award by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry for 1 million sales across Europe.[9]

On June 3, 1999, Version 2.0 was certified platinum in Spain,[9] and claimed the fifth-longest chart run on the Spanish Albums Chart on June 20, while an airplay-only single, "Temptation Waits" was released to Spanish radio.[16] Version 2.0's sales continued into 2000; it was certified platinum in the UK for the second time on February 11, 2000[15] before re-charting in the UK for the final time on July 15, 2000.[17]

World tour[edit]

Preempting the start of their world tour, Garbage played three shows in the Midwest under the alias 'Stupid Girl'.[18] The Version 2.0 tour officially kicked off with club dates starting at San Francisco's Warfield Theater on May 20, and took the band to a number of key media cities in the United States and Canada.[19] Garbage then travelled to Europe to play a number of rock festivals beginning June 1 at Netherland's Pinkpop and finishing up at Scotland's T in the Park on July 12. In between the festivals, Garbage performed some headlining shows in France and the United Kingdom, with support coming from The Crystal Method. In August, the band travelled to Japan to perform on the bill at the Fuji Rock Festival, and then back to Scotland to perform at two "warm up" shows at Glasgow's Barrowland Ballroom and then headlining the last night of the Reading Festival.[18]

Garbage returned to North America on September 17, to start a three-month tour. Support came from Girls Against Boys. The itinerary took the band from Denver, Colorado up the West Coast as north as Vancouver, BC before routing towards the Southern States. Following these dates, the tour moved up the Eastern Seaboard and into Quebec and Ontario, before finishing up in the Midwest on November 28 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. During December, Garbage performed at radio shows on both coasts, including KROQ-FM's Almost Acoustic Christmas, and made a visit to Mexico City before wrapping up on December 20 in Detroit, Michigan.[18]

Continuing their touring commitment into 1999, Garbage launched a European arena tour on January 14 at Dublin's Point Theatre. Local acts such as Laurent Garnier and Rasmus support continental dates; Moloko support Irish and UK shows. Concerts in Paris and St. Petersburg are filmed to be broadcast by MTV Europe and MTV Russia respectively. A show in Tallinn is cancelled on the day when the band's equipment is held up by customs officials at the Estonian border.[20] The European run ends in Madrid on February 11.[20] Garbage then returned to North America to support Alanis Morissette on two legs of The Junkie tour, starting on February 16 in Cincinnati, Ohio routing along the Midwest, Four Corners states and onto the West Coast, ending on April 8 in Los Angeles[21]

Garbage revisited Europe to play a second summer of rock festivals, beginning with Vienna's Libro on May 19. The shows included visits to Israel and Iceland, although four concerts in the Baltic States and Russia are cancelled on the advice of the American Embassy due to the USA's involvement in Kosovo. Garbage headlined a special show to mark the opening of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on July 1.[22] The European dates conclude in Duisburg on July 25. Garbage then travelled to South Africa to play four shows with Placebo.[18]

The final legs of the Version 2.0 tour see Garbage moving on to New Zealand and Australia to co-headline with Alanis Morissette, beginning in Auckland for sixteen days from October 1, and ending in Newcastle. During this time the band also performed at the Livid Festival. Garbage returned to North America to wind down the tour by headlining a series of shows organised by MTV on university campuses.[23] Titled the Campus Invasion Tour, and supported by Lit, the shows began on October 20 in Denver and is routed through the Midwest, North East and Southern States, Arizona and California.[24] The final date of the Version 2.0 tour is held in Irvine, California on November 24.[25]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[26]
The Baltimore Sun 3/4 stars[27]
Entertainment Weekly B+[28]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[29]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[30]
Spin 8/10[31]
The Village Voice A−[32]

Version 2.0 received positive reviews from critics. Chicago Tribune critic Greg Kot said that the band's mix of pop and electronica has an "ersatz charm" that brings to mind the late 1970s music of Blondie, while the noisy production retains Garbage's tuneful hooks.[33] Rolling Stone magazine's Rob Sheffield felt that the band's songwriting has improved, but Manson remains the highlight because of how her seductive singing evokes new wave greats and pulls "Garbage's intricate guitar textures out of the studio and into the real and scary world of pop emotion, where they belong ... It's rare to hear a rock record so carefully put together that still sounds so fresh and playful."[29] In his review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau wrote that the metallic, discordant music suits Manson's aggressive sexuality: "For those of us with no knack for real-life sadomasochism, how better combine pleasure and pain than to let 12 impregnable theoretical hits march over us in their digital boots?"[32]

Version 2.0 was voted the 19th best album of 1998 in the Pazz & Jop, an annual critics poll run by The Village Voice.[34] It was named the Daily Mail's Album of the Year, and was included in year-end best-album lists by The Guardian, Q, Kerrang!, Melody Maker, NME, Select, Spin and Gear.[9] Canada's largest modern rock station, The Edge 102 named Version 2.0 #1 Album,[9] while three tracks make Australia's Triple J Hottest 100: "I Think I'm Paranoid" (at #57), "Push It" (#87) and "Special" (#89).[35] However, Newsweek '​s David Gates criticized the samples, "space-age wheeps" and "calculated showbiz shtik".[36] In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that Version 2.0 retains the debut's "strong pop sensibility, a production that falls halfway between alternative rock and techno - presented in a slightly newer form ... but it lacks the thrilling immediacy of the debut."[26]


On July 14, the video for "Push It" was nominated for eight MTV Video Music Awards (for 'Best Group Video', 'Best Alternative Video', 'Best Breakthrough Video', 'Best Art Direction', 'Best Editing', 'Best Cinematography', 'Best Direction' and 'Best Special Effects'[37]) coming second to Madonna's "Ray of Light" video which received nine.[38] On October 1, Garbage were nominated for three MTV Europe Music Awards: "Best Group," "Best Rock Act" and "Best Video" for "Push It".[citation needed]

On January 5, 1999, Version 2.0 is nominated for Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album.[39] "Push It" was nominated for Best Alternative Record at Winter Music Conference.[9] Garbage perform "You Look So Fine" for Gala Ragazza in Madrid on June 3.[citation needed]

On September 9, 1999, the video for "Special" won 'Best Special Effects' at the MTV Video Music Awards. "Special" received Grammy nominations for Best Rock Song and for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.[40]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Garbage, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Temptation Waits"   4:36
2. "I Think I'm Paranoid"   3:38
3. "When I Grow Up"   3:23
4. "Medication"   4:06
5. "Special"   3:43
6. "Hammering in My Head"   4:52
7. "Push It"   4:02
8. "The Trick Is to Keep Breathing"   4:11
9. "Dumb"   3:50
10. "Sleep Together"   4:03
11. "Wicked Ways"   3:43
12. "You Look So Fine"   5:25



Preceded by
International Velvet by Catatonia
UK Albums Chart number-one album
May 16, 1998 – May 23, 1998
Succeeded by
Blue by Simply Red
Preceded by
Live '98 by Pascal Obispo
France Albums Chart number-one album
May 16, 1998 – May 23, 1998
Succeeded by
Louise Attaque by Louise Attaque
Preceded by
Mezzanine by Massive Attack
European Top 100 Albums number-one album
May 30, 1998 – June 5, 1998
Succeeded by
Blue by Simply Red
Preceded by
Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture
by James Horner
Belgian national chart number-one album
June 6, 1998 – June 12, 1998
Succeeded by
L'un pour l'autre by Maurane
Preceded by
Let's Talk About Love by Céline Dion
New Zealand Albums Chart number-one album
May 24, 1998 – June 13, 1998
Succeeded by
Adore by The Smashing Pumpkins


Country Certifications Units shipped/sales
Australia 2 × Platinum 140,000[62]
Belgium Gold 25,000[48]
Canada Platinum 80,000[48]
Denmark Gold 10,000[48]
Europe IFPI Europe
Platinum Award
1,000,000 sales across Europe[63]
France 2 × Gold 300,000[64] (410,000 actual sales, as of 2001)[65]
Hong Kong Gold 10,000[48]
Ireland Platinum 15,000[48]
Italy Gold 30,000[48]
Malta Silver[66]
New Zealand Platinum 15,000[67]
Portugal Gold 10,000[48]
Singapore Platinum 10,000[48]
Spain Platinum 60,000[48]
Sweden Gold 40,000[68]
United Kingdom 2 × Platinum[15] 600,000 (579,912 sales as of 2012)[69]
United States Platinum[70] 1,700,000 (actual sales, as of 2008)[71]

Release history[edit]

Date Territory Label Format Edition(s)
May 4, 1998 Japan BMG Victor CD Standard edition, one bonus track
Limited edition, two bonus tracks
May 11, 1998 United Kingdom Mushroom Records UK CD, Cassette, LP Standard edition
Europe BMG CD, Cassette
(LP imported)
South Africa CD
South America
Hong Kong
Limited edition, with bonus Garbage Video V-CD
Taiwan Standard edition
Australia White Records
Limited edition, with bonus CD-ROM
May 12, 1998 Canada Almo Sounds CD, cassette Standard edition
United States
CD bonus Independent Access disc, from retailer Newbury Comics
February 8, 1999 United Kingdom Mushroom Records UK Mini-Disc Standard edition
June 7, 1999 Double CD Version 2.0 Special Live Edition
c.July 1999 Europe BMG
July 7, 1999 Japan BMG Victor
c.September 1999 Australia Festival Mushroom Records
November 29, 1999 United Kingdom Simply Vinyl Double-LP Standard edition, pressed on 180gm heavyweight vinyl
France BMG France Double-CD boxset Packaged as Garbage: 2 Albums Originaux, with debut album
c.2000 Europe PIAS Recordings CD Standard edition, reissue
Australia Festival Mushroom Records
South Africa David Gresham Records
South America Universal Music
August 27, 2001 Japan Sony Music Int'l Standard edition, with one bonus track, reissue
October 1, 2001 Russia and CIS BMG Russia Standard edition (reissue)
November 23, 2003 United Kingdom A&E Records
(ex. North America)
February 28, 2005 United Kingdom A&E Records Digital download Standard edition
September 1, 2008 Australia Rhino Entertainment Double-CD Packaged as Garbage: 2 In 1, with the debut album


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External links[edit]