Dysfunction is the second studio album by the American rock band Staind. It is also the group's first release on any label at all, in this case the Flip/Elektra label. "Suffocate," "Just Go," "Mudshovel," and "Home" were released as singles. The song "Mudshovel" can also be found on the band's previous album, Tormented, albeit in a slightly different form; that version of the song goes under the title spelled "Mudshuvel". It would serve as Staind's breakout single, peaking at number 10 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The album has been certified two times platinum by the RIAA, selling two million copies in the United States alone.
Despite trying to remove Staind from opening for Limp Bizkit at a 1997 concert, due to the intense cover illustration on their 1996 album Tormented, Fred Durst was impressed with their performance. After hearing their four-song demo, Durst signed Staind to Flip/Elektra to record the band's album Dysfunction. However, Durst suggested Staind would become more melodic. Durst and Staind then traveled to Jacksonville, Florida to begin developing new songs, and after a meeting with Flip, Staind recorded a three-track sampler in Los Angeles, California. By February 1998, they acquired a record contract and after performing on the summer Warped Tour began recording Dysfunction in December.
Staind frontman Aaron Lewis has stated he feels that "even Dysfunction was a huge step away from Tormented."
Guitarist Mike Mushok expressed frustration in how label personnel were in no way intrusive on the production of Dysfunction, but after it sold over a million copies, the band would be relentlessly hassled during the production of future albums.
Considered nu metal and alternative metal,Dysfunction is known for having both singing and screaming. The album is also known for having songs with slow parts that then turn into aggressive parts with screaming. The album's lyrics are noted for being either angry or depressing.
The artwork for Dysfunction reflects its title. All four band members are depicted with dysfunctional properties related to their position in the band; Aaron (vocalist) is shown without a mouth, Mike (guitarist) is shown with webbed hands, Johnny (bassist) is shown with only one arm and Jon (drums and percussion) is shown with a pegged leg. Finally the most obvious reference to the album's title is on the cover; the clown's reflection is incorrect.