|Released||March 10, 1992|
|Recorded||December 1991 – January 1992|
|Studio||Sound City, Van Nuys, California|
Cover art for the re-release and digital versions
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Opiate is an EP by American rock band Tool. It was produced and engineered by Sylvia Massy and former Minor Threat bassist Steve Hansgen. Released in 1992, it was the result of some two years of the band playing together after their formation in 1990. Opiate preceded Tool's first full-length release, Undertow, by a year. It is named after a quote by Karl Marx: "religion ... is the opiate of the masses". As of July 7, 2010, Opiate has sold 1,155,000 copies in the US and is certified Platinum by the RIAA. The EP charted on several international charts when Tool released their catalog to online streaming in August 2019.
Background and recording
Opiate features seven songs spanning six tracks, two of which are live recordings. Most versions of the EP (all except the cassette) feature the hidden seventh song titled "The Gaping Lotus Experience". On CD versions, the song is hidden at the end of the last track of the album, "Opiate", and begins approximately 6 minutes and 10 seconds into the track after "Opiate" has concluded. Vinyl copies of the EP featured a double groove on the second side; one which contained "Cold and Ugly", with the second containing "The Gaping Lotus Experience" and a small period of silence. Both grooves led into "Jerk-Off".
"Cold and Ugly" and "Jerk-Off" were recorded specially for the album at the Jellö Loft on New Year's Eve 1991 with a live audience. As a result, these two songs have never been available as true "studio" recordings except for the band's 1991 demo tape. This demo tape, titled 72826, also featured early versions of "Hush" and "Part of Me" (as well as "Crawl Away" and "Sober", which would eventually make it on Undertow), and was used to get the band signed. All four songs were re-recorded for this album.
In the original CD inserts for the album there is a collage of photos of the band members as children, among various items and trinkets, and also includes a picture of someone engaging in necrophilia with a well-decomposed cadaver. In reality, it is a friend of the band joking around in prop maker Stan Winston's studio.
Music and lyrics
Along with Undertow, many Tool fans consider Opiate to be the band's heaviest album. The connection fans have to the EP was addressed on the song "Hooker with a Penis" from their third release and second LP Ænima. The EP features straightforward song structures in place of the progressive traits the band became known for later on in their career. In a 2013 interview, guitarist Adam Jones stated "I love metal, but I love the other stuff that's been contributed by the band. When we started out, the record company said that we had to pick our heaviest songs, because that's the impact - you're metal and that's really important."
On March 26, 2013 the band released a special 21st anniversary limited edition package of the album, which includes bonus features, such as new artwork. The artist Adi Granov provided the illustrations for the packaging and It was limited to only 5,000 copies. The packaging was also done with an old fashioned Heidelberg Cylinder Press.
|3.||"Part of Me"||3:17|
|4.||"Cold and Ugly" (live)||4:09|
|6.||"Opiate" (the song ends at 5:20. The hidden song "The Gaping Lotus Experience" starts at 6:10, after 50 seconds of silence.)||8:28|
"Cold and Ugly" and "Jerk-Off" were recorded live on New Year's Eve 1991/1992 at the Jellö Loft, in Hollywood, CA.
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||43|
|Canadian Albums (Billboard)||85|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||87|
|US Billboard 200||59|
Certification and sales
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,155,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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The first release from OPIATE, “Hush”, was a condemnation of censorship, something the band have repeatedly run into.
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