Scorpio Rising (Death in Vegas album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Scorpio Rising
Studio album by Death in Vegas
Released 16 September 2002
Recorded The Contino Rooms, London, England
Genre Electronica, trip hop, neo-psychedelia
Length 49:51
Label Concrete
Producer Richard Fearless, Tim Holmes
Death in Vegas chronology
The Contino Sessions
(1999)The Contino Sessions1999
Scorpio Rising
Satan's Circus
(2004)Satan's Circus2004

Scorpio Rising is the third album by British electronica band Death in Vegas. It was released on 16 September 2002 in the United Kingdom via Concrete Records, and on 17 June 2003 in the United States via Sanctuary Records. The album takes its name from an experimental film by Kenneth Anger.[1] Scorpio Rising features guest vocalists Liam Gallagher, Hope Sandoval, Nicola Kuperus, and Paul Weller, as well as string arrangements by Dr. Lakshminarayana Subramaniam. The album was recorded at Death in Vegas' own studio The Contino Rooms in early 2002, with the strings recorded at Trinity Wave Station in Chennai, India.[2]

The song "Hands Around My Throat" contains samples from the songs "Rock Around the Clock" by Telex (written by Max C. Freedman and Jimmy DeKnight) and "Whitewater" by Tortoise (written by Dan Bitney, Bundy Kien Brown, John Herndon, Doug McCombs, and John McEntire). "23 Lies" includes a sample from "Goin' Back" by The Byrds, written and composed by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. "Scorpio Rising" takes its main riff from "Pictures of Matchstick Men" by Status Quo, and is co-credited to songwriter Francis Rossi.

Several songs on the album have appeared in television advertisements and on film soundtracks:


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (68/100)[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
BBC Music (positive)[4]
Chicago Tribune (average)[5]
NME (8/10)[6]
Pitchfork Media (6.4/10)[7]
PopMatters 5/10 stars[3][8]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[9]
Spin (7/10)[10]
Stylus Magazine B+[11]
Yahoo! Music UK 8/10 stars[12]

The album has a score of 68 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "generally favorable reviews".[3] E! Online gave the album an A and stated: "There's no reason to buy any other electronica CD this year."[3] Filter gave it a score of 84% and said that the sounds "are equally rich and emotive, just not as goblin-esque [as The Contino Sessions]."[3] Alternative Press gave it four stars out of five and said that the album has "Mind-melting Indian-flavored strings... wispy vocal guest turns... and snarling, droning guitar riffs drench rising in a pleasing psychedelic haze."[3] Mojo also gave it four stars and called it "exotic, deep, unique".[3] URB gave it three-and-a-half stars out of five and called it "A curious but highly enjoyable mix of experimental beats and good old-fashioned guitar rock."[3]

Other reviews are pretty average, mixed or negative: Q gave the album three stars out of five and stated: "There's no doubting their enthusiasm but it seems Death In Vegas have compiled a list of great cult albums rather than actually making one themselves."[3] Almost Cool gave it a score of 5.75 out of ten and said, "While everything on the release is technically put together well and even sometimes compelling (the two album-opening tracks work about the best), most of the time things feel like they've been written specifically for the person who's singing them."[13] Blender, however, gave it two stars out of five and called it "A strangely dispassionate exercise in record-collection rock."[3] Playlouder gave it one-and-a-half stars out of five and stated that in the album "there are a couple of standout tracks, and the rest falls on its arse."[14]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Leather" Fearless, Holmes 3:30
2. "Girls" Fearless, Holmes 4:30
3. "Hands Around My Throat" Kuperus, Miller, Fearless, Holmes; Freedman, DeKnight, Bitney, Brown, Herndon, McCombs, McEntire 5:08
4. "23 Lies" Dillane, Fearless, Holmes; King, Goffin 3:49
5. "Scorpio Rising" (featuring Liam Gallagher) Fearless, Holmes, Button, Rossi, Wiz, Pratt 5:38
6. "Killing Smile" Fearless, Holmes, Sandoval, Subramaniam 4:49
7. "Natja" Fearless, Holmes 3:50
8. "So You Say You Lost Your Baby" Clark 3:01
9. "Diving Horses" Fearless, Holmes, Allison 5:11
10. "Help Yourself" Fearless, Holmes, Sandoval, Subramaniam 10:29
Japanese bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
13. "XXX" Fearless, Holmes 4:56
14. "Hands Around My Throat" (Percy X Remix) Kuperus, Miller, Fearless, Holmes 5:30


  • "Leather"/"Girls" and "XXX" (double 12" vinyl only, 22 July 2002)
  • "Hands Around My Throat" (9 September 2002)
  • "Scorpio Rising" (16 December 2002)
  • "So You Say You Lost Your Baby" (canceled as a commercial single; was set for release on 7 April 2003)


Death in Vegas[edit]

  • Richard Fearless - production, keyboards, Hammond organ, ukulele (Help Yourself)
  • Terry Miles - engineering
  • Ian Button – guitar
  • Seamus Beaghen – engineering, 2nd guitar
  • Mat Flint – bass
  • Simon Hanson – drums


  • Nicola Kuperus – vocals on "Hands Around My Throat"
  • Susan Dillane – vocals on "23 Lies" and "Girls"
  • Liam Gallagher – vocals on "Scorpio Rising"
  • Hope Sandoval – vocals on "Killing Smile" and "Help Yourself"
  • Paul Weller – vocals on "So You Say You Lost Your Baby"
  • Dot Allison – vocals on "Diving Horses"

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Andrew Hackett – guitar
  • Gary "Mani" Mounfield – bass on "So You Say You Lost Your Baby"
  • Pete Stanley – banjo on "Killing Smile"
  • James Walbourne – mandolin on "Killing Smile"
  • Sara Wilson – cello
  • Ganesh – sitar
  • Produced and mixed by Death in Vegas.
  • S. Sai Kumar – sound engineer for string arrangements
  • A.J. Daniel – assistant sound engineer for string arrangements
  • Design by FearlessBeaven. Band photo by Grant Fleming.


Chart Peak
French Albums Chart 22[15]
Norwegian Albums Chart 22[16]
UK Albums Chart 19[17]


External links[edit]