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Slipknot (album)

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Slipknot
Slipknot - Slipknot2.jpg
Studio album by Slipknot
Released June 29, 1999 (June 29, 1999)
Recorded September 29, 1998 – February 1999
Studio
Genre Nu metal[1]
Length 60:26
Label
Producer
Slipknot chronology
Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.
(1996)Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.1996
Slipknot
(1999)
Iowa
(2001)Iowa2001
Singles from Slipknot
  1. "Wait and Bleed"
    Released: July 28, 1998
  2. "Spit It Out"
    Released: April 26, 2000

Slipknot is the debut studio album by the American heavy metal band Slipknot. It was released on June 29, 1999 by Roadrunner Records, following a demo containing a few of the songs which had been released in 1998, and was reissued in December 1999 with a slightly altered track listing and mastering as the result of a lawsuit. It was the first release by the band to be produced by Ross Robinson, who sought to refine Slipknot's sound rather than alter the group's musical direction.

The album spans several genres, but is generally noted for its extensive percussion and overall heavy sound. It was well received by fans and critics alike and was responsible for bringing Slipknot a large increase in popularity. The album peaked at number 51 on the Billboard 200, and has gone on to become certified double platinum in the United States, making it the band's best-selling album. It was voted the best debut album of the last 25 years by readers of Metal Hammer magazine.[2]

Recording and production[edit]

In 1997, following the band's demo release Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat., the members of Slipknot continued to write new material and work in SR Audio, a local studio, with new vocalist Corey Taylor.[3] The band had started work on a follow-up but never got further than pre-production.[3] Songs written and recorded in this period include "Slipknot", "Gently", "Do Nothing", "Tattered and Torn", "Heartache and a Pair of Scissors", "Me Inside", "Coleslaw", "Carve", "Windows" and "May 17th".[4] In 1998, Slipknot was receiving growing attention from record labels including Epic and Hollywood Records.[5]

On September 29, 1998, Slipknot left Des Moines, Iowa for Indigo Ranch Studios in Malibu, California, anxious to record an album after a long wait to be signed.[6][7] They released this demo to prospective labels and producers; the track "Spit It Out" was the main focus of the demo and, with help from their manager Sophia John, they were able to get a copy of the eponymous demo to Ross Robinson.[8] The band wanted him to work with them on their debut album and after meeting with the band Robinson signed them to his own label, I Am, but later helped sign them to Roadrunner Records.[8]

The album's recording process was "very aggressive and chaotic", as producer Robinson strove to capture the intensity that the band created when performing live. Within three days all the drums were recorded, which contributed to the raw, live sound on the album that the band considers integral to its musical direction.[9] By November 11, 1998, the recording of the album seemed complete and the band returned to Des Moines.[10] During the Christmas period, guitarist Josh Brainard, who recorded on all the tracks to that point, decided to leave the band. The reasons for his departure are unclear; it was widely thought to have been because of family constraints, however, Brainard dispels these rumours, explaining that "some decisions were made that I wasn't particularly happy with."[11] His replacement was Jim Root, with whom the band returned to the studio in February 1999.[12] Slipknot finished recording during this period, with two extra songs: a re-recording of "Me Inside", and a new track called "Purity". The mixing stages were very challenging, as drummer Joey Jordison and producer Robinson mastered the entire album with analog equipment, instead of the then more common method of using digital formats.[13] "Wait and Bleed" and "Spit It Out", which had appeared on the demo prior to the album, were released on the album, also; the demo songs "Interloper" and "Despise" are available on the digipak version of the same album. "Snap" was featured on the soundtrack for the film Freddy vs. Jason[14] and "Eyeless" appeared on an episode of The Sopranos.

Musical and lyrical themes[edit]

The musical style of Slipknot is a constantly contested issue and the genres that the band are categorized in vary depending on the source, however, this album is generally regarded as nu metal, while showing influences of many different genres.[16] The influence of death metal on the album is clear, and on the subject Jordison stated; "the roots are death metal, thrash, speed metal, and I could go on and on about all those bands."[17] The album also shows influences from alternative metal and even rap metal.[18] Critics have also noted an industrial influence.[19] Due to the band's large line-up consisting of additional percussionists and electronics, the album has a very dense, layered sound. Alternative Press stated that the album used "inventive sampling, creative guitar work and an absolute percussive overload",[20] while Q magazine described the album as "a terrifying racket".[21] Slipknot also includes melody, most notably in the single "Wait and Bleed".[17]

"742617000027" is the intro track to the album. It contains some guitar scratches and abstract sound samples from the sampler Craig Jones. Some of the dialogue was reportedly taken from a Charles Manson documentary. The dialogue is "The whole thing, I think it's sick." In an interview shortly after the album was released, Joey Jordison claimed the voice is Corey Taylor's, sped up.[22] 742617000027 was the barcode number on their 1996 self-released album Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. All of the band members wear that number on their jumpsuits. "Wait and Bleed" "is about a man who keeps having repetitive black and white dreams about laying in a bathtub full of his own blood with his wrists slit. One day he wakes up and sees that his dream has become a reality, but he doesn't want to believe it and he tries to fall back asleep again."[23] Chris Fehn said that "Surfacing" "basically encompasses everything. Kind of encompasses the attitude of the band and the attitude of how we feel about life: Don't judge me. Everything that you think that you know about the world, and about Slipknot, and about your own life, might not be the case. So I think it's just openmindedness and just be cool."[24] Paul Gray said about the meaning behind "Surfacing"'s chorus: "Basically, we dedicate it to the kids as their new national anthem. It's our way of saying don't worry about everybody else. Just worry about yourself. Don't worry about the people judging and the people coming down on you and all the fake crap. Stick to what you believe in."[24] "Spit It Out" was written in response to some individuals who worked at a local radio station in Des Moines, Iowa, where Slipknot is from. These individuals worked hard to keep Slipknot off the air.[25] "Prosthetics" was inspired by the 1965 film The Collector, which is about a butterfly collector who chose to collect humans, too.[26]

The album features Corey Taylor as lead vocalist; he had previously appeared on their second demo, which, in turn, resulted in them signing to Roadrunner Records.[27] Rick Anderson of AllMusic noted that on "Scissors", Taylor "actually sounds like he's about to burst into tears.[18] Taylor's aggressive, expletive-filled lyrics were noted by AllMusic; "[the] lyrics that are discernible are not generally quotable on a family website; suffice it to say that the members of Slipknot are not impressed with their fathers, their hometown or most anything else."[18] "Eeyore", a hidden track placed at the end of "Scissors", begins after dialogue shared among the band members that was recorded while they were viewing a scene in a pornographic film that involved coprophilia, is heard.[28] It has been played live many times and appears on both the DVD Disasterpieces and the live album 9.0: Live.[29]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[18]
Alternative Press 4/5 stars[20]
Kerrang! 5/5 stars[30]
Q 4/5 stars[21]

Slipknot received acclaim by critics and fans; following its release the band gained popularity beyond their own expectations.[31] Reviewing for AllMusic, Rick Anderson awarded the album four out of five stars, calling it "an auspicious debut" and proclaimed, "You thought Limp Bizkit was hard? They're The Osmonds. These guys are something else entirely. And it's pretty impressive."[18] The album's aggression and heavy sound was widely praised; Rolling Stone stated Slipknot is "metal with a capital m",[32] Kerrang! added "raw and wholly uncompromising, each track delivered a powerful blow to the senses", and in 2001, Q magazine included the album in their list "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time".[21][30] CMJ ranked the album as the twelfth highest "Editorial Pick" for 1999.[33] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery.[34]

Commercial performance[edit]

A single from the album, "Wait and Bleed", was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 2001 Grammy Awards, but lost to Deftones' "Elite".[35] The song was also named the 36th greatest metal song of all time by VH1.[36] The release of the album and the touring which followed greatly increased the band's popularity. The album became the "biggest selling extreme metal album at the time."[37] It was ranked by American Soundscan as the fastest-selling metal debut in Soundscan's history.[38] On May 2, 2000, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a first for any album released by Roadrunner Records.[39] On February 5, 2005, the RIAA certified Slipknot's self-titled album double platinum.[39] In Canada, the Canadian Recording Industry Association certified the album as platinum on October 10, 2000.[40] The British Phonographic Industry certified Slipknot's self-titled album as platinum on October 17, 2008 in the UK.[41]

Controversy[edit]

After the release of the album, the band had to remove two of the original tracks over allegations of copyright infringement. The two tracks, "Purity" and "Frail Limb Nursery" were inspired by a story that was published online about a girl named Purity Knight, who was kidnapped and buried alive.[42] The website, which presents fictional stories as real life crime cases, initially didn't include any disclaimer saying that it was a work of fiction. Many viewers believed that the story was true including Slipknot frontman, Corey Taylor.

"I still think the story's real. It fucked our whole world up when we read it. Can you imagine a girl being buried in a box and have all this lecherous bullshit drip down on her from this guy? It just hurts your head."[43]

The case was further complicated by the fact that audio samples from the authoring website were included in "Frail Limb Nursery", which serves as a prelude to "Purity"[44].

During a Q&A, Corey Taylor claimed that the song's lyrics had been written five years prior to the song's release and that only the song's name had been inspired by the Purity Knight story. Taylor, to his defense, said the song's inspiration came from films such as Boxing Helena and The Collector, and not the story itself.[45] However Slipknot, in an effort to prevent the entire album from being pulled, removed "Purity" and "Frail Limb Nursery" from the album. As a result, the band released slightly remastered standard and digipak versions of the album in December 1999, replacing both tracks with "Me Inside".[46][47] Although "Frail Limb Nursery" was never re-released, "Purity" would later be included on the band's second DVD, Disasterpieces as well as the live album 9.0: Live, Antennas to Hell, and the 10th anniversary edition of the self-titled album.[29]

10th Anniversary Edition[edit]

On September 9, 2009, Slipknot released a Special Edition version of the album to commemorate the tenth anniversary of its release. It was released in two forms, a digipak and a box set. The release date (09/09/09) is a reference to the fact that the band had nine band members and have sustained the same lineup since the original release of the album. The Special Edition box set includes: a CD and DVD set featuring all new digipak packaging, with a total of 25 songs including the original album with "Purity" (minus the prelude "Frail Limb Nursery") plus several previously unreleased cuts and demo tracks.[48] The DVD, which was directed by percussionist Shawn Crahan, features footage of the band in 1999 and 2000,[49] titled Of the Sic: Your Nightmares, Our Dreams. The DVD also features all three music videos released in support of the album, an entire live concert recorded at the Dynamo Open Air, 2000 and "other surprises".[50] A "super deluxe" box set version of the re-release contains a T-shirt, patch, collectible cards, key chain, beanie and a note from vocalist Corey Taylor, and comes in packaging that resembles a safety deposit box.[48]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Shawn Crahan, Paul Gray, Joey Jordison, Mick Thomson and Corey Taylor[51] except "Only One" and "Tattered & Torn" by Crahan, Gray, Jordison, Josh Brainard, Anders Colsefni and Donnie Steele.

Original release
No. Title Length
1. "742617000027" 0:36
2. "(sic)" 3:19
3. "Eyeless" 3:56
4. "Wait and Bleed" 2:27
5. "Surfacing" 3:38
6. "Spit It Out" 2:39
7. "Tattered & Torn" 2:54
8. "Frail Limb Nursery" 0:45
9. "Purity" 4:14
10. "Liberate" 3:06
11. "Prosthetics" 4:58
12. "No Life" 2:47
13. "Diluted" 3:23
14. "Only One" 2:26
15. "Scissors" ("Scissors" lasts 8:23; there is a silence between 8:23 and 13:21; there is a conversation of the band between 13:21 and 16:27 and a hidden track entitled "Eeyore" lasts 2:48 minutes.[52]) 19:15

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1999–2000) Peak
position
Australian Albums Charts[53] 32
Austrian Albums Chart[54] 44
Dutch Albums Charts[55] 42
Finnish Albums Chart[56] 30
French Albums Chart[57] 175
German Albums Chart[58] 57
New Zealand Albums Charts[59] 49
Swedish Albums Chart[60] 53
UK Albums Chart[61] 37
US Billboard 200[62] 51
US Top Heatseekers[63] 1

Certifications[edit]

Country Certification
Australia Platinum[64]
Canada Platinum[40]
Japan Gold[65]
Netherlands Gold[66]
United Kingdom Platinum[41]
United States 2x Platinum[39]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Worldwide release June 29, 1999 Roadrunner Compact disc RR 8655-2
Digipak album RR 8655-5
Worldwide reissue December 1999 Compact disc RR 8655-8
Digipak album RR 8655-9
Japan Digipak album 1686-185112
United States LP RR 8655-1
Picture disc RR 8655-6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Polari Magazine review- Walter Beck.". polarimagazine.com. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
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  3. ^ a b Arnopp 2001, pp. 70–71.
  4. ^ Arnopp 2001, p. 78.
  5. ^ Crampton 2001, p. 29.
  6. ^ McIver, Joel (2001). Slipknot: Unmasked. Omnibus. p. 58. ISBN 0-7119-8677-0. 
  7. ^ Arnopp 2001, p. 104.
  8. ^ a b Arnopp 2001, pp. 82–93.
  9. ^ Arnopp 2001, pp. 105–10.
  10. ^ Arnopp 2001, pp. 112–14.
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  13. ^ Arnopp 2001, pp. 115–21.
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  20. ^ a b Alternative Press: 116. December 1999.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ a b c Q. July 2001.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  30. ^ a b Kerrang!: 51. November 6, 1999.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ Crahan, Shawn (Director) (2006). Voliminal: Inside the Nine (DVD). Roadrunner Records. 
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  33. ^ "Editorial Picks". CMJ. January 10, 2000. p. 4. 
  34. ^ Dimery, Robert (2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5. 
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  37. ^ Begrand, Adrian (November 30, 2000). "Slipknot: 9.0 Live | PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  38. ^ Ambrose, Joe (2001). Moshpit: The Violent World of Mosh Pit Culture. Omnibus Press. p. 130. ISBN 0-7119-8744-0. 
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  66. ^ "Goud / Platina | NVPI". NVPI. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 

Further reading[edit]