Rated R (Queens of the Stone Age album)
|Studio album by Queens of the Stone Age|
|Released||June 6, 2000|
|Recorded||December 1999 – February 2000 in Studio B at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California|
|Producer||Chris Goss, Joshua Homme
(credited as The Fififf Teeners)
|Queens of the Stone Age chronology|
Cover of the LP release
Cover of the 2010 Deluxe Edition
|Singles from Rated R|
Rated R (also called R or Rated X on vinyl) is the second studio album by American rock band Queens of the Stone Age, released on June 6, 2000 on Interscope Records. Rated R was a critical and commercial success and became the band's breakthrough album. It peaked at number 16 on the Top Heatseekers and reached high positions on charts worldwide. The album has been certified gold in the United Kingdom. Three singles were released from it: "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret", "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" and "Monsters in the Parasol", with the first helping Queens of the Stone Age reach mainstream popularity.
The album contains numerous references to drugs and alcohol. This is particularly prominent on the opening track, "Feel Good Hit of the Summer", which consists entirely of the repeated verse "Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol" followed by a chorus of "c-c-c-c-c-cocaine". Though frontman Josh Homme has emphasized the fact there is no definitive endorsement or condemnation behind the lyrics, he has confirmed he came up with the lyrics stumbling through the desert at night after a New Year's party, trying to remember what exactly he had consumed that evening leaving him so intoxicated.
Following the theme, "Monsters in the Parasol", which originally appeared on the Desert Sessions album, Volume 4: Hard Walls and Little Trips, is about Homme's first experience on LSD, kicking in just as his friends' father and sister came home leading to a bad trip. The song "Better Living Through Chemistry" offers an opposing stance on prescription drugs, while Homme's favorite song from the album, closer "I Think I Lost My Headache", is described as being about "Paranoia... when you think something strange is going on, and everyone around you is so adamant about telling you it's fine... but then you start thinking 'Wouldn't that be exactly what you'd say if you didn't want me to know, and there is something going on?' And so it's kind of about that paranoid mentality which maybe I have sometimes." The song is also notable for its unconventional intro and outro in the 15/8 time signature, with the outro culminating in several minutes of an incessantly jarring and repetitive horn part, added to punish those who may have fallen asleep listening to the album.
Rated R features the debut of bassist Nick Oliveri and guest vocalist Mark Lanegan, who both made vocal and songwriting contributions to the band. In addition to providing backing vocals for "Auto Pilot", "Leg of Lamb" and "I Think I Lost My Headache", Lanegan sang lead vocals on "In the Fade", a song about clarity following a comedown/sobriety, while Oliveri sang "Tension Head", a re-recording of the song "13th Floor" off Oliveri's Mondo Generator's debut album Cocaine Rodeo, and "Quick and to the Pointless", which follows the singers experiences on heroin and speed, and cocaine and meth, respectively. "Quick and to the Pointless'" drum, bass, guitar and vocal tracks were recorded simultaneously in just one take. Oliveri's vocal performance was originally intended to be a scratch vocal, but the band liked it so much that this original recording remained on the finished song including the two verses in Dutch.
One of the few songs not involving drug use is the albums' lead single, "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret", which is a response by Homme to people who had lost his trust, particularly involving trysts. Another one, the acoustic instrumental "Lightning Song" was penned by touring keyboardist, second guitarist, and lap steel player Dave Catching.
The 70s-era MPAA "R" rating bumper features on the album's cover, along with the text "RESTRICTED TO EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME". The album's liner notes contain further warning messages for each song, in the style of the warning messages given to parents on video and DVD boxes: "Auto Pilot", for example, contains "Alcohol and Sleep Deprivation". The title and subtext was meant by the band as a jab at record label Interscope, whose persistence that the album's themes would be too controversial and would warrant a Parental Advisory sticker ironically circumvented the issue and allowed the band to sell the album without one.
Release and commercial performance
Rated R was the band's breakout album in the UK. Upon its release in June 2000, the album peaked at number 16 on the Top Heatseekers album chart. It granted Queens of the Stone Age recognition in the United Kingdom and has been certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry.
Rated R included the hit single "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret", which was released in the summer of 2000 and became arguably the band's most recognizable and popular song at its time of release. Not only did its music video receive mild airplay on music television, the song was featured in the Entourage episode "I Love You Too" (from Season 2). It was also the only single from the album to get a chart position, reaching number 21 on the Mainstream Rock chart, number 36 on the Modern Rock chart and number 31 on the UK Singles Chart.
Feel Good Hit of the Summer audio sample
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Steve Huey from AllMusic said "R is mellower, trippier, and more arranged than its predecessor, making its point through warm fuzz-guitar tones, ethereal harmonies, vibraphones, horns, and even the odd steel drum. That might alienate listeners who have come to expect a crunchier guitar attack, but even though it's not really aggro, R is still far heavier than the garage punk and grunge that inform much of the record. It's still got the vaunted Arizona-desert vibes of Kyuss, but it evokes a more relaxed, spacious, twilight feel, as opposed to a high-noon meltdown. Mark Lanegan and Barrett Martin of the Screaming Trees both appear on multiple tracks, and their band's psychedelic grunge - in its warmer, less noisy moments - is actually not a bad point of comparison."
Rolling Stone named it the 82nd best album of the decade.
|1.||"Feel Good Hit of the Summer"||2:43|
|2.||"The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret"||3:36|
|3.||"Leg of Lamb"||2:48|
|4.||"Auto Pilot"||Nick Oliveri||4:01|
|5.||"Better Living Through Chemistry"||5:49|
|6.||"Monsters in the Parasol"||Homme, Mario Lalli||3:27|
|7.||"Quick and to the Pointless"||Nick Oliveri||1:42|
|8.||"In the Fade" (Includes a reprise of the first track "Feel Good Hit of the Summer")||Homme, Mark Lanegan||Mark Lanegan||4:25|
|9.||"Tension Head"||Nick Oliveri||2:52|
|10.||"Lightning Song"||Dave Catching||(Instrumental)||2:07|
|11.||"I Think I Lost My Headache"||8:40|
|Deluxe edition (Disc two)|
|1.||"Ode to Clarissa"||Nick Oliveri||2:40|
|2.||"You're So Vague" (Name is a play on Carly Simon's hit "You're So Vain")||3:40|
|3.||"Never Say Never" (Romeo Void cover)||Benjamin Bossi, Debora Iyall, Frank Zincavage, Larry Carter, Pete Woods||4:22|
|4.||"Who'll Be the Next in Line" (The Kinks cover)||Ray Davies||2:29|
|5.||"Born to Hula" (Re-recorded version)||Josh Homme||5:53|
|6.||"Monsters In the Parasol" (live)||3:32|
|7.||"Feel Good Hit of the Summer" (live)||2:59|
|8.||"Regular John" (live)||Josh Homme, Alfredo Hernández, John McBain||5:12|
|10.||"Quick and to the Pointless" (live)||Nick Oliveri||2:34|
|11.||"Better Living Through Chemistry" (live)||5:19|
|12.||"Ode to Clarissa" (live)||Nick Oliveri||2:52|
|13.||"The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret" (live)||3:33|
|14.||"You Can't Quit Me, Baby" (live)||Homme, Hernández||10:37|
|UK special edition (Disc two) Rated U|
|1.||"Feel Good Hit of the Summer"||2:43|
|2.||"Never Say Never" (Romeo Void cover)||Benjamin Bossi, Debora Iyall, Frank Zincavage, Larry Carter, Pete Woods||4:22|
|3.||"You're So Vague"||3:40|
|4.||"Who'll Be the Next in Line" (The Kinks cover)||Davies||2:29|
|5.||"Feel Good Hit of the Summer" (CD-ROM video)||2:43|
- Most European editions separate "In the Fade" and the "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" reprise into two tracks, 3:51 and 0:34 in length. The track listing on the back cover remains the same as on the regular edition, which means that it does not match the actual track numbers from that point on.
- In the liner notes, it states "'Better Living Through Chemistry' chorus inspired by Björk"; it borrows lyrics from the chorus on "Crying" on her Debut album.
- "Ode to Clarissa" (Homme, Oliveri) – 2:40
- Included as track #12 on the Japanese version and Rated R (X Rated), the limited LP release of the album. This song was also released on the "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret" single.
The UK only special edition of the album included a bonus disc, titled Rated U, which was also separately issued as the "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" single. Along with "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" and its video, it featured three newly recorded songs.
In an interview with NME, Josh Homme revealed plans of a re-issue of Rated R which would feature B-side recordings and live performance from Reading Festival. It was released on August 3, 2010.
Added to the original album is a second disc with six B-sides and the band's summer 2000 Reading Festival concert—featuring nine previously unreleased songs, including live versions of Rated R's "Feel Good Hit of the Summer", "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret", "Better Living Through Chemistry" and "Quick and to the Pointless".
The B-sides are "Ode to Clarissa", "You're So Vague", covers of Romeo Void's "Never Say Never" and The Kinks' "Who'll Be the Next in Line", a live version of the album's "Monsters in the Parasol", a song originally from Josh Homme's side project, The Desert Sessions, and a re-recording of "Born to Hula", an early song from Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age EP. The other Reading Festival tracks are concert takes on "Ode to Clarissa", three songs from the band's debut album ("Regular John", "Avon" and "You Can't Quit Me, Baby"), and "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire", another track originally by The Desert Sessions, which was also present on their third album, Songs for the Deaf.
- Queens of the Stone Age
- Josh Homme – guitars (tracks 1 - 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11), lead vocals (tracks 1 - 3, 5, 6, 11), percussion (tracks 3, 8), lead guitar (tracks 4, 7), backing vocals (tracks 4, 8), drums (track 4), piano (track 10), producer, mixing, concept
- Nick Oliveri – bass (tracks 1 - 3, 5 - 11), backing vocals (tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, 11), lead vocals (tracks 4, 7, 9), guitar (track 4), percussion (track 8), concept, art conception
- Guest musicians
- Dave Catching – electric piano (tracks 1, 2, 8), lap steel guitar (tracks 1, 11), guitar (tracks 6, 7), B3 (track 4), piano (track 5), 12-string guitar (track 10)
- Nick Lucero – drums (tracks 2, 3, 5, 8, 11), percussion (tracks 3, 4)
- Gene Trautmann – drums (tracks 1, 6, 7, 9)
- Chris Goss – backing vocals (tracks 4, 5, 6), grand piano (track 1), percussion (track 1), noise piano (track 2), bass (track 4), producer
- Mark Lanegan – backing vocals (tracks 4, 11), lead vocals (track 8)
- Barrett Martin – vibes (tracks 2, 5), percussion (tracks 5, 10), steel drum (track 11)
- Mike Johnson – backing vocals (track 3)
- Peter Stahl – backing vocals (track 2)
- Rob Halford – backing vocals (track 1)
- Nick Eldorado – backing vocals (tracks 1, 7)
- Wendy Rae Fowler (Wendy Ray Moan) – backing vocals (tracks 1, 7)
- Scott Mayo – baritone sax (track 2), horns (track 11)
- Fernando Pullum – flugal horn (track 7), horns (track 11)
- Reggie Young – horns (track 11)
- Technical personnel
- Bradley Cook – engineer
- Martin Schmelzle – engineer, sequencing, assembly
- Trina Shoemaker – engineer, mixing
- Dan Druff – guitar technician
- Marek – noise (track 8), mixing
- Robert Brunner – pre-production assistant
- Francesca Restrepo – art direction
- "Five Alt Rock Classics to Soundtrack Your Summer". Alternative Nation. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- "Rated R". All Music. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
The second Queens of the Stone Age album, Rated R (as in the movie rating; its title was changed from II at the last minute before release), makes its stoner rock affiliations clear right from the opening track.
- "Queens Of The Stone Age - Rated R - Review". Stylus.
- josh homme talking about i think i lost my headache - YouTube
- josh homme talking about quick and to the pointless - YouTube
- Liner notes
- "British Album/Single Chart". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- "Artist Chart History - Queens of the Stone Age". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
- "Certified Awards Search" (To access, enter the search parameter "Queens of the Stone Age", select "Search by Artist" and check the "Exact match" checkbox.). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Rated R – Queens of the Stone Age". AllMusic. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- Sinclair, Tom (June 9, 2000). "R". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
- Sullivan, Caroline (August 18, 2000). "Queens of the Stone Age: R (Interscope)". The Guardian. London. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
- "Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R". Mojo (202): 110. September 2010.
- "'Rated R'". NME. June 3, 2000. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
- Fennessey, Sean (August 6, 2010). "Queens of Stone Age: Rated R [Deluxe Edition]". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
- "Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R". Q (168): 111. September 2000.
- Ratliff, Ben (June 22, 2000). "Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
- Dolan, Jon (August 2006). "How to Buy: Heavy Metal". Spin. 22 (8): 78. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
- "Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R". Uncut (41): 88. October 2000.
- "Allmusic - Rated R Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- "Rock’s Best Albums of the Decade" Retrieved 12 January 2010.
- (Bjork - Crying) 2:01
- Queens Of The Stone Age to reissue 'Rated R' album | News | NME.COM
- Amazon.com: Rated R - Deluxe Edition: Queens of the Stone Age: Music
- "Chartverfolgung / QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE / Longplay". musicline.de. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- "Norwegian Album Chart". norwegiancharts. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- "Accreditations – 2003 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved April 15, 2013.