Blues for the Red Sun
|Blues for the Red Sun|
|Studio album by Kyuss|
|Released||June 30, 1992|
|Studio||Sound City Studios, Van Nuys, California|
|Genre||Stoner rock, heavy metal, desert rock|
|Label||Dali (DALi 61340)|
|Producer||Chris Goss, John Garcia, Josh Homme, Nick Oliveri, Brant Bjork|
Blues for the Red Sun is the second studio album by American rock band Kyuss, released in 1992. While the album received mainly favorable reviews, it fared poorly commercially, selling only 39,000 units. It has since become a very influential album within the stoner rock genre. It was the last Kyuss album to feature bassist Nick Oliveri, who was replaced by Scott Reeder shortly after recording had been completed. Reeder had previously played with the Obsessed.
Touring, promotion, and release
In support of the album, Kyuss went on tour with such established groups as Faith No More, White Zombie, and Danzig. In early 1993, the band was chosen by Metallica to be an opening act for nine shows in Australia. Aside from their first show with Metallica, the group only used half the P.A. system for the other eight concerts.
The music videos for the songs "Green Machine" and "Thong Song" received moderate rotation on MTV's Headbangers Ball and on MuchMusic in Canada. The album also received airplay on such album-oriented radio stations as KNAC, KISW, WYSP, and KIOZ. The album was released by the independent record label, Dali, which was later bought out by Elektra Records. It ended up selling only 39,000 copies.
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Musical style and influence
Blues for the Red Sun incorporates acid rock, grunge, psychedelic rock, space rock, and doom metal, and has been compared to such acts as Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Blue Cheer, and Alice in Chains. The album is considered a pioneer to the stoner metal genre. Daniel Bukszpan, the author of The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal, has written that the album has influenced "countless" bands. Many consider Blues for the Red Sun "the template for 21st-century bands that have followed in the pioneering wake of Kyuss". Martin Popoff similarly credits the band with the creation of a "certain core sample" of stoner rock, in part due to an "uncompromising bassquake" that was composed of more than "tar-pitted Sabbath riffs". Exclaim! credited the album for opening "the way for bands like Monster Magnet and a whole host of other desert grunge practitioners". Melissa Auf der Maur has said that she attempted to "knock-off" Blues for the Red Sun for her single "Followed the Waves", to the point that she recruited the band's rhythm section to play on the track and Chris Goss to produce. Other fans of the album include Dave Grohl and Metallica.
Steve Taylor, the author of A to X of Alternative Music, wrote that, in comparison to the music, "lyrics can't really compete", and went on to call the album's lyrics "stoned immaculate phrases". Rolling Stone described the lyrics of "Thong Song" — a song about flip-flops — as "deathless".
Guitarist Josh Homme plugged down-tuned guitars into bass amplifiers for the distortion featured on the album. Wah-wah pedals were also used by Homme on Blues for the Red Sun. Wayne Robins of Newsday described Homme's riffs as "post-Hendrix guitar flurries". Several of the songs on Blues for the Red Sun have slow tempos and groove-laden rhythms. "Green Machine" features a bass guitar solo, and the album features several instrumental tracks. A number of songs on the album also credit lyrics to John Garcia, but have no discernible lyrics or even vocals. It is possible that the only word written by Garcia is the uttered "yeah" at the very end of the album.
|College Music Journal||(favorable)|
The album received acclaim from both fans and critics. Steve Taylor considers it the best album Kyuss ever made. AllMusic's Eduardo Rivadavia gave the album four and a half out of five stars and called the album, "a major milestone in heavy music." In particular he praised producer Chris Goss, who had also been the singer-guitarist for Masters of Reality, for its "unique heavy/light formula." Debaroh Frost of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B+. Rolling Stone considered "Green Machine" and "Thong Song" to be the albums highlights and also thought that the production had greatly improved from the band's previous album, Wretch. Kerrang! also gave the album a favorable review. College Music Journal claimed that the album was "raw and unorthodox" and, like Rivadavia, complimented Chris Goss for the production. Q called it "one of the landmark metal albums of the '90s," and rewarded it a perfect five out of five stars. Guitar Player magazine added Green Machine in their 1995 article titled "50 Heaviest Riffs Of All Time"
Spin ranked Blues for the Red Sun 10th on their list of the "10 Best Albums You Didn't Hear in '92." In 2002, Spin put the album in 36th place on their list of the "40 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time." IGN listed the album as an honorable mention on their list of the "Top 25 Metal Albums." Chad Bowar of About.com named the album the 8th best heavy metal album of 1992 and went on to write that Blues for the Red Sun, "was a landmark album that influenced a lot of bands." MusicRadar included the album on "The 50 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time" and ranked it in 48th place.
Writing credits adapted from the album's liner notes.
|1.||"Thumb"||Josh Homme||Josh Homme, Brant Bjork||4:41|
|2.||"Green Machine"||Brant Bjork||Bjork||3:38|
|3.||"Molten Universe"||John Garcia||Homme||2:49|
|4.||"50 Million Year Trip (Downside Up)"||Bjork||Bjork||5:52|
|7.||"Caterpillar March"||none (instrumental)||Bjork||1:56|
|8.||"Freedom Run"||Homme, Bjork||Homme||7:37|
|12.||"Allen's Wrench"||Bjork||Bjork, Homme||2:44|
|13.||"Mondo Generator"||Nick Oliveri||Nick Oliveri||6:15|
|14.||"Yeah"||Garcia||none (spoken word)||0:04|
Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.
- John Garcia – lead vocals on all tracks except "Mondo Generator", producer
- Josh Homme – guitar, producer
- Nick Oliveri – bass guitar, lead vocals on "Mondo Generator", producer
- Brant Bjork – drums, album concept, producer
- Chris Goss – producer
- Joe Barresi – recording engineer, mixing engineer
- Brian Jenkins – drum tracking engineer
- Jeff Sheehan – assistant engineer
- Mike Bosely – additional mixing
- Howie Weinberg – mastering engineer
- Skiles – art director
- Art Industria – design
- Marc Rude – cover illustration
- Big Bear Solar Observatory – cover photography
- Michael Anderson – additional photography
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- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "allmusic (((Blues for the Red Sun > Overview)))". Allmusic. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
- Bennett, J. (2009). Mudrian, Albert, ed. Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces. Da Capo Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-306-81806-6.
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- Schneider, Jason. "Josh Homme – King of Queens". Exclaim!. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
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- "Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority". Exclaim!. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
- Begrand, Adrien. "Auf der Maur". PopMatters. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
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- Taylor, Steve (2006). A to X of Alternative Music. Continuum. p. 199. ISBN 0-8264-8217-1.
- "10 Best Albums You Didn't Hear in '92". Spin. December 1992.
- Brackett, Nathan. "Kyuss". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 473, cited March 17, 2010
- Robins, Wayne (December 18, 1992). "POP MUSIC A BAND FROM THE SANDS Kyuss Knows How To Generate Excitement". Newsday. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
- Frost, Deborah. "Blues for the Red Sun". Entertainment Weekly. January 1993. pg. 53, cited March 17, 2010
- "Great Contenders – Kyuss". Q. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- Mörat (July 11, 1992). "Kyuss 'Blues for the Red Sun'". Kerrang!. 400. London, UK: EMAP.
- "40 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Spin. September 2002.
- D., Spence; T., Ed. "Top 25 Metal Albums – Music Feature at IGN". IGN. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
- Bowar, Chad. "Best Heavy Metal Albums Of 1992 – Top Metal CDs of 1992 – Best Metal CDs Of 1992". About.com. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
- "The 50 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time". MusicRadar. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
- Blues for the Red Sun (CD liner notes). Kyuss. Burbank, California: Dali Records. 1992. DALi 61340-2.