Stranger than Fiction (Bad Religion album)
|Stranger than Fiction|
|Studio album by Bad Religion|
|Released||September 6, 1994|
|Recorded||April–May 1994 at Rumbo Recorders in Canoga Park, Los Angeles|
|Genre||Punk rock, melodic hardcore, alternative rock|
|Producer||Andy Wallace, Bad Religion|
|Bad Religion chronology|
|Singles from Stranger Than Fiction|
Stranger than Fiction is the eighth full-length studio album (tenth release overall) by Bad Religion, released in 1994 (see 1994 in music). It was their first album released on the major label Atlantic Records (although that label re-released the previous album, Recipe for Hate) and also its last release with guitarist Brett Gurewitz, who left just prior to the 1994-1995 world tour, only to return to the band seven years later. On tour, Gurewitz was replaced by Brian Baker, who would stay with the band permanently.
With sales continuing 21 years after its release, Stranger Than Fiction is one of Bad Religion's most successful albums, featuring two of their well-known hit singles, "Infected" and the re-recorded version of "21st Century (Digital Boy)", which both earned airplay on MTV and radio stations, such as KROQ. The album included one more hit single, "Stranger Than Fiction", though the last one, "Incomplete", failed to make any national chart. The album also includes fan favorites, "Leave Mine To Me", "Tiny Voices", "The Handshake", and "Better Off Dead." As of today, Stranger Than Fiction remains the only Bad Religion record to obtain gold status in the United States and Canada. The album was re-released by Epitaph Records on September 15, 2008.
In 2009, Rhino Records released a colored vinyl to coincide with this album's 15th anniversary.
|Hot Press||7/12 |
|This section requires expansion. (June 2008)|
Stranger Than Fiction was released on September 6, 1994 and became the first Bad Religion album distributed via Atlantic Records. On September 24 of that year, the album peaked at number 87 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and on March 4, 1998, also became Bad Religion's first (and only) album to be certified gold in the United States.
Allmusic's Jack Rabid (The Big Takeover) praised this album as a "rare case of selling out in reverse" and songs such as "Leave Mine to Me", "Individual", "Tiny Voices" and "Marked", calling them "all uptempo barnburners, pulverizing in their rapid passion". He also criticizes "'Infected' and 'Television'" as "the two least effective songs of their 15 years, the former a third-rate 'Sanity'", referring to the seventh track on 1989's No Control.
In November 2011, Stranger Than Fiction was ranked number one on Guitar World magazine's top ten list of guitar albums of 1994, with The Offspring's Smash in second place and Weezer's Weezer in third place. Although Bad Religion is a punk rock band, Loudwire placed Stranger Than Fiction at No. 9 on its "10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1994" list. In July 2014, Stranger Than Fiction was placed at number two on Guitar World magazine's "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994" list.
- "Incomplete" (Gurewitz) - 2:28
- "Leave Mine to Me" (Graffin) - 2:07
- "Stranger Than Fiction" (Gurewitz) - 2:20
- "Tiny Voices" (Graffin) - 2:36
- "The Handshake" (Graffin) - 2:50
- "Better Off Dead" (Gurewitz) - 2:39
- "Infected" (Gurewitz) - 4:08
- "Television" (Gurewitz/Johnette Napolitano) - 2:03
- "Individual" (Graffin) - 1:58
- "Hooray for Me..." (Gurewitz) - 2:50
- "Slumber" (Graffin) - 2:39
- "Marked" (Gurewitz) - 1:48
- "Inner Logic" (Graffin) - 2:58
- "What it is" (Graffin) - 2:08
- "21st Century (Digital Boy)" (Gurewitz) - 2:47
- "News from the Front" (Gurewitz/Bentley/Schayer) - 2:22 (Europe, Brazil and Japan bonus track)
- "Markovian Process" (Graffin) - 1:29 (Europe, Brazil and Japan bonus track)
- "Leaders and Followers" (Graffin) - 2:40 (Japan only bonus track) 
- "Mediocrity" (Graffin) - 2:45
- Greg Graffin – lead vocals
- Greg Hetson – guitar
- Brett Gurewitz – guitar, backing vocals
- Jay Bentley – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Bobby Schayer – drums, percussion
- Tim Armstrong of Rancid – guest vocals on "Television"
- Jim Lindberg of Pennywise – guest vocals on "Marked"
- Andy Wallace – production
- Norman Moore – art direction
- Wayne Kramer (of the MC5) plays lead guitar on opening track "Incomplete".
- Tim Armstrong (of Operation Ivy, Rancid and eventually The Transplants) contributed lead vocals on "Television", which Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano co-wrote with Brett Gurewitz.
- Jim Lindberg (of Pennywise) contributing backing vocals on "Marked"
In pop culture
- "21st Century (Digital Boy)" is a downloadable song for the Rock Band video game. "Infected" also appeared on the very first Guitar Hero.
- The Japan only bonus track "Leaders and Followers" was featured in the movie Clerks.
- The song "Inner Logic" was included on the soundtrack for the video game Crazy Taxi.
- Tite Kubo chose "News From the Front" as the theme song of Ichigo Kurosaki, main character of his manga Bleach.
- Progressive rock band Anathema covered the song "Better Off Dead" with female vocals. Anathema's version is very slow and involves mostly piano.
- Early versions of the online game "Punk-O-Matic" used "Tiny Voices" as the opening song.
- New York melodic hardcore punk band After the Fall mentioned Stranger Than Fiction in their song "1994", which appears on their 2009 album Fort Orange.
Stranger Than Fiction was re-released several times, with different labels, covers and formats in different countries (see the table below).
|1994||Europe||CD||Sony 477343 2||Bonus Tracks|
|1994||USA||Vinyl LP||Atlantic 82658-1|
|1994||Germany||CD||Dragnet DRA 477343 6||Alternative Cover; Bonus Tracks; Collector's Edition|
|1995||Germany||CD||Dragnet DRA 477343 60||Bonus Tracks|
|2009||USA||Vinyl LP||Rhino R1 82658||Reissue; Colored Vinyl|
Album - Billboard (North America)
|1994||The Billboard 200||87|
Singles - Billboard (North America)
|1994||"21st Century (Digital Boy)"||Modern Rock Tracks||11|
|"Stranger Than Fiction"||Modern Rock Tracks||28|
|1995||"Infected"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||33|
|Modern Rock Tracks||27|
- Rabid, Jack. Stranger than Fiction at AllMusic
- Robert Christgau Review
- Hot Press Review
- Rolling Stone Review
- "Stranger Than Fiction's entry at Billboard.com". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2007-10-26.[dead link]
- "RIAA Certification (type in "Bad Religion" in the artist box)". RIAA. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- Grassi, Tony. "Photo Gallery: The Top 10 Guitar Albums of 1994". GuitarWorld.com. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- "10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1994". Loudwire. May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994". GuitarWorld.com. July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- The Bad Religion Page
- "AFTER THE FALL LYRICS - 1994". Plyrics.com. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
- "After The Fall (2) - Fort Orange at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
- "Stranger Than Fiction by Bad Religion : Reviews and Ratings - Rate Your Music". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 2008-02-07.