Life Is Peachy
|Life Is Peachy|
|Studio album by Korn|
|Released||October 15, 1996|
|Studio||Indigo Ranch Studios, Malibu, California, U.S.|
|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 both Immortal Records and Epic Records. After the release of Korn's 1994 self-titled debut album, the band asked Ross Robinson to produce and went back to Indigo Ranch to record. Life Is Peachy has fourteen tracks, excluding the hidden track after "Kill You". Korn released three singles from Life Is Peachy: "No Place to Hide", "A.D.I.D.A.S.", and "Good God". All three singles went on the UK Singles Chart. Life Is Peachy features such themes as drugs, social encounters, sex, and revenge. The album's cover art was designed by Martin Riedl and its name is credited to Korn's bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu.
Life Is Peachy was certified gold on January 8, 1997 and was later certified platinum on December 9, 1997. Following the success of Korn's 1994 self-titled debut album, Life Is Peachy was certified double platinum on November 10, 1999. Life Is Peachy debuted and peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and peaked at number one in New Zealand. In its first week of being released, the album sold 106,000 copies. Critical reception for Life Is Peachy was mainly mixed, with critics praising the album's songwriting and sound quality.
Before the release of Life Is Peachy, Korn toured with many bands. Initially, Korn joined the Sick of It All Tour. Following the Sick of It All Tour, Korn joined the Danzig 4 Tour. Korn also toured with Megadeth, Fear Factory, and Flotsam and Jetsam. After the release of Life Is Peachy, Korn toured solo, and headlined and often sold out shows. Korn also toured in the Lollapalooza summer tour.
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. Authors Jason Arnopp and 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." 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 Davis 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, The 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 Davis. 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". "Chi" is named after former Deftones bassist Chi Cheng. Davis said that the song "Chi" is "about a lot of alcohol and drug abuse". The song was named after Cheng for the sole reason that Cheng liked reggae and had taken it into his head that the song "Chi" was actually a reggae song. "Swallow" is about drug-induced paranoia. "Mr. Rogers" is about Fred Rogers. Davis said: "As a kid, he told me to be polite, and all it did was get me picked on. I fucking hate that man. Thanks for making me polite and trusting everyone, and easy to take advantage of." "K@#Ø%!" is about women who have hurt Davis. Munky said the band were going to send it to the radio as a joke because they "knew they wouldn't play it, then follow up about a week later with the real thing". "A.D.I.D.A.S." is an Acronym for "All Day I Dream About Sex". Davis explained the background behind "Good God":
"It's about a guy I knew in school who I thought was a my friend, but who fucked me. He came into my life with nothing, hung out at my house, lived off me, and made me do shit I didn't really wanna do. I was into new romantic music and he was a mod, and he'd tell me if I didn't dress like a mod he wouldn't be my friend anymore. Whenever I had plans to go on a date with a chick he'd sabotage it, because he didn't have a date or nothing. He was a gutless fucking nothing. I haven't talked to him for years."
"It's about a relative I first met when I was 12. I fucking hate that bitch. She's the most evil, fucked up person I've met in my whole life. She hated my guts. She did everything she could to make my life hell. Like, when I was sick she'd feed me tea with tabasco, which is really hot pepper oil. She'd make me drink it and say, 'You have to burn that cold out, boy'. Fucked up shit like that. So every night when I'd go to sleep, I'd dream of killing that bitch. In some sick way I had a sexual fantasy about her, and I don't know what that stems from or why, but I always dreamt about fucking her and killing her."
Considered nu metal, the album features a more prominent hip hop influence than the band's self-titled debut, 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 New York Times||(favorable)|
|Chronicles of Chaos||8/10|
Life Is Peachy received mainly mixed reviews from critics. Q Magazine said the album is "Harsher and harder than their groundbreaking debut." AllMusic wrote: "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." Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote: "Korn has learned more than a few tricks from Nine Inch Nails, and it's not above using invective for simple shock value. But the chip on its shoulder sounds genuine." Stephen Thompson of The A.V. Club panned Life is Peachy, calling the album "nothing but plain old, ham-fisted, butt-stupid heavy metal". Adrian Bromley of Chronicles of Chaos wrote that he was "impressed with the strength and sound quality" Korn "has been able to magnify with _Life Is Peachy_".
"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. In April 1997, "A.D.I.D.A.S." went to number 13 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. "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. Life is Peachy sold 106,000 copies in its first week of being released. Released on October 15, 1996, Life is Peachy was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on January 8, 1997. On December 9, 1997, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA. On November 10, 1999, Life is Peachy was certified 2x platinum.
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)||O'Shea Jackson||3:58|
|11.||"A.D.I.D.A.S." ("All Day I Dream About Sex")||2:32|
|12.||"Lowrider" (War cover)||Sylvester Allen, Lee Oskar||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.
- A ^ "A.D.I.D.A.S." did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 13 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.
Credits taken from the CD liner notes.
- Jonathan Davis - lead vocals, bagpipes, additional guitars - "Kill You" and "Mr. Rogers"
- Brian "Head" Welch - guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Lowrider"
- James "Munky" Shaffer - guitars
- Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu - bass guitar
- David Silveria - drums
- Ross Robinson - producer, engineer, mixing
- Chuck Johnson - engineer, mixing
- Richard Kaplan - mixing, additional engineering
- Rob Agnello - assistant
- Jamie Leavitt - assistant
- Eddy Schreyer - mastering
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