Chrome (Catherine Wheel album)

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Chrome
CatherineWheelChrome.jpg
Studio album by Catherine Wheel
Released 20 July 1993
Recorded 1993
Studio Britannia Row Studios in Fulham, London
Genre
Length 53:46
Label
Producer Gil Norton
Catherine Wheel chronology
Ferment
(1992)
Chrome
(1993)
Happy Days
(1995)

Chrome is the second studio album by English alternative rock band Catherine Wheel, released 20 July 1993 by Fontana Records in the UK and Mercury Records in the US. It was produced by former Pixies producer Gil Norton.

While not all that successful commercially, Chrome has been well-received by critics.

Content[edit]

The album cover photo was shot in an indoor swimming pool by Storm Thorgerson of the Hipgnosis design company. In 1999, the cover of this album appeared as the cover of the Hipgnosis/Thorgerson retrospective book Eye of the Storm: The Album Graphics of Storm Thorgerson (Sanctuary Publishing). The CD version was also available in a limited edition version with a shiny chrome-looking cover with embossed writing on it.

The track "Ursa Major Space Station" was named after a guitar effects pedal,[1] while "Fripp" was named after King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp.

Promotion and release[edit]

Peaking at No. 26 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart, the album was supported by the single "Crank", a No. 5 Modern Rock Tracks hit.

Music videos were filmed for singles "Crank", "Show Me Mary" and "The Nude". The video for "Crank" featured the band playing in a hotel elevator and lobby to a motley cast of hotel guests, with several scenes emulating the persecution, death, and resurrection of Jesus; "Show Me Mary" had the band being driven around in a taxi; "The Nude" featured the smearing of wet clay across a topless woman's torso.

Catherine Wheel embarked on tours with Slowdive, Chapterhouse and INXS, among others, to promote this album.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly B+[3]
NME 7/10[4]
Q 3/5 stars[5]

Melody Maker described it as "a tighter, more robust affair" than Ferment and "perhaps the ultimate Catherine Wheel album".[6] NME called it "a triumph".[4]

In Trouser Press, Jack Rabid wrote that the album "combines songwriting prowess with more raging playing, pop tunes gone kablooey and a huge bonfire sound with a faint metal edge."[7] Writing in The Rough Guide to Rock, Anna Robinson was less favourable, describing much of the album's material as "comparatively lightweight" compared to Ferment.

"Crank" was included in PopMatters' list of the "Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s".[8]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Rob Dickinson and Brian Futter.

  1. "Kill Rhythm" – 3:51
  2. "I Confess" – 3:56
  3. "Crank" – 3:45
  4. "Broken Head" – 4:43
  5. "Pain" – 6:31
  6. "Strange Fruit" – 3:06
  7. "Chrome" – 3:53
  8. "The Nude" – 3:51
  9. "Ursa Major Space Station" – 5:09
  10. "Fripp" – 7:34
  11. "Half Life" – 4:08
  12. "Show Me Mary" – 3:19

Singles[edit]

  • "Crank" (1993)
    • UK 12" vinyl picture disc
      1. "Crank" – 3:46
      2. "Black Metallic" (Peel Session 1991) – 7:55
      3. "Painful Thing" (Peel Session 1991) – 5:52
    • Netherlands CD single
      1. "Crank" – 3:45
      2. "Come Back Again" – 4:24
    • UK CD single 1
      1. "Crank" – 3:45
      2. "La La Lala La" – 5:26
      3. "Pleasure" – 5:22
      4. "Tongue Twisted" – 4:50
    • UK CD single 2
      1. "Crank" – 3:45
      2. "La La Lala La" – 5:26
      3. "Something Strange" – 1:46
    • UK CD single 3
      1. "Crank" – 3:45
      2. "Pleasure" – 5:22
      3. "Tongue Twisted" – 4:50
    • UK cassette single (same two tracks on each side)
      1. "Crank" – 3:45
      2. "Come Back Again" – 4:24
  • "Show Me Mary" (1993)
    • UK CD single 1
      1. "Show Me Mary" – 3:22
      2. "These Four Walls" – 5:22
      3. "Smother" – 7:09
    • UK CD single 2
      1. "Show Me Mary" – 3:23
      2. "Car" – 6:44
      3. "Girl Stand Still" – 8:09
    • US promo CD single
      1. "Show Me Mary (Scott Litt Remix)" – 3:18
      2. "Wish You Were Here" (Pink Floyd cover) – 2:56
    • UK 12" vinyl single, vinyl promo single and promo CD single
      1. "Show Me Mary" – 3:19
      2. "High Heels" – 3:35
      3. "Mouth Full of Air" – 2:42
    • UK 7" vinyl single
      1. "Show Me Mary" – 3:23
      2. "Flower to Hide (Live)" – 5:03
  • "The Nude" (1993)
    • UK promo CD single
      1. "The Nude (Scott Litt Remix)" – 4:05

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ AllMusic Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul, edited by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine (page 192)
  2. ^ Rabid, Jack. "Chrome – Catherine Wheel". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  3. ^ DiMartino, Dave (6 August 1993). "Chrome". Entertainment Weekly: 58. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Catherine Wheel: Chrome". NME: 31. 17 July 1993. 
  5. ^ "Catherine Wheel: Chrome". Q (84): 80. September 1993. 
  6. ^ "Catherine Wheel: Chrome". Melody Maker: 34. 24 July 1993. 
  7. ^ Rabid, Jack. "TrouserPress.com :: Catherine Wheel". Trouser Press. Retrieved 15 September 2017. 
  8. ^ Fisher, Joseph (15 September 2010). "Definitely Maybe the Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s". PopMatters. Retrieved 15 September 2017. 

External links[edit]