Life Is Peachy
|Life Is Peachy|
|Studio album by Korn|
|Released||October 15, 1996|
|Recorded||April–July 1996, Indigo Ranch Studios, Malibu, California|
|Singles from Life Is Peachy|
Life Is Peachy is the second studio album by the American nu metal band Korn, released on October 15, 1996 through Immortal Records and Epic Records. Life is Peachy earned gold on January 8, 1997 and later certified platinum on December 9, 1997. Following the success of their 1994 self-titled debut, Korn earned a second double platinum for the album in the United States, certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on November 10, 1999. The album debuted and peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and peaked at number one in New Zealand.
The album has 14 tracks, not including the hidden track after "Kill You". Korn released three singles from the album and each charted on the UK Singles Chart. For the first time, Korn released covers of the songs "Lowrider" by War and "Wicked" by Ice Cube. The album features such themes as social encounters, sex and revenge. The album cover was designed by Martin Riedl and its name is credited to Korn's bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu. Life Is Peachy has sold over 6 million copies worldwide to Nielsen SoundScan 2013.
Writing and recording
Writing for the band's second album started immediately after touring their self-titled debut. Guitarist Munky described the writing process as, "we didn't write nothin' for two years then we had creativity build up, like blue balls of creativity." Doug Small, author of The Story of Korn (ISBN 0825618045), said that "the band's songwriting method — a sort of collective building process wherein four instrumentalists, with the input of Jonathan [Davis], develop each other's ideas until they've created a monster — is truly a group effort." The album's lyrics — for the most part — were primarily written by lead singer Jonathan Davis. Drummer David Silveria told Modern Drummer, "somebody will start playing something and the rest of us will work around it and see where it goes."
After playing at a few gigs with Deftones in California, United States, Korn went back to the studio to start recording Life Is Peachy in April 1996. Korn asked Ross Robinson to produce, and wanted to begin recording at Indigo Ranch, mostly because their first album had been recorded there and was a success. The quick process was accompanied by drinking and partying. When Davis recorded, he preferred several other people be in the recording studio with him.
Jason Arnopp, author of Slipknot: Inside the Sickness, Behind the Masks (ISBN 0091879337), along with Doug Small, insisted the album was rushed when it was put together. Silveria explained, "We went in really fresh, and we wanted to get it done quickly to capture that moment. So it was probably about sixty percent knowing what I was going to play and forty percent just playing whatever came to mind at that moment, It ended up really good, and it has a kind of energy I probably wouldn't have gotten if I'd worked everything out beforehand." Korn's bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu said, "We wanted that same energy and inspiration we found up in the Malibu Hills."
Jonathan Davis said regarding the writing of the album "Right after we got done touring with Ozzy Osbourne, Ross [Robinson] hooked up with us. We went into a rehearsal studio and started writing. It was faster and thrashier. It was us reacting the vibe that we had to hurry up and get this done. We thought, "Let's do something great, but let's not take a year on it." While James "Munky" Shaffer collaborated "Some of the songs and riffs from the first record had been lingering around for years. When it was time to write Life Is Peachy, we went back into the rehearsal studio and we wanted to take the elements that the fans liked and we liked about Korn and elaborate on some of those like Jonathan freaking out. "Twist" came to life. There was that dissonant guitar playing. There was more of a punk rock feel and attitude that the band had. I think a lot of that came from touring so much and the energy of the crowds. We wanted to create a really angry album."
Korn's bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu came up with the title Life Is Peachy. The name came from Fieldy's Pee Chee folder. Fieldy often put "Life Is" in front of the brand name, which would humor him. Fieldy said, "I used to doodle all over it [the file folder]. I drew long hair on the character and put guitars in their hands. I used to sketch stuff all the time. I eventually knew my scribbles might someday pay off. I thought that visual would make a really cool album cover." Korn contacted the Pee Chee file folder company and asked for permission to use the file folder's image for an album cover, offering twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), resulting in the company turning the offer down. The name Life Is Peachy was agreed by band members to be a "great" name for the album, and kept the name but didn't add Fieldy's file folder cover.
The front cover of Life Is Peachy depicts a boy looking in the mirror, seeing a much larger person behind him. The photo was taken by Martin Riedl. The design and concept were by Scott Leberacht. Other pictures in the booklet were taken by Stephen Stickler. Doug Small said that it "continued the threatened child theme as depicted on Korn's artwork." The cover is mostly black and white, with a little boy, hair combed, straightening his tie in a gilt mirror; behind him looms a larger, shadowed presence." Life Is Peachy is, to date, the only album by Korn to feature their name spelled in a different font.
The booklet, along with every other album by Korn, does not feature printed lyrics to the songs. The band has explained that the reason the booklets do not feature this is because he believes fans should not rely on printed lyrics because it limits the experience in listening to the music. As Davis told MTV's Serena Altschul, "I think music is something that every individual has their own meaning to the song. They can come up with whatever the hell I'm saying and that's the beauty of it and that's what I wanna keep there."
Touring and promotion
Korn began touring in the Sick of It All Tour, beginning on January 21, 1995, and ending in March 1995. Following the Sick of It All Tour, Korn joined the Danzig 4 Tour, including Danzig and Marilyn Manson. The tour lasted 3 months and was preceded with the group touring with Megadeth, where they played to crowds of thirty-five-hundred to five thousand. They toured with Megadeth, Fear Factory, and Flotsam and Jetsam. All of this happened in the summer of 1995. Lead vocalist Jonathan Davis introduced the bagpipes while performing live (however many people there did not like this).
Korn began touring in Europe during September 1995. One of Korn's first concert dates was in Nottingham. After the performance, there was conflict between Korn's bassist Fieldy and someone from "tech," resulting in the airport prohibiting them from boarding the plane. From 1995 to 1997, Korn toured with Ozzy Osbourne, Sugar Ray, Cradle of Thorns, Incubus, Life of Agony, Metallica, and others. Korn released a promotional disc in 1997 called Life Is Peachy Tour Sampler, with Incubus and The Urge. The album featured 3 tracks, "Chi" (live) by Korn, "All Washed Up" (live) by The Urge, and "Hilikus" (live) by Incubus. The promo was released after Life Is Peachy, and lasts for twelve minutes and seventeen seconds. Korn toured solo in 1997, and headlined at often sold out shows. Limp Bizkit also toured with Korn to promote Life Is Peachy. In 1997, Korn toured in the Lollapalooza summer tour. They toured with Tool, Snoop Dogg, Jane's Addiction, Prodigy, and others.
On July 18, not even a month into the tour, the group was forced to cancel the remainder of their Lollapalooza appearances due to guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer recent diagnosis with viral meningitis. Jonathan Davis issued a written statement about Shaffer's illness saying, "We love our fans. This is the last thing we want to do, but it's the only decision to make at this time. It just doesn't feel right without [Shaffer]." The statement also acknowledged fans that "there is no suitable replacement for [Shaffer] during his recuperation."
Aside from touring, Korn also released three singles following the album's release. "No Place to Hide" was the album's first single. The single features the song "Proud", a song that was previously unreleased. Other versions include both original and remixed versions of songs featured on Korn. The song "A.D.I.D.A.S." was released as a single on March 4, 1997. The song's music video was directed by Joseph Kahn. Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu said that "It was one of the hardest videos we ever made because we all had to lie still on cold metal slabs for hours, pretending to be dead. We wore dirty blue contacts in our eyes that made us partially blind while they were in."
Music and lyrical themes
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Life Is Peachy opens with the forty-nine second prelude "Twist", which is made up of improvised scat singing done by Jonathan. Doug Small described the singing as "spitting out the twisted rantings of a madman", and said that it was fit for the album's introduction. An a cappella version of "Twist" is included as a hidden track after "Kill You". "A.D.I.D.A.S." is an Acronym for "All Day I Dream About Sex". "Kill You" is about Jonathan Davis' ex-stepmother.
Considered nu metal, the album features hip hop elements with James "Munky" Shaffer recalling "We were listening to a lot of hip hop, I was probably listening to a lot of Mr. Bungle, hip hop like early Outkast and The Pharcyde, Sepultura records, and Rage Against the Machine, just to name a few." The band would further explore hip hop on their next album Follow the Leader.
Q Magazine said that the album was both harsh and hard, and Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic said that the album's rhythms were "straight out of underground black metal," while also noting that it "enhanced their metallic influences." With the same band-line up as their previous album, the band created an album considered to be darker than their debut album. Entertainment Weekly considered the album to be of interest to "mental-health professionals." Jon Pareles stated that the album's themes characterize Korn being "Mad at Everybody, Including Themselves". iTunes said Life Is Peachy was "a barrage of throttling, detuned guitar aggression that erupts from the bottom like molten lava."
|The New York Times||(favorable)|
Life Is Peachy received mixed reviews from critics. Q Magazine said the album is "Harsher and harder than their groundbreaking debut." AllMusic said "Korn add enough elements of alternative rock song structure to make the music accessible to the masses, and their songwriting has continued to improve." iTunes commented that "Regardless of the musical textures, Life Is Peachy is unified in its focus." Entertainment Weekly said that the album left the "impression that frontman Jonathan Davis is turning his well-publicized childhood traumas into a cheap marketing device". They gave it a C- and said that it "may be of interest to mental-health professionals."
"No Place to Hide" earned the band a second Grammy nomination in the Best Metal Performance category in 1998. The single peaked at number twenty-six on the UK Singles Chart. The album's second single, "A.D.I.D.A.S.", peaked at number twenty-two on the UK Singles Chart, while also making an appearance at number forty-five in Australia. "Good God", the album's third and final single, peaked at number twenty-five on UK Singles Chart, and number eighty-one on the ARIA Charts. The album peaked at number one in New Zealand. The album also peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, and number thirty-two on the UK Albums Chart. Herzebeth from Metal Storm Webzine said that Life Is Peachy is Korn's best album. At the 1997 Kerrang! Awards Life Is Peachy won the "Best Album" award. Life Is Peachy and Korn's self-titled album have been labelled as "landmarks" in alternative metal music.
All tracks written by Korn unless otherwise noted.
|5.||"Porno Creep" (instrumental)||2:01|
|9.||"No Place to Hide"||3:31|
|10.||"Wicked" (featuring Chino Moreno; Ice Cube cover)||4:00|
|12.||"Lowrider" (War cover)||0:58|
|1.||"Chi" (live)||Korn||Life Is Peachy||4:31|
|2.||"All Washed Up" (live)||The Urge||Receiving the Gift of Flavor||4:31|
|3.||"Hilikus" (live)||Incubus||Fungus Amongus||3:55|
- The song "Kill You" ends at 5:02. After two minutes and 33 seconds of silence a brief reprisal of "Twist" in a cappella form called "Twist A Capella", starts.
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