|Studio album by|
|Released||April 10, 2001|
|Studio||Big Blue Meenie, Jersey City, New Jersey|
|Singles from Thursday|
Full Collapse is the second album by American post-hardcore band Thursday. Released on April 10, 2001, it marks their first and only studio album on Victory Records and features two of the band's most popular singles, "Understanding in a Car Crash" and "Cross Out the Eyes." Full Collapse helped to establish Thursday as an immensely popular group in the indie and alternative rock music scenes, reached #178 on The Billboard 200, and provided some of the earliest mainstream exposure to post-hardcore.
Background and recording
In 2000, Victory Records representatives flew out to watch Thursday perform in their hometown alongside Boysetsfire. Shortly thereafter, the label expressed strong interest in signing Thursday. At the end of that summer, just before signing to Victory, Thursday welcomed guitarist Steve Pedulla into the band. They then began work on a sophomore album at Big Blue Meenie to record once again with Sal Villanueva. In June, the band noted disagreements over album packaging but otherwise described the relationship as "great." They would later reveal the troubled communication between band and label and the resulting legal battle.
The writing process of Full Collapse was reportedly more collaborative than on the band's debut, Waiting. The band later described how they were "just kids" when writing the album and that the time period saw bands from the New York metropolitan area delivering a new wave of music that was gaining momentum as nu metal was still popular. Some demos and alternate versions of songs featured on Full Collapse would later be released on the 2007 CD/DVD, Kill the House Lights.
Music and lyrics
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Full Collapse combines post-hardcore influences with melodic elements and emotional lyrics for a heavier, tighter, and more cohesive recording than Thursday's debut. The album has been described as post-hardcore, post-punk, emo pop, emo and hardcore punk. The album opens and closes with matching songs featuring ambient, dream-like guitar and distant, robotic-filtered vocalization in contrast to the overall intensity of the album. Delicate lead guitar mingles with heavy rhythm chords and spastic drums while vocals trade between Rickly's youthful, off-key wailing and desperate, often muffled background screams. Lyrical themes are often brutal and angst-ridden yet poetic and ambiguous, depicting topics such as the corporate and industrial world, tragedy, and interpersonal relationships. With its bleak themes and dramatic approach, Full Collapse helped introduce a darker form of emo to the mainstream music scene.
Full Collapse features a simple album art design with stark contrasts of black and white and a tightly cropped cover photo of what appears to be a series of white leather chairs. The design was a cause of debate; the band hoped to create a booklet of artwork for Full Collapse but were discouraged by Victory owner Tony Brummel who insisted on a cheaper 1-page insert with lyrics left out of the packaging. A compromise was reached which resulted in a minimally designed fold-out insert featuring lyrics on a plain black background and few photographs. The CD tray features a radial pattern of phrases related to song lyrics. Printed directly on the inner circle of the disc are the words, "Full Collapse On Impact."
Release, touring and promotion
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Full Collapse was released on April 9, 2001 through Victory. A Special Edition of Full Collapse was also released, which includes the videos for the two released singles ("Understanding in a Car Crash" and "Cross Out the Eyes") and several Thursday-themed desktop computer wallpapers. Amidst building mainstream exposure, the band toured broke, and according to drummer Tucker Rule, guitarist Tom Keeley was diagnosed with malnutrition. In July 2001, Thursday joined Boysetsfire and performed at Hellfest, which Rickly has since cited as one of his favorite career moments. While performing in Dallas, Texas in late 2001 with the Murder City Devils, and a "complete fistfight" also broke out on stage. In the fall of that year, Thursday also toured with Sparta. In November and December, the group went on tour with Hey Mercedes and Saves the Day. In March and April 2002, the band went on tour with Sparta again. That summer, Thursday joined the Warped Tour for the first time.
To serve as the band's official website, the domain name fullcollapse.com was registered in 2001. This remained Thursday's official site even after parting ways with Victory.
In May 2002, as Thursday’s signing to Island Def Jam had become imminent, the band released a statement through their website detailing the internal problems with Victory and reasons for leaving. According to the statement, the band had higher aspirations for the album art which were dashed by Tony Brummel's desire to keep costs down. During a visit to Victory offices, they also discovered that for promotional purposes, the label made Thursday whoopee cushions which were intended to be distributed to fans at the Warped Tour. The idea was conceived without Thursday’s consent and stopped. The band continually emphasized the need to communicate regarding art direction and promotion but were allegedly ignored by Brummel and told that Victory was too big to run everything past its artists.
The group would be further discouraged from a meeting in which Brummel claimed that Thursday wasn’t living up to his expectations, with the band’s statement declaring, “Instead of Tony's relationship with us being based on a love for music, it was based entirely on numbers.” However, in late 2001, Brummel began showing more concern in the band and called more frequently regarding sales. Victory also shot concert footage to create a music video for the album’s lead single, “Understanding in a Car Crash,” a decision made without the band’s consent. They soon learned that Brummel planned to sell part of Victory to MCA and, as Thursday's contract only allowed them leave Victory for a major label, began reciprocating new-found interest from prominent labels. By spring 2002, the decision to join Island was made as MCA began promoting Full Collapse as their own, and Thursday found itself in a legal battle with Victory. Rickly would later note, “When we parted ways with Victory, we got our asses kicked. [...] Victory's lawyers were so strong.”
Between late June and mid-August, the group went on the 2002 edition of Warped Tour. Live cuts of "Understanding in a Car Crash," "Autobiography of a Nation," "Paris in Flames," and "Standing on the Edge of Summer" would appear on the band's live EP Five Stories Falling in October 2002. Thursday released the EP only to fulfill contract obligations with Victory and encouraged fans at concerts not to buy it.
In an ironic twist, Thursday would use Victory’s lawyers to leave Island in 2007 and reunite with Brummel to work on the CD/DVD, Kill the House Lights. This chronicles the band’s career with a documentary and concert footage emphasizing the Full Collapse era. It also features demos and alternate versions of songs from their landmark album.
With no consent from Thursday, Victory shot concert footage in late 2001 to create a music video for their debut single, "Understanding in a Car Crash." By early 2002, the video had gained significant rotation on MTV2 and MMUSA. Later that year, a second single was released in the form of "Cross Out the Eyes." A more ambitious video would be shot for this single, which revolved around a troubled man who's tossed in a dumpster, discovered and taken to a strange institution by two children, and finally escorted away by a woman in car. A live version of the song also appeared on Warped Tour 2002 Tour Compilation in July. "Autobiography of a Nation" served as the album's third and final single with little promotion. All three songs would remain concert staples throughout the Thursday's career. "Standing on the Edge of Summer" also gained the band some exposure with its appearance in the Wes Craven film, They, released in November 2002. It is heard playing on Julia's stereo when she is stranded in her car late at night.
Reception and legacy
The album gained largely positive critical reception, particularly within the punk community. Kurt Morris of Allmusic described Full Collapse as "a breath of fresh air" and noted, "Thursday displays a peerless version of the emo sound for a music scene that may not be ready for what the band has to offer." While not Thursday's commercial peak, Full Collapse has retained a strong legacy within the post-hardcore scene and remains arguably the band's most popular album. Frontman Geoff Rickly would describe Full Collapse as a "turning point record" and strongly favor it over most of the band's other work for both its passion and cohesive feel throughout. NME listed the album as one of "20 Emo Albums That Have Resolutely Stood The Test Of Time". Rolling Stone listed Full Collapse at no. 11 in their list of the "40 Greatest Emo Albums of All Time".
In the first week of release, Full Collapse sold 800 copies. By the time the group signed to Island Records in May 2002, the album had sold 111,000 copies. By April 2004, the album had sold 280,000 copies. By July 2006, it had sold 364,000 copies. By the time the group signed to Epitaph Records in October 2008, it had sold 380,000 copies. In February 2009, it was announced that the band would perform the album in its entirety for a one-off show on the Taste of Chaos tour. However, on the day of the show the band cancelled. In October 2010, Thursday announced their December 30 "holiday show" in which they would perform Full Collapse in its entirely. The following month, it was announced that, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their landmark album, Thursday would perform the album in its entirely throughout a US tour. While on tour with Underoath, the band began playing it the following year. In April 2018, the group will perform a run of two-night shows where they'll play Full Collapse on the first night, and War All the Time on the other, in their entirety. In a 2010 interview, Rickly described the album's significance to both the band and its fans:
- Full Collapse was a record that changed the course and shape of my life. We began touring for it in basements and VFW halls, continued, opening for bands like the Murder City Devils and Rival Schools and ended up as a full-time touring band meeting hundreds of thousands of people with whom we formed deep and lasting connections. Time passes and we embrace new music and different goals but, ten years later, Full Collapse continues to move people and for that we are very grateful. This tour is a celebration of those times and the end of a chapter in the life of Thursday.
All lyrics written by Geoff Rickly. All music written by Thursday.
|2.||"Understanding in a Car Crash"||4:24|
|4.||"Autobiography of a Nation"||3:55|
|5.||"A Hole in the World"||3:27|
|6.||"Cross Out the Eyes"||4:08|
|7.||"Paris in Flames"||4:33|
|8.||"I Am the Killer"||3:35|
|9.||"Standing on the Edge of Summer"||3:42|
|11.||"How Long Is the Night?"||5:45|
Personnel per booklet.
|US Billboard 200||178|
|Top Independent Albums||9|
- https://www.allmusic.com/artist/p413377/charts-awards Billboard 200 chart position]
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