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Opiate (EP)

Opiate
Cover art for Opiate, featuring a priest with six arms and hands, with the hands pressed together
EP by
ReleasedMarch 10, 1992 (1992-03-10)
RecordedDecember 1991 - January 1992
StudioSound City, Van Nuys, CA
GenreAlternative metal[1]
Length26:52
LabelZoo Entertainment
ProducerSylvia Massy, Steve Hansgen, Tool
Tool chronology
72826
(1991)
Opiate
(1992)
Undertow
(1993)
Singles from Opiate
  1. "Hush"
    Released: 1992

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 opiate of the masses".[2] 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

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 song 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.[3]

"Cold and Ugly" and "Jerk-Off" were recorded specially for the album at the Jellö 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 "Crawl Away" and "Sober", which 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.[4]

A black and white music video was made for the track "Hush," the band's first. The Canadian music channel MuchMusic played it regularly.[5]

Music and lyrics

Many fans consider Opiate to be Tool's heaviest album (along with Undertow).[6] 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."[6]

Lyrical subjects explored on Opiate include censorship and organized religion.[7][8]

Release history

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[9]
Kerrang!3/5 stars[10]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[11]

2013 reissue

On March 26, 2013 the band released a special 21st anniversary limited edition package of the album, which 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

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

No.TitleLength
1."Sweat"3:46
2."Hush"2:48
3."Part of Me"3:17
4."Cold and Ugly" (live)4:09
5."Jerk-Off" (live)4:24
6."Opiate" (the song "Opiate" ends at 5:20. The hidden song "The Gaping Lotus Experience" starts at 6:10, after 50 seconds of silence.)8:28
Total length:26:52

"Cold and Ugly" and "Jerk-Off" were recorded live on New Year's Eve 1991/1992 at the Jellö Loft, in Hollywood, CA.

Personnel

Certification and sales

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

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References

  1. ^ Johnson, Howard (2002). X-Rated: The 200 Rudest Records Ever!. Carlton Books. ISBN 1842227491.
  2. ^ Christopher W. diCarlo. "Interview with Maynard James Keenan". Cdicarlo.com. Archived from the original on 20 April 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2007.
  3. ^ "Escape de Los Ángeles (1996) - Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  4. ^ "The Tool FAQ". Toolshed.down.net. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Tool interview with Theresa Roncon". Spotlight. Tool interview with Theresa Roncon. Toronto. February 1997. MuchMusic. Transcribed by Rory Mitchell and archived at the Tool Page. “Theresa: We played it all the time on MuchMusic.”
  6. ^ a b "TOOL: NEWSLETTER". Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ D. Parvaz (2004-05-07). "Author's 'Taboo Tunes' hits a timely note". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
  9. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Opiate [EP] - Tool". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 23 August 2004.
  10. ^ Mörat (11 July 1992). "Tool 'Opiate'". Kerrang!. 400. London, UK: EMAP. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  11. ^ "Tool: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  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. 

External links