Opiate (EP)

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EP by Tool
Released March 10, 1992
Recorded December 1991 - January 1992
Genre Alternative metal[1]
Length 26:52
Label Zoo Entertainment
Producer Sylvia Massy, Steve Hansgen, Tool
Tool chronology
Singles from Opiate
  1. "Hush"
    Released: 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[2]
Kerrang! 3/5 stars[3]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[4]

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 opium of the masses".[5] As of July 7, 2010, Opiate has sold 1,155,000 copies in the US and is certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Background and recording[edit]

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 track 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".

The song "Sweat" was featured on the Escape From L.A. soundtrack.[6]

"Cold and Ugly" and "Jerk-Off" were recorded specially for the album at the Jello 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 several tracks that 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.[7]

A black and white music video was made for the track "Hush," the band's first. The Canadian music channel MuchMusic played it regularly.[8]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Many fans consider Opiate to be Tool's heaviest album (along with Undertow).[9] The connection fans have to the EP was even 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."[9]

Lyrical subjects explored on Opiate include censorship and organized religion.[10][11]

Release history[edit]

2013 reissue[edit]

On March 26, 2013 the band released a special 21st anniversary limited edition package of the album, It includes bonus features, such as new artwork. It was limited to only 5,000 copies.[12][13][14] The packaging was done with an old fashioned Heidelberg Cylinder Press.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Tool (Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones, Danny Carey and Paul D'Amour).

No. Title Length
1. "Sweat" 3:46
2. "Hush" 2:48
3. "Part of Me" 3:20
4. "Cold and Ugly" (Live in Hollywood, CA 12/31/91) 4:10
5. "Jerk-Off" (Live in Hollywood, CA 01/01/92) 4:25
6. "Opiate" (the song "Opiate" ends at 5:20. The hidden track "The Gaping Lotus Experience" starts at minute 6:10, after 50 seconds of silence.) 8:30
Total length: 26:54



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[15] Platinum 1,155,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Johnson, Howard (2002). X-Rated: The 200 Rudest Records Ever!. Carlton Books. ISBN 1842227491. 
  2. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Opiate [EP] - Tool". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 23 August 2004. 
  3. ^ Mörat (11 July 1992). "Tool 'Opiate'". Kerrang!. 400. London, UK: EMAP. 
  4. ^ "Tool: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Christopher W. diCarlo. "Interview with Maynard James Keenan". Cdicarlo.com. Retrieved 20 May 2007. 
  6. ^ "Escape de Los Ángeles (1996) - Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Tool FAQ". Toolshed.down.net. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Tool interview with Theresa Roncon". Spotlighthttp://toolshed.down.net/articles/index.php?action=view-article&id=February_1997--Muchmusic.html |transcripturl= missing title (help). Toronto. February 1997. MuchMusic.  Transcribed by Rory Mitchell and archived at the Tool Page. “Theresa: We played it all the time on MuchMusic.”
  9. ^ a b "TOOL: NEWSLETTER". Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  10. ^ Craig Joyce (1999-10-01). "Tool". Rough Guides. Retrieved 2007-05-13. The first release from OPIATE, “Hush”, was a condemnation of censorship, something the band have repeatedly run into. 
  11. ^ D. Parvaz (2004-05-07). "Author's 'Taboo Tunes' hits a timely note". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  12. ^ Revolver Magazine (2013-02-25). "Tool Announce 21st Anniversary Edition of Opiate with Commemorative Limited Edition Package - Heavy Metal News | Music Videos |Golden Gods Awards". revolvermag.com. Retrieved 2013-03-11. 
  13. ^ "Tool marks 21st anniversary of Opiate EP with limited-edition reissue". Consequence of Sound. 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2013-03-11. 
  14. ^ "Tool Unleashing Limited-Edition 'Opiate' EP Reissue". Loudwire.com. 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-03-11. 
  15. ^ "American album certifications – Tool – Opiate". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH