Equally Cursed and Blessed

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Equally Cursed and Blessed
Equally Cursed and Blessed.jpg
Studio album by Catatonia
Released 12 April 1999
Recorded 1998–1999, Monnow Valley Studio in Monmouth, Wales
Genre Pop, rock
Length 44:49
Label Blanco y Negro
Producer Tommy D and Catatonia
Catatonia chronology
International Velvet
(1998)
Equally Cursed and Blessed
(1999)
Paper Scissors Stone
(2001)
Singles from Equally Cursed and Blessed
  1. "Dead from the Waist Down"
    Released: 29 March 1999
  2. "Londinium"
    Released: 12 July 1999
  3. "Karaoke Queen"
    Released: 1 November 1999
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly B+[2]
NME (6/10)[3]
Sorted (Positive)[4]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[5]
The Independent (Negative)[6]

Equally Cursed and Blessed is the third studio album by Welsh band Catatonia, released in April 1999 via Blanco y Negro Records. It reached number one in the UK Album Chart, and three singles were released from it; "Dead from the Waist Down", "Londinium" and "Karaoke Queen".

Recording[edit]

While touring in the United States following the success of their first studio album, International Velvet, Catatonia recorded sample demos onto a DPS12 hard disk recorder in their tour bus upon the recommendation of their producer, TommyD.[7] They returned to the Monnow Valley Studio in Monmouth, Wales,[8] where they had recorded the previous album,[9] to record Equally Cursed and Blessed.[8]

Release and promotion[edit]

The album was announced in January 1999; the title taken from a line in the song "She's a Millionaire". The first single, "Dead from the Waist Down" was released on 22 March, with the album released two weeks later on 12 April.[10] This repeated the release schedule used for International Velvet, which had been preceded by "Mulder and Scully" by the same period of time.[11]

Equally Cursed and Blessed faced competition from ABBA's 1992 compilation album Gold: Greatest Hits for the number one spot on the UK Album Chart, as the ABBA album had re-charted due to the success of the Mamma Mia! musical featuring the band's songs. But by midweek, the Catatonia album was 15,000 sales ahead and it went on to secure the top place in the chart.[12][13] At the time, all three Catatonia studio albums were in the top 40.[13] Equally Cursed and Blessed went on to be certificated platinum by the British Phonographic Industry showing at least 300,000 copies sold.[14] The American release of the album saw two tracks from International Velvet added, including "Road Rage".[15]

Singles[edit]

The album spawned one Top 10 single, "Dead from the Waist Down", which reached number seven.[12] The band had intended to release "Karaoke Queen" as the follow up, but were overruled by the record label and they were forced to release "Londinium" instead. This angered lead singer Cerys Matthews, as did the expense of the video for the single which had cost more than Equally Cursed and Blessed took to make.[16] "Londinium" failed to reach the top ten, placing at number 20. "Karaoke Queen" was released as the third single, but only entered the top 40 at number 36.[12] "Nothing Hurts" was slated to be the fourth single release from the album but was shelved following the low chart placement of "Karaoke Queen".[17]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Dead from the Waist Down" Mark Roberts, Catatonia 4:16
2. "Londinium" Roberts, Catatonia 4:36
3. "Post Script" Cerys Matthews, Roberts, Catatonia 4:56
4. "She's a Millionaire" Roberts, Catatonia 4:22
5. "Storm the Palace" Mark Roberts, Catatonia 2:38
6. "Karaoke Queen" Matthews, Catatonia 5:06
7. "Bulimic Beats" Matthews, Catatonia 3:43
8. "Valerian" Matthews, Catatonia 4:21
9. "Shoot the Messenger" Matthews, Paul Jones, Catatonia 3:58
10. "Nothing Hurts" Owen Powell, Catatonia 3:11
11. "Dazed, Beautiful and Bruised" Powell, Catatonia 3:42
Preceded by
Gold: Greatest Hits by ABBA
UK number one album
24 April 1999 – 30 April 1999
Succeeded by
Gold: Greatest Hits by ABBA

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Damas, Jason. "Review: Equally Cursed and Blessed - Catatonia". Allmusic. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  2. ^ Brunner, Rob (31 March 2000). "Review: Equally Cursed and Blessed (2009) - Catatonia". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  3. ^ "Review: Equally Cursed And Blessed". NME. IPC Media. 8 March 1999. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  4. ^ DeLong, Donnacha. "Review: Catatonia - Equally Cursed and Blessed (Blanco Y Negro)". Sorted. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  5. ^ Sullivan, Caroline. "Review: Catatonia - Equally Cursed and Blessed (Blanco Y Negro)". The Guardian (9 April 1999). p. 19. 
  6. ^ Gill, Andy (16 April 1999). "Review: CATATONIA - Equally Cursed and Blessed". The Independent. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  7. ^ "TOMMY D: Recording Catatonia's 'Dead From The Waist Down'". Sound on Sound. May 1999. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Owens 2000, p. 213.
  9. ^ Owens 2000, pp. 167.
  10. ^ Bychawski, Adam (25 January 1999). "Catatonia: Kung Fu and Curses". NME. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  11. ^ Owens 2000, p. 189.
  12. ^ a b c "Catatonia". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Owens 2000, p. 229.
  14. ^ "Certified Awards – Certification Levels". BPI. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  15. ^ Jenkins, Mark (29 March 2000). "Catatonia: Time to Wake America". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ Bychawski, Adam (29 June 1999). "Cerys: We Hate 'Londinium'". NME. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  17. ^ Owens 2000, p. 258.
  18. ^ "Equally Cursed And Blessed". Demon Music Group. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 

References[edit]