Bites (album)

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Bites
Bites (1985) cover.png
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 1985
Recorded1984 - 1985
(Mushroom Studios, Vancouver)
GenreIndustrial, electro-industrial, EBM
Length40:24 (original)
72:55 (reissue)
LabelNettwerk (Canada, U.S.)
Play It Again Sam (Europe)
ProducercEvin Key, Dave Ogilvie[1]
Skinny Puppy chronology
Remission
(1984)
Bites
(1985)
Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse
(1986)

Bites is the first full-length studio album by Canadian industrial band Skinny Puppy, released as an LP through Nettwerk in 1985.[2] It was reissued in 1993 on CD with additional material compiled from cassette releases, international releases, and previously undistributed tracks.[3] The cover art was designed by Steven R. Gilmore.[4]

Bites was certified gold by Music Canada on August 5, 1994.[5]

Background[edit]

The first CD release of Bites was on the compilation Bites and Remission in 1987.[6] This release replaced the songs "Assimilate" and "The Choke" with remixed versions and it did not include all of the tracks featured on the earlier cassette release, which was significantly longer. A similar but discrete CD called Remission & Bites was released by Play It Again Sam in Europe during the same year. On the 1993 reissue, the song "One Day" is not listed anywhere in the artwork or credits.

The Tear Garden's self-titled EP from 1986 (one year after Bites originally saw release) includes a track called "The Center Bullet", a song that runs nearly ten minutes and that later appeared on the 1993 CD release of Bites as an instrumental titled "The Centre Bullet" (notice the slight spelling variation).[7] The two songs are identical save for the presence of vocals by Edward Ka-Spel of The Legendary Pink Dots on The Tear Garden version. Late reissues of The Tear Garden album Tired Eyes Slowly Burning also feature that version of "The Center Bullet". Having both been made by cEvin Key and Dave Ogilvie, it is unclear whether the track was originally a creation of Skinny Puppy or of The Tear Garden.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[8]
BillboardFavorable[9]

Billboard magazine recommended Bites, calling it a "strong club collection a la Kraftwerk".[9] Tom Harrison of The Province gave the album a favorable review, calling it "willfully ugly and menacing", and described its songs as "cleanly produced" and "carefully textured".[10] Tim DiGravina of AllMusic was also receptive, calling the album a "fascinating look at Skinny Puppy in embryonic form", and described its sound as "delicate and pristine". DiGravina also noted the influence of groups such as Depeche Mode, Human League, and Cabaret Voltaire.[8]

Mike Abrams of the Ottawa Citizen thought Bites was depressing and for people with "undiscriminating tastes". He named the songs "Assimilate" and "Last Call" as the albums best tracks.[11] James Muretich of the Calgary Herald was less impressed with Bites, calling the record "annoying" and likened the band to robots.[12]

In 1999, Chart magazine listed Bites among the most influential Canadian albums of the 80s.[13]

Track listing[edit]

Original 1985 LP release
No.TitleLength
1."Assimilate"6:56
2."Dead Lines"6:13
3."Blood on the Wall"2:58
4."Icebreaker"3:14
5."The Choke"6:29
6."Social Deception"2:57
7."Basement"3:25
8."Last Call"5:54
9."Film"2:18
Total length:40:24
1993 CD reissue (tracks 1-9 are labeled as Attack, and 10-16 as Decay)
No.TitleLength
1."Assimilate"6:56
2."Blood on the Wall"2:58
3."Dead Lines"6:13
4."Church"3:16
5."Icebreaker"3:14
6."Tomorrow"4:53
7."Dead Doll"2:28
8."Film"2:18
9."Love"1:51
10."The Choke"6:29
11."Social Deception"2:57
12."Christianity"1:32
13."Basement"3:25
14."Last Call"5:54
15."Falling"4:20
16."The Centre Bullet"9:42
17."One Day" (Hidden track)4:20
Total length:72:55

Samples[14]

  • The song "Assimilate" contains a sample from the 1976 film Marathon Man"Is it safe?".
  • The song "Blood on the Wall" contains a sample from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – "You see? They say it's just an old man talking. You laugh at an old man. There's them that laughs and knows better." It also contains samples from The Tenant (1976).
  • The song "The Choke" contains samples from the 1976 film The Tenant"If you cut off my head, what would I say? Me and my... Me and my head, or me and my body?".
  • The songs "Church", "Icebreaker", "Love" and "Basement" contain samples from the 1973 film The Legend of Hell House (1973) – "Get out before I kill you all!"

Personnel[edit]

Credits from AllMusic.[1]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[5] Gold 50,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bites Credits". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  2. ^ "Discogs entry". Discogs. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "1993 discogs entry". Discogs. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  4. ^ Gilmore, Steven R. "Bites typeface notes". Instagram. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Canadian album certifications – Skinny Puppy – Bites". Music Canada. August 5, 1994. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  6. ^ "Bites and Remission discogs entry". Discogs. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  7. ^ "The Tear Garden Discogs entry". Discogs. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Bites - Skinny Puppy". Allmusic.
  9. ^ a b "Skinny Puppy 'Bites' Review" (PDF). 97 (40). October 5, 1985: 64. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  10. ^ Harrison, Tom (September 22, 1985). "Skinny Puppy: Bites (Nettwerk)". The Province: 13.
  11. ^ Abrams, Mike (June 27, 1986). "Skinny Puppy - Bites". Ottawa Citizen: F5.
  12. ^ Muretich, James (June 21, 1986). "Skinny Puppy: Bites (Nettwerk): Remission (Nettwerk)". Calgary Herald: E14.
  13. ^ Sperounes, Sandra (February 21, 1999). "Lee Aaron? Spoons?". Edmonton Journal: C3.
  14. ^ Cigéhn, Peter. "Skinny Puppy samples (The Top Sample Lists)". skinny-puppy.byrdt.org. The Top Sample Lists. Retrieved January 2, 2018.