25 Years Ago: Ozzy Osbourne Releases Comeback Album ‘Ozzmosis’

Today no one really takes rock and roll retirement seriously, but when Ozzy Osbourne announced his 1991 album No More Tears was going to be his swan song fans took it to heart, especially since the tour that followed was called No More Tours. But Ozzy soon realized that being back home was far less fun than being on the road and playing for adoring audiences was far preferable to watching the History Channel for hours on end. So Osbourne put a new band together and on Oct. 24, 1995 he released his seventh studio album, Ozzmosis, which put him right back at the top of the metal hierarchy four years after he announced his initial retirement.

It was as if he had never left. Ozzmosis followed the 1993 concert album Live & Loud and all sorts or reports about Ozzy working with guitarist Steve Vai and bassist Bob Daisley. An album never materialized, but Vai is credited with songwriting on the Ozzmosis song “My Little Man.” Backing Osbourne on the album were Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, guitarist Zakk Wylde, drummer Deen Castronovo and Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman.

The offbeat lineup didn’t have much of an effect on the record, which sounded like a more sonically pristine, but natural extension of the type of melodic hard rock/metal songwriting on 1988’s No Rest for the Wicked and No More Tears. In additional to Vai, Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister co-wrote “See You on the Other Side” with Zakk Wylde and Butler and Wylde contributed to “My Jekyll Doesn’t Hide.” Mark Hudson, Steve Dudas, Jim Vallance, John Purdell and Duane Baron also wrote for Ozzmosis.

Ozzy Osbourne, “See You on the Other Side” Music Video

Osbourne and his bandmates recorded the album with producer Michael Beinhorn at three locations: Guillaume Tell Studios in Paris, France, Electric Lady Studios in New York City and Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, N.Y.

The sessions were professional and productive, yielding the B-sides “Whole World’s Fallin’ Down” and “Aimee.” Musically, Osbourne followed the formula he had effectively pursued since his 1980 solo debut Blizzard of Ozz. There were raging rockers (“Thunder Underground” and “My Jekyll Doesn’t Hide”), fist-raising anthems (“Ghost Behind My Eyes,” “Perry Mason”) and teary ballads (“See You on the Other side,” “I Just Want You.”). For some, Ozzmosis was too predictable and overly polished. Others were fine with the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it approach Osbourne took for the record.

Ozzy Osbourne, “Perry Mason” Music Video

The commercial songwriting and production certainly didn’t hurt sales; Ozzmosis debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The album didn’t blow up and fade away. By the end of 1995 it was certified platinum by the RIAA and in April 1999 the album went double platinum.

Osbourne supported Ozzmosis with the Retirement Sucks tour, which featured guitarist Joe Holmes, who was hired when it looked like Wylde was going to join Guns N’ Roses, bassist Robert Trujillo and Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin.

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

See Where Ozzy Osbourne Ranks Among the Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Frontmen

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25 Years Ago: Smashing Pumpkins Release ‘Mellon Collie’

After breaking through with major success behind their sophomore set Siamese Dream, how would Smashing Pumpkins top that? By going bigger, much bigger! On Oct. 24, 1995, Smashing Pumpkins did exactly that with the release of the ambitious, epic two-disc collection known as Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

The seeds of Mellon Collie began to sprout during the summer of 1994, as the band began to wind down their support of Siamese Dream while partaking in Lollapalooza. Bassist D’Arcy Wretzky told the Chicago Tribune, “We all had our own head things going on that summer. Not so much tension within the band, but just being able to deal with other people in general.” Guitarist James Iha added, “It was time to make another record or disband. Nobody wanted to go through the high dramatic b.s. anymore. It was totally necessary for everyone to do the next record.”

So rather than take a break, the band powered forward with a desire and drive to do something special, all while feeling the pressure that most bands feel after their breakout disc.

“If you don’t sell more than the last record, it means you’re going downhill,” stated Wretzky, while drummer Jimmy Chamberlin added, “And that would be very discouraging to us. That is a vibe we want nothing to do with.” Frontman Billy Corgan stated, “I happened to be having dinner with Michael Stipe when Siamese Dream went platinum, and he turned to me and said, ‘Welcome to the deep waters, kid.’ And he’s right, because once you’re there, you have to keep treading and treading or you drown.”

Smashing Pumpkins, Live in 1995

There were some changes to be made. First off, the band stepped away from working with producer Butch Vig, choosing instead to have Corgan co-produce their next effort with fellow producers Flood and Alan Moulder, who had both found success working with Trent Reznor on past Nine Inch Nails albums. Corgan told Guitar World, “To be completely honest, I think it was a situation where we’d become so close to Butch that it started to work to our disadvantage… I just felt we had to force the situation, sonically, and take ourselves out of normal Pumpkin recording mode. I didn’t want to repeat past Pumpkin work.”

Jumping from touring to writing for a few months, the band began to gather material and by April 1995, they entered a rehearsal space to start working through what they had. Flood challenged the band members to devote a section of their day to jamming and songwriting and that practice yielded results.

“Working like that kept the whole process very interesting — kept it from becoming a grind,” Corgan told Guitar World.

In addition, Corgan took a step back to allow more input from Iha and Wretzky. The guitarist stated, “The big change is that Billy is not being the big ‘I do this — I do that.’ It’s much better. The band arranged a lot of songs for this record, and the songwriting process was organic. The circumstances of the last record and the way that we worked was really bad.” Chamberlin stated of the sessions, “After putting everybody’s egos and personal shortcomings aside, you have what you love to do, which is to make music … It was the sound of four people together.”

Soon the material started to grow. “We almost had enough material to make Siamese Dream a double album,” revealed Corgan. “With this new album, I really liked the notion that we would create a wider scope in which to put other kinds of material we were writing.”

As for what they were compiling, Corgan told the Chicago Tribune that it was a record that was written for people between the ages of 14 and 24 because “that’s the age group that’s really listening.”

He added, “It will be totally misunderstood by the plus-30-year-old rock critics. I’m not writing it for them, even though I’m on the edge of losing my connection to youth, as is anyone entering their late 20s, and you’ve got a house, you get married and the things that are important in your life begin to change. But I wanted to communicate from the edge of it, an echo back to the generation that’s coming, to sum up all the things I felt as a youth but was never able to voice articulately. I’m waving goodbye to me in the rearview mirror. Tying a knot around my youth and putting it under the bed.”

Corgan was committed to seeing the idea of the double album through to its conclusion and making it the best it could be, despite being aware of the track record of double albums being successes. He told the Chicago Tribune, “If you do something as ambitious as a double record and it doesn’t sell, it will be viewed as an artistic failure. And I will not have that hanging around my neck. If is considered a failure, it’s time for this band to be gone. It’s 1995, it’s a media driven world and I’m sorry, I’m not going to have everything this band does cast in the shadow of this big failure.”

On Oct. 24, 1995, the world received 28 brand new tracks spread over two discs known as Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The same week, Smashing Pumpkins also released the aggressive single “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” which would become one of the biggest songs of their career.

Smashing Pumpkins, “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” Music Video

The world is a vampire / Set to drain” painted a visual that connected with a lot of listeners. Corgan stated, “Somewhere I have a tape of us from 1993 endlessly playing ‘The world is a vampire‘ part over and over.” It took until 1995 before he would finish the track, bringing the “despite all my rage, I am still just a rage in a cage” lyrics over from an acoustic session and bringing the ideas together. The track reached No. 2 on the Modern Rock Chart, No. 4 on the Mainstream Rock Chart and cracked the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 22. It would also go on to win a Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy.

By January 1996, the band was ready to change the pace a bit from the heavy angst of their lead single. “1979” was the song to do it. Speaking with Greg Kot, Corgan revealed that the track almost never came to fruition, as producer Flood felt the track was not fully realized enough to make the cut.

“I had a gut feeling about this song from the very beginning,” said Corgan. “It was almost like I was afraid to go where this song was taking me. It’s the kind of song that if I thought about doing it on previous albums, I’d have questions about whether I’d sound shitty doing it. It’s just not a typical Pumpkins song.”

Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” Music Video

But when the producer decided to cut the song, Corgan took it as a challenge to make it the song it deserved to be. “It really inspired me to finish it and prove him wrong,” said the singer. “So that night I wrote the entire song in about four hours. The next day Flood heard it one time and said, ‘It’s on the album.'” That proved to be very fortuitous as the melodic rocker shot all the way to No. 1 on both the Mainstream and Modern Rock charts and climbed all the way to No. 12 on the Hot 100.

The third single off the album, “Tonight, Tonight,” also found the band throwing out the playbook, welcoming the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to provide a very key string backing. According to Corgan, the idea for “Tonight, Tonight” came during the touring for Siamese Dream, and he booked some studio time to get the idea down. Speaking about the track on the Howard Stern Show, the vocalist revealed that the track’s lyrics pay homage to fellow Illinois rockers Cheap Trick with a bit of black humor.

Smashing Pumpkins, “Tonight, Tonight” Music Video

Meanwhile, the lyrics are addressed to his younger self, reflecting on escaping an abusive childhood and believing in himself. Speaking about the session with the Chicago Symphony orchestra, Corgan would call it “probably one of the most exciting recording experiences I have ever had.” The song would reach No. 5 at Modern Rock radio, No. 4 at Mainstream Rock radio and cracked the Top 40 at No. 36 on the Hot 100 chart, in addition to yielding one of the more standout videos of 1996.

Before the album was complete, it would yield two more singles — the hard-driving alienation anthem “Zero” and the lilting, melodic “Thirty-Three” — while “Muzzle” would also garner some attention as a live favorite.

Though the singles ruled radio for the better part of a couple of years and the accolades came rolling in, not all was cheery during the album cycle. In May of 1996, a fan was crushed to death in a mosh pit in Dublin. The band ended the show early and canceled the next night’s performance. Then, in July, the group’s touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin overdosed on heroin and died in a hotel room while drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was charged with drug possession. A day later, Chamberlin was fired, and the band moved quickly to find replacements so they could finish out their touring.

Still, the Mellon Collie era was a successful one for the band. They received seven Grammy nominations, including nods for Album and Record of the Year, the album debuted at No. 1 and Mellon Collie defied the odds as one of the best selling double discs in history, reaching diamond status.

When asked if the album turned out as he envisioned, Corgan told Rolling Stone, “We finally managed to manifest everything I always thought we could do. Somehow we managed to get a lot of blood out of the stone.” He added, “There’s a part of me that cannot describe what it feels like, because how the fuck do you do something like this? It’s such a mountain. It was literally more than double the work. There was no cutting corners. Comparing how I felt exhaustion-wise after Gish and Siamese Dream, I was like ‘I can’t believe it.’ People were going, ‘How are you still standing?’ And I’m still going now. Shows, interviews. Maybe one day I’ll just die [laughs]. But it won’t be glamorous or mythological. I’ll have a Twinkie in my hand, take a bite and fall over.”

Corgan is very much alive and still generating vital music with a reconstructed Smashing Pumpkins lineup, but for a period in the mid-’90s, Smashing Pumpkins ruled the rock world.

See Smashing Pumpkins in the Top 90 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 1990s

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20 Years Ago: Linkin Park Release ‘Hybrid Theory’

Despite how it may have seemed, Linkin Park‘s breakout was not an overnight success. The band had their fair share of struggles before finally having things fall into place with the release of their monster debut album Hybrid Theory.

The group’s roots trace back to the high school friendship of Mike Shinoda, the band’s rapping co-vocalist, and Brad Delson, the group’s guitarist. Their influences were diverse, with Shinoda being a fan of hip-hop and Delson digging on the guitar work of heavier acts like Deftones and Guns N’ Roses.

Somewhere in between they found a blend and formed a group named Xero with drummer Rob Bourdon, turntablist Joe Hahn, bassist Dave “Phoenix” Farrell and vocalist Mark Wakefield. But something just wasn’t clicking and a hard decision had to be made to part ways with Wakefield. Around the same time, Farrell got another gig touring with a band called Tasty Snax, and it looked like the band had hit a major roadblock.

Enter Jeff Blue, vice president of Zomba Music, who was aware of the group, felt they had something and helped them in their search for a new vocalist. He made the introduction between the SoCal group and a Phoenix-based vocalist named Chester Bennington from the band Grey Daze. Bennington got the call during a surprise birthday party in 1999 and received a package from Blue the following day with two Xero demos — one with Wakefield’s voice and the other an instrumental track.

After a few days, Bennington completed his vocals and sent the demos back, which resulted in an audition two days later. According to LP Association, Bennington’s performance was so strong that the other vocalist auditioning for the band left the tryout before taking the mic. With Bennington in place, the band renamed themselves Hybrid Theory.

Linkin Park, “In the End” Demo Version

“He really was kind of the final piece of the puzzle, and he brings vocal talent that, when we were looking for a second vocalist, we didn’t see anything close to his talent in anybody else,” Delson told Madison.com.

The band started writing material together and even put together a self-titled demo tape, but still there were a few complications. A Welsh electronic group named Hybrid led the band once again to have to change their name, this time taking on Linkin Park as their new moniker, but as we know now Hybrid Theory stuck as the title of their debut disc. Over the next year, the band played a number of showcases, but ultimately it was Blue who helped the band in their move over to Warner Bros.

“We felt like, hey, we had stumbled upon something totally unique. And then as these other bands started coming out, bands that already had record deals that were being widely promoted to the world, we were like, ‘Hey, crap, look at all these other groups are kind of doing what we’re doing,” recalled Delson, who added, “At that point [we said], ‘Hey, we’re obviously not the only band out there that’s combining rap and rock. Let’s be the best band out there that’s playing rap and rock.'”

Linkin Park, Live in 2000

Helping in that aspect was producer Don Gilmore. “He wanted our lyric writing to be honest, but he also wanted it to be entertaining,” says Delson. “In other words, he didn’t want us to get too much into the ‘poor me’ thing of look at how many problems I have. You can talk about something that happened to you, but you can still do it in a witty or a storytelling way that’s not just ‘Hey, feel bad for me,’ but this is something that happened to me, and here’s an interesting way of explaining it.”

The band settled into NRG Studios in North Hollywood, Calif. with Gilmore, ready to record their debut effort.

While in the studio, Farrell was still away playing with another band, so the band called upon Scott Koziol and Ian Hornbeck to lay down bass parts, while Delson himself also pulled some time on the low end. Farrell would eventually rejoin the group during the touring of Hybrid Theory, but did not appear on the album.

On Oct, 24, 2000, Linkin Park would release Hybrid Theory, unaware of the success that was to come. The first song out of the gate was “One Step Closer,” a track that showcased the vocal mix of Shinoda and Bennington that fans would come to love.

Linkin Park, “One Step Closer” Music Video

Bolstered by the particularly aggressive “Shut up, shut up while I’m talking to you” Bennington delivery, the track became an instant favorite at radio and live. The song would peak at No. 5 on Modern Rock and No. 4 on Mainstream Rock, while the video for the track, directed by Gregory Dark, actually came from a concept suggested by Joe Hahn. It was his first foray into the music video world and over time Hahn would come to direct a number of the band’s videos.

After a long run at radio with “One Step Closer,” the band moved onto “Crawling” as the second single in early March of 2001. The heavy song dealt with the difficult subject matter of child abuse and Bennington’s own battles with substance abuse. “It’s easy to fall into that thing — ‘poor, poor me’, that’s where songs like ‘Crawling’ come from,” said Bennington to Rolling Stone.

“I can’t take myself. But that song is about taking responsibility for your actions. I don’t say ‘you’ at any point. It’s about how I’m the reason that I feel this way. There’s something inside me that pulls me down.” Admittedly, the track was one of the more difficult ones for the singer to perform.

He told Spin, “‘Crawling’ has caused me the most trouble live more than any other song … ‘Crawling’ is about feeling like I had no control over myself in terms of drugs and alcohol, hence the line ‘These wounds they will not heal’.” The song would climb to No. 5 on the Modern Rock chart and No. 3 on the Mainstream Rock chart, becoming their second straight Top 5 single.

Linkin Park, “Crawling” Music Video

In September of 2001, the band offered up “Papercut.” Though the song was never officially released in the U.S., it reached No. 14 on the U.K. singles chart and hit No. 32 at Modern Rock Radio. Though not a major radio favorite, “Papercut” has become one of the band’s live favorites, with Bennington stating it’s one of his favorite Linkin Park tracks.

A full year after the album’s release, Linkin Park had their biggest hit to date. “In the End,” featuring a recognizable piano part, rhythmically rocking verses from Shinoda and Bennington’s long-held vocal in the chorus, became the band’s first No. 1 song on the Modern Rock chart. It fell just shy, at No. 3, on the Mainstream Rock chart.

Linkin Park, “In The End” Music Video

Bennington revealed to V Music that he completely missed the lure of the track initially. He explained, “I was never a fan of ‘In The End’ and I didn’t even want it to be on the record, honestly. How wrong could I have possibly been? I basically decided at that point I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about, so I leave that to other people who are actually talented at somehow picking songs that people are going to like the most. It also gave me a good lesson, as an artist, that I don’t necessarily have to only make music, in my band, that I want to listen to. More often than not, something that I like, very few other people like, and something that those people like is something that I kind of like, or don’t like at all.”

Over time, Bennington said he had grown to love the track and now sees how great the song is, but initially didn’t view it as a single.

Other standouts from the album included the songs “Runaway” and “Points of Authority,” the latter of which became a hit as Linkin Park served up their Reanimation remix album.

As Hybrid Theory grew in popularity, the accolades rolled in and the tours got better. The band counted invites to Ozzfest and Family Values among their earlier, profile-raising runs, and by the end of the album cycle, they were able to stage their own touring package known as Projekt Revolution.

Meanwhile, the music community took notice. Linkin Park won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2002 for “Crawling” and received a Best Rock Video at the MTV Video Music Awards for “In the End.” By the time the album cycle was complete, the disc peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart, became the biggest selling album of 2001 and eventually was certified by the RIAA for over 10 million units sold and later reached 12 million units.

See Hybrid Theory in the 20 Biggest Selling Hard Rock + Metal Albums in the U.S.

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20 Years Ago: Limp Bizkit Explode With ‘Chocolate Starfish’

The year was 2000, nu metal was starting to dominate radio and Limp Bizkit were “rollin’, rollin’, rollin'” with plenty of momentum as they made the jump from supporting their Significant Other album to working on what fans would come to know as Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water.

“We had this huge record to follow up,” guitarist Wes Borland told Louder Sound. “There was pressure, but we didn’t feel insecure or like we couldn’t follow it. We felt really confident going in, and I knew what I wanted to do. I knew it was gonna be different from Significant Other – and better.”

The band lined up Terry Date to join them in producing the album, got some assistance from Scott Weiland and John Abraham on a number of tracks and had Swizz Beatz oversee production for a second version of “Rollin’,” subtitled Urban Assault Vehicle that featured guest rappers DMX, Method Man and Redman. Simply put, Limp Bizkit were able to call the shots and were in a position to land just about anyone they wanted for the record.

They had also been accepted for working hip-hop into their harder rock song. Fred Durst recalled, “People were either high on the emotion of things being fresh and exciting in terms of new sounds and urban music coming into heavy music, or they were rebelling against that. People who liked different kinds of music got what they wanted for the first time. It was that one moment in time when the planets lined up and we all got to share that moment together. It meant something to a big group of people who had never been heard before. It was special.”

“It was really good,” says Borland. “We were all [recording] in the same room and we wrote songs and recorded them as we went. I don’t even remember how many weeks we recorded for, but I just remember there was one day that came where we were listening to everything we had, and Fred [Durst] goes, ‘I think we’re done.’”

Bassist Sam Rivers reflects to Rock Sound, “It was all such a blur. The writing process was probably the funniest time I’ve had in my life; parties every night and no pressure. It was so much fun.”

The fun even spilled out onto the title for their album, which combined a pair of “in jokes” for the band. “Chocolate Starfish” came from Durst, who used the colorful term for a part of the anatomy to refer to how some people were viewing him at the time. Meanwhile, Borland had a joke about the taste of a certain water product that carried over as well. “It was my version of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. I was the asshole, and the other guys could be the dicks,” said Durst.

That said, it wasn’t all fun and games as success started to impinge on the good times a bit. “There were definitely good times, but the record company were piling on pressure, chasing the dollars,” said Durst to Rock Sound, later adding, “It was an interesting time in my life. There was all this negativity in the press, my idols and people in great bands, Trent Reznor and different people talking shit about me.”

But, as Borland stated, tension was nothing new for the group. “There was some conflict going on, and tension to a certain extent, but that was just the way it always went. When it came to that album, the writing process was actually pretty easy,” said the guitarist. Producer Terry Date added, “I wouldn’t say that the atmosphere was volatile, but everyone involved was intense. There were a lot of strong personalities. You had to be on your A-game.”

On Oct. 17, 2000, Limp Bizkit released Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water to the masses, and the response was far beyond what the group was expecting. The album debuted at No. 1, selling over one million copies the first week (1,054,511 to be exact). That still remains the largest first week debut for a rock album since the Nielsen Soundscan era began in 1991. The record would then spend a second week at No. 1 as well.

“I never thought Limp Bizkit was gonna be as large as it was,” said Borland. “Then the record sold a million in the first week. It was just ridiculous. There was a point in which things got so big that I don’t remember them getting bigger.”

Limp Bizkit, “Take a Look Around”

Limp Bizkit had a terrific lead into the record though, which could explain some of the monster success. The group had recorded “Take a Look Around” for the Mission: Impossible 2 soundtrack, with the song dropping in May of 2000 to support the blockbuster film. The track, which found the band nicking a bit of Lalo Schifrin’s Mission: Impossible theme riff with their own stamp on it, hung around and enjoyed big success for most of the summer. It hit No. 15 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, No. 8 for Modern Rock Tracks and helped pave the way for a big opening of the forthcoming record. Later on during the album cycle, the track would also receive a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance.

A week out from the album’s release, Limp Bizkit doubled down, hitting fans with a pair of new songs — “My Generation” and “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle).” Both tracks enjoyed successful runs.

Fred Durst was clearly having some fun with “My Generation.” A highly percussive open from John Otto and wah-ing bass and guitars from Rivers and Borland set the head-bobbing pace, while Durst offered a number of musical references throughout, including The Who’s “My Generation” (the song is not a direct cover), Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle,” Spice Girls’ “Move Over” and nods to the films One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Titanic. The bouncy rocker was the less successful of the two tracks, hitting No. 33 on the Mainstream Rock chart and No. 18 for the Modern Rock Tracks chart, but it still enjoyed significant play on MTV, where Durst and the band were becoming huge stars.

Limp Bizkit, “My Generation”

As for “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle),” it went on to become one of the band’s most beloved hits. The song peaked at No. 4 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, No. 10 for Mainstream Rock, but it was the video for the song where the band truly made their mark. Realizing they were reaching an over saturation point to some extent, the band decided to poke fun at their public image. “There were red caps everywhere, and look at Wes at the beginning of the video with his grills in,” said Durst. “How the hell did people not realize we weren’t being serious? We thought it was hilarious.” The video even opens with two special guests — actors Ben Stiller and Stephen Dorff — who had shot Zoolander with Durst.

Durst would later reflect on the immense scrutiny during this period, “I always had to have that red cap. Every time I’d step off the bus or do an interview, it was for that red cap guy. I never put me out there. People were feeding off that persona, and it was a frenzy. People hated, but people needed it — everyone wanted something out of that guy. He was my Tyler Durden side, a way of dealing with it. It was a product of being really damaged, I think.”

Limp Bizkit, “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)”

The album then yielded two more radio songs — “My Way” and “Boiler” — with the former rising to No. 4 on the Mainstream Rock Chart and No. 3 for Modern Rock Tracks. The latter ended up hitting No. 30 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Limp Bizkit, “My Way”

But, as radio and MTV had Limp Bizkit on heavy rotation, the burn factor started to take place, and the inevitable backlash started to occur.

The singer recalled to Rock Sound, “Somehow we’d found this moment in time where we were the big thing for a second. It confused the hell out of everyone. I didn’t think about myself as a celebrity back then, but everyone wanted a piece of me.”

He added to Louder Sound, “I felt like I was a target, public enemy No. 1. I didn’t know how to deal with it. Wherever you went, it felt like eyes were on you and like your life isn’t your own anymore. You sort of think, ‘Fuck all these people’. If people had to find out every last detail of your life and what you jerk off to at night, people might hate you, too.”

Borland too saw the change and admits the intensity at the time in the eye of the storm. “I just think it took a lot of people time to get over how annoyingly in everyone’s face we were for that period,” he explained. “When you’re that overexposed, where no one can get away from you and you’re like, ‘Uh, I’m so sick of seeing this person all the time.’ Now, people can enjoy the band for what it is.”

As the anniversary of the Chocolate Starfish album comes around again, there does seem to be a shift in how the record is viewed. Once the poster for the overexposure of the early 2000s nu metal album, a generation that were first turned onto music during this time period have re-embraced the record two decades later as a highlight from their youths.

“We had no idea what some of those tracks would do for us. I have no idea how it happened in retrospect. It was just one of those incredible things,” says Borland. “That record was our titan. We’ll never play a show without drawing heavily from Chocolate Starfish… and that’s the way it should be.”

“Limp Bizkit was insane; it still is,” concludes Durst to Rock Sound. “We’ve just learned to accept it as it comes.”

The 30 Best Rock Albums of 2000

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20 Years Ago: Tony Iommi Releases ‘Iommi’

A few years prior to his reconciliation with the Ozzy Osbourne-fronted Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi started working on his star-studded solo album, Iommi, which came out Oct. 17, 2000. The record, which took almost five years to write and record, included guest vocals by Ozzy Osbourne, Henry Rollins, Dave Grohl, Phil Anselmo, Peter Steele, Billy Idol and others, and it still stands as an in impressive, eclectic and underrated piece of Iommi’s career.

While it might seem like a no-brainer that Iommi would include a track with Osbourne and drummer Bill Ward right before a Sabbath reunion, “Who’s Fooling Who” marked the first time Iommi worked on an original studio song with Ozzy and Ward since 1978’s Never Say Die (Ward last played with Sabbath on 1983’s Born Again).

“Who’s Fooling Who” starts with a tolling bell and a drum fill before bursting into an apocalyptic doom riff. Then Osbourne enters, singing first in a high baritone, then shifting into a more familiar and comfortable tenor as Iommi blasts out yet another classic rhythm. It’s hardly the only keeper on the album. “Flame On,” with The Cult’s Ian Astbury, “Black Oblivion,” fronted by Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, “Patterns,” with System of a Down’s Serj Tankian and “Time is Mine,” powered by Anselmo, are all winners.

Iommi Feat. Serj Tankian, “Patterns”

Interestingly, Iommi adjusts his playing to accommodate the different music styles. “Laughing Man (In The Devil Mask”), which is fronted by Rollins — features abrupt staccato guitars reminiscent of Helmet, and “Goodbye Lament,” with vocals by Grohl and guitars by Queen’s Brian May, is a hybrid of melodic alternative, electro-rock and downtuned metal. But regardless of what subgenres Iommi explores, he never abandons his signature sound, holding together what might otherwise be a schizophrenic collection of songs.

Iommi co-wrote the album with co-producer Bob Marlette and the guest vocalists, with the exception of “Black Oblivion,” which was penned solely by Iommi and Corgan. Writing sessions for Iommi were productive, leaving the guitarist a multitude of tracks to choose from. Anselmo and Iommi worked on three tracks, including the unreleased “Inversion of the Saviours,” Idol worked on three as well and Corgan guested on two.

Iommi Feat. Billy Corgan, “Black Oblivion”

In addition to showcasing a who’s who of rock vocalists, Iommi highlights an impressive variety of guest musicians, including Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd, Soundgarden / Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, ex-White Zombie drummer John Tempesta and legendary session drummer Kenny Aronoff.

Released in a dark season for metal, Iommi debuted at No. 129 on the Billboard 200 chart. The single, “Goodbye Lament,” made it to No. 10 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, but strangely, “Who’s Fooling Who” was not issued as a single.

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

See Where Tony Iommi Ranks Among Our Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time

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24 Years Ago: Korn Release ‘Life Is Peachy’

Long before Korn’s self-titled debut album went gold, the band was already living the high life, with an emphasis on high. The only time Korn were mostly sober was when they were performing. Other than that they were drinking heavily, popping pills and snorting up jumbo-sized lines of blow all night long. By the time they finished touring for the album and entered their rehearsal space to work on their second album, Life Is Peachy, which came out Oct. 15, 1996, Korn could barely remember the last year of their lives.

They had even less of a clue about what lay in their future, and were in a serious state of disarray when they started working on new songs.

“We didn’t know what we wanted to do,” frontman Jonathan Davis told me in 1998. “We didn’t have anything written and I didn’t know what I wanted to sing about. But we had a great vibe and we had lot of momentum behind us, so we just had to get in there and do it.”

The four instrumentalists in the band — guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch, bassist Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu and drummer David Silveria – started working on material first. Someone would come up with an idea – be it an opening riff a mid-song rhythm or a cool beat, and the others joined in. Sticking with what they knew, the band incorporated elements of alt-metal, hip-hop and new wave in their songs, and within weeks they had rough skeletons for a handful of new tunes. At that point, Davis started adding vocals to their jams.

“With a lot of bands someone will write a full song and bring it in and then everyone else will play it,” Fieldy said. “This was a way more collaborative process.”

Korn, Live at Donington (1996)

Soon after Korn started working on the songs, producer Ross Robinson, who played a major role in the sound of the band’s first album, joined them to provide input. Korn ran everything they had written by Robinson, who mercilessly critiqued them, explaining what worked and what didn’t.

“I wanted to help them capture their fire and make sure it stayed completely lit,” Robinson said. “I worked with each person in the band to make sure they understood why they were doing what they were doing. My inquiry was very deep and we discovered a lot of unhealed wounds. I’m not afraid to go there and I craved it. But everything was based on a foundation of love and support.”

From a creative standpoint Korn were coming up with some inspired and cathartic music that progressed naturally from the material from their first album. On a social level, however, the band had trouble holding themselves together from one minute to the next. They fought frequently and even though Robinson implored them to stay sober long enough to finish what they were working on, the band members often opted for partying over writing and rehearsing, leading productive sessions to a crashing halt.

“We were drinking mass quantities of everything, and when we were really fucked up you didn’t want to be around us,” Davis said. “I’d bite people when I was drunk. I bit everyone in the band hard. I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t care.”

Korn, 1996 Rehearsal

“We were under a lot of pressure, so drinking and getting high seemed preferable to facing our responsibilities,” Welch said. “There were a lot of nights when we’d be playing and someone would do too much of something and suddenly they were passed out and couldn’t play. And a lot of times that guy was me.”

Somehow, with the encouragement of Robinson and their management, Korn motivated themselves enough to finish writing a batch of songs for Life is Peachy. And in April 1996, they entered Indigo Ranch Studios in Malibu, Calif., to start tracking.

As with Korn, the album is abrasive and confessional and Davis regurgitates his poisoned guts with lyrics about betrayal, self-abuse and excess. “Sick of the same old things / So I dig a hole / bury pain / I am so high always / Burying my life so slowly,” he sings on “Chi.” In “Good God” he laments the psychic trauma of a dysfunctional relationship: “In the sea of life, you’re just a minnow / live your life insecure / Feel the pain of your needles as they shit into my mind.”

“Most of the lyrics came to me really spontaneously,” Davis said. “A lot of it what I was dealing with. Like, in the song “A.D.I.D.A.S.” [which features the line “all day I dream about sex“] I’m just singing about myself. I’m a horny motherfucker.”

Korn, “A.D.I.D.A.S.” Music Video

In July 1996, Korn finished the final overdubs for Life is Peachy. The album included a cover of Ice Cube’s “Wicked,” which featured a guest appearance by Deftones singer Chino Moreno.

Life is Peachy entered the Billboard album chart at No. 3, and went gold on Jan. 8, 1997, less than three months after it was released. Eleven months later, the album went platinum. To date, Life is Peachy has gone double platinum and is considered by many to be one of Korn’s best records.

“It really felt like we could do no wrong,” Davis said. “Everyone was into what we were doing and really enjoying all the different styles we were putting into the music. It was a great time – a fucking crazy time, but a great time.”

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

Korn Albums Ranked

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26 Years Ago: Korn Pioneered a New Sound With Self-Titled Debut

Eschewing traditional metal tones and techniques from the start, Bakersfield, Calif., band Korn strived to capture the power and rage of groups like Helmet and Prong and deliver them in a way no one had ever heard before. With their self-titled debut, which came out Oct. 11, 1994, they succeeded in a way nobody could have predicted.

At the time they were just happy to reshape the music they loved with tools they felt comfortable using, including seven-string guitars and an abundance of effect pedals. There were lunging rhythms and crazy guitar noises inspired by hip-hop, downtuned riffs that satisfied their will to be heavy and slappy, funk-fueled bass lines that didn’t so much anchor the rhythms as wrap around them like rubbery tendrils of barbed wire. But the real darkness came from vocalist Jonathan Davis, who converted his love for The Cure’s Pornography and Ministry’s Twitch into confessional moans and howls of internalized pain.

“I f–kin’ loved the band from the moment I first heard them,” the late Suicide Silence frontman Mitch Lucker told me in 2008. “There was so much anger in their music and they were so heavy. They didn’t sound like anyone else and then everyone copied them.”

At a time when other metal bands were scrambling to make their music sound more alternative, Korn chose a true alternative and reinvigorated metal. Still, even after they released their punishing, bruising debut, even after a nation of disenfranchised youths started growing dreads and wearing Adidas tracksuits to emulate the band members’ fashion sense, it was impossible to know how deep an imprint, how indelible a scar Korn were about to leave on the battered face of metal.

Korn, “Blind”

In retrospect one can practically chart the moment of revelation on a timeline. A ride cymbal is repeatedly struck in double-time, a barbed, single-chord progression is strummed 10 times and a more-distorted counter-riff cuts in, building tension. A few moments later a voice bellows, “Are you reaaaddyyyy!!” Jaws dropped, fists clenched and a new revolution began. “Blind” is one of the most iconic and effective openings of any metal album – right up there with the eternal tritone that set Black Sabbath on their course of damnation – and it effectively marked the birth of what would later be called nu-metal.

“We were trying to sound like a DJ had remixed our guitars, y’know, and cutting them up and scratching,” guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer told Rolling Stone. “That’s kind of how that sound was born.”

“I wasn’t a metal guy,” Davis recently told me. “I liked metal as a kid, but then I got much more into Depeche Mode and Duran Duran. But I also liked aggressive industrial music, and I kind of wanted to bring those two worlds together — that total anger with a more emotional, melodic kind of thing.”

Driven by a desire to hear something in their heads that they couldn’t find anywhere else, Korn merged the urban groove of L.A.P.D. — the band guitarists Munky, Head, bassist Fieldy and drummer David Silveria were in — with a much darker aesthetic born of childhood trauma and teenage angst. Davis’ lyrics addressed bullying and harassment (“Faget”), meth addiction (“Helmet in the Bush”) and molestation (“Daddy”). If bands like Nirvana and Tool confronted frustration and disenchantment through cryptic verse and poetic lyrics, Korn skinned their songs to the bone, delivering ugly, unflinching diatribes in plain terms that kids could more easily understand.

Korn, “Daddy”

“I’ve always felt like a magnet for pain and I’m not afraid to sing about it even though a lot of it is really personal,” Davis told me. “And I think a lot people who have had the same kind of experiences can relate to the honesty and the vulnerability in my lyrics and vocals and it all draws them to the music and works as a kind of therapy for both of us.”

Three of the songs on Korn, “Blind,” “Predictable” and “Daddy” were originally on the band’s 1993 demo, Niedermeyer’s Mind, which landed the band a deal with Immortal / Epic Records. Korn wrote the rest of the songs for the record at a small house they moved into in Huntington Beach, Calif. Much of the day was spent experimenting with different music styles and crafting enduring tunes. But by the night the house and the nearby studio where they were working, Underground Chicken Sounds, turned into party central. Korn attacked cases of cheap beer like dehydrated athletes downing purified water and Gatorade, and some of the members kept their energy levels up with large quantities of meth.

“We were out of our minds and I was making runs to my dealer’s to score and then rushing back to the studio,” Davis said. “It was one of those situations where you’d get tired and worn out so you’d do some meth to charge back up and then you balance it out and drink some more when you’d get too wired. But you feel like a superhero when you’re that young and you think you can get away with anything.”

Since they were happy with the sound of Niedermeyer’s Mind, Korn asked Ross Robinson, who produced the demo, to come back and work with them on their first real album. The band entered Indigo Ranch Studios in Malibu, Calif., in May and spent a month recording live in the studio. After the main tracks were done they worked on guitar overdubs and final vocal tracking. While Korn were largely responsible for the storms of creativity that made the music both haunting and exciting, Robinson played a major role in transferring the band’s sound to tape and creating episodes of conflict that added to the raw, visceral and voyeuristic quality of the album.

“He’s a sick mother—er and he knew exactly how to push all my buttons and get under my skin,” Davis said. “We’d have these long talks and he’d bring out these dark pieces of my history that I’d usually block from my mind. And he’d keep at it until I was ready to break down in order to get the best performance he could get from us. And he did that to all of us.”

Korn, “Clown”

In addition to being an instigator, Robinson believed in capturing the moment, which is why he always ran tape and included snippets of conversations in the final recordings. Before the song “Clown,” he caught the musicians struggling to enter the song at the right moment of four count. But it’s the end of “Daddy” where Robinson pulled all the stops.

A revealing song inspired by a traumatic sexual assault (but not from Davis’ father), the brooding, sprawling song ends with the singer breaking down in the studio. As Davis screams, “Mommy, why?!?” he starts to cry uncontrollably, swears with rage and shouts, “You f—ing ruined my life” between agonized sobs. By the end, he’s panting and crying with exhaustion while his band mates make unstructured stabs of noise on their instruments.

“It was just a special moment that I did not know was being recorded, for one, because Ross is a prick and kept the f—in’ tape running,” Davis told Rolling Stone.

“[It was] one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced,” Robinson told Rolling Stone. And [Munky] continuing the song with the sobbing… That whole long ending is just a jam. The engineer, Chuck Johnson, was so great, not thinking about pressing ‘stop’ on the tape machine.”

Korn was a creative triumph, but it wasn’t immediately commercially successful. The album never charted above No. 72, but the band toured heavily and as its original, charismatic performances resonated with fans of the band’s Korn opened for – including Biohazard, House of Pain, Sick of it All and Ozzy Osbourne, — the album started to sell. On Jan. 29, 1996, Korn went gold in U.S. and on Jan. 8, 1997, it was certified platinum; by November 1999, the album was double platinum.

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Korn, the band started playing the record in its entirety at select dates in 2014 and throughout 2015. Munky and Head have said that being able to revisit their roots so completely inspired some of the heavier riffs on their new album, The Serenity of Suffering (out Oct. 21, 2016). Davis says the experience was probably beneficial for the guitarists, but for him, revisiting some of the songs on the first album, including “Faget” and especially “Daddy,” was unpleasant and unsettling.

“Dude, it was f—ing hell going back there every night,” he said. “I never want to play ‘Daddy’ again. I never even want to hear it! The whole thing really f—ed my head up and it took me a while to recover from. I know a lot of fans got into it and I’m glad about that, but for me it just totally sucked.”

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

See Where Korn Landed on the Top 90 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 1990s

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30 Years Ago: Slayer Release ‘Seasons in the Abyss’

After releasing their speed-freak thrash metal manifesto Reign in Blood in 1986, Slayer slowed down their tempos for 1988’s South of Heaven. But it was on Seasons in the Abyss, which came out October 9, 1990, that Slayer found a confident middle ground between sheer velocity and malicious mid-paced chugging.

The band started working on the new songs almost immediately after getting off tour. Continuing from the war and real-life atrocity themes they successfully explored on South of Heaven, Slayer crafted songs about the horrors of the battlefield, nuclear war, street gangs and, of course, serial killers.

“I just think we just wanted to keep being Slayer,” guitarist Kerry King told me in 1994. “There were a lot of bands that had built careers by copying what we had done and we wanted to show everyone we could still do it better.”

Slayer, “War Ensemble”

Guitarist Jeff Hanneman worked on the music for seven of the 10 songs on the album (two with King), but only contributed lyrics to two songs, “War Ensemble” and “Hallowed Point,” which he wrote with bassist and vocalist Tom Araya. The singer wrote lyrics for four other songs on his own, while King wrote music on his own for three songs and lyrics for four.

“Back then we collaborated a little more on stuff,” Araya said. “I worked with Kerry on ‘Expendable Youth.’ Jeff, Kerry and I all wrote ‘War Ensemble’ together. We knew we had great songs and we wanted the lyrics to be as powerful as they could be as well.”

In March, 1990 Slayer entered Hit City West studio in Los Angeles with producer Rick Rubin. Over the next four months the band also worked at Hollywood Sound and Record Plant. “I don’t remember anything really special about the recording session,” King says. “We were all just excited to get these songs out there. It felt like the session went pretty smoothly.”

One of the highlights of the album, and a longtime staple of the band’s live show, was “Dead Skin Mask,” a song based on the nefarious deeds of Plainfield, Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein, who, in the 50s, made trophies out of his victim’s bones, skin and organs. “Jeff wrote the music and I took off with the lyrics,” Araya said. “I just pictured what it must be like to be in this guy’s head. You’ve got to be really f—ed up to cut up people’s faces and make masks out of them.”

Slayer, “Dead Skin Mask”

Seasons in the Abyss reached number 40 on the Billboard album chart, which, at that point, was Slayer’s highest position in their career. The album went gold in April, 1993. Slayer supported Seasons in the Abyss with a lengthy tour that included the legendary Clash of the Titans tour, which included Megadeth, Anthrax and Alice in Chains (a European version preceded the U.S. dates, but replaced Anthrax and Alice in Chains with Testament and Suicidal Tendencies)

“There might have even been talk of a ‘Big Four’ tour back then, but we probably couldn’t get Metallica onboard,” said King. “But it was a big to do, man, and people came out for it. At the time, that was the biggest tour we had been on and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.”

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

Every Slayer Song Ranked

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15 Years Ago: Nickelback Blow Up Huge on ‘All the Right Reasons’

On Silver Side Up, Nickelback released “How You Remind Me,” the most played song at radio for the decade. The band’s follow-up record The Long Road would yield four big singles on the way to triple platinum sales. And yet, Nickelback still had only bigger success to come. All the Right Reasons, released on Oct. 4, 2005, would be the album that would take them to new heights of popularity, giving them one of the biggest records of the 21st century.

But before pushing forward with the next step in their career, there was one significant change coming. As the calendar turned to January 2005, Nickelback made the decision to switch drummers. Ryan Vikedal, who had appeared on The State, Silver Side Up and The Long Road, was out while Daniel Adair, who had previously been with Nickelback tourmates 3 Doors Down was in. The wheels had been set in motion a month prior when Adair was asked to audition, and there was some contention in the split as singer Chad Kroeger would file suit against Vikedal later in 2005 over royalties the musician would receive from public performances of the band’s music. But with Adair in place, the band hit the studio with co-producer Joey Moi between January and May of 2005 to record their new album.

The sessions went about as normal for the group, with bassist Mike Kroeger reflecting to ABC News Radio, “Being humble people, we don’t ever presume that anything’s great, we just keep working, We just work. And if it’s great, it’s not within our power. People decide what’s great.”

He would soon start to see exactly how well received the album was by how their life would start to change. Kroeger says of that period that it felt like “living in the eye of a hurricane,” adding, “You’re sitting in a bubble of peace while all hell’s breaking loose all around you, in a global way. It’s, like, get on a plane, get off the plane, mass hysteria, interviews, tours. Everything’s just completely crazy, and you’re sitting in a hotel room watching CNN trying to find out if we’re gonna go to war again or something like that, and the whole world’s going nuts for your music. It’s a very unusual place to be.”

The first song to cause that fervor was “Photograph,” a track set in a nostalgic mindset that connected with listeners on a deeply personal level. While the song features a number of references to the band members time growing up in Hanna, Alberta, a majority of the experiences expressed are universal ones.

The Nigel Dick-directed video for the song added to connection, returning the band to their hometown and pointing out key places within their coming of age. It also started with a photograph that Chad Kroeger holds up of him partying with Joey Moi, the band’s producer. Answering the lyrical question of “what the hell was on Joey’s head,” Mike Kroeger told WSOU-FM, “In the video, when you see my brother [frontman Chad Kroeger] holding up that picture, that picture is actually in his kitchen – it has been for many, many years. That’s not a prop for a video. That came from his kitchen and it’s back in his kitchen now … The thing that was on Joey’s head was a champagne bucket that my wife and I got Chad for his housewarming, and it was somehow secured to his head by what appeared to be a bra — I’m not sure about that, but I think it’s a bra.”

Nickelback, “Photograph”

“Photograph” not only commanded the airwaves at radio, but also was a huge hit on video outlets. The track went to No. 1 at Mainstream Rock Radio, No. 3 for Alternative Airplay and crossed over to No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100, something that was just starting to become commonplace for the rockers, while en route to double platinum single status.

Commenting on the song for the 15th anniversary of the album, guitarist Ryan Peake stated, “I’m glad people have connected with it because it’s really close to us. It really is one of the best songs. It’s the best song on that album.”

NIckelback, “Animals”

Though it would be difficult to match the success of “Photograph,” Nickelback chose “Animals” to be the follow-up. The high energy rocker was a change of pace from the melodic first single, with Chad Kroeger belting about an amorous encounter in a car that unfolds in discovery. Like its predecessor, “Animals” climbed to the top of Mainstream Rock chart, keeping the band’s hot streak intact, while also cracking the Top 20 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart (at No. 16).

NIckelback, “Savin’ Me”

In the spring of 2006, Nickelback would unleash their third single, the more mid-tempo track “Savin’ Me.” For the group, it showed a bit of their musical growth, bringing strings and piano into the musical equation. Chad Kroeger said in a statement for the track’s press release, “We were a little scared of using piano. We just didn’t think it was very rock and roll.” But after trying it out, the band liked what they heard and kept it. The move, like most on the record, worked, with Nickelback once again enjoying crossover appeal. Though it only hit No. 11 at Mainstream Rock, the band had a bonafide pop hit on their hands, with the song hitting No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Nickelback, “Far Away”

Almost simultaneously with “Savin’ Me,” the tender-hearted rock ballad “Far Away” also started to grab radio’s attention as well. Singer Chad Kroeger once told fans while on tour in Australia that this was the band’s “only real love song,” adding that while other songs spoke of love, this one was truly about the experience.

Ahead of the 15th anniversary edition of the album, Kroeger added, “We’ve spent most of our adult lives away from family, friends and loved ones. You’re kind of singing about the initial stages of meeting someone and falling in love and just truly saying I love you. There’s no witticisms, there’s no cleverness. It’s just a very basic emotion and it really connected with a lot of people.”

The track has gone on to become a favorite live, with Kroeger stating, “I don’t have to sing one word and the crowd just starts giving it everything they’ve got. That’s the best feeling in the world.” The song found pop success, hitting No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Nickelback, “Rockstar”

Having melted hearts with “Far Away,” Nickelback went for something a little less serious on their next single “Rockstar.” The track would become one of the signature songs in their catalog, taking a poke at the rockstar lifestyle and getting a boost from the celeb cameo-filled video for the track (seriously, see how many you can spot). They even got a guest turn on the song by ZZ Top legend Billy Gibbons.

“None of ‘Rockstar’ is autobiographical,” says Chad Kroeger. “It’s all just supposed to be silly things taking everything that you think about when it comes to rock stardom and amplify it exponentially. That type of silliness is what we wanted to do. We were just coming up with all these silly stupid things and the ones that kind of made us chuckle, everyone in the room was like, ‘That’s just dumb enough to go in this song.’” The song hit No. 4 at Mainstream Rock radio and crossed over to No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Nickelback, “If Everyone Cared”

At this point, Nickelback had already passed the success of their previous record, but there was no slowing down. Well over a year into the album’s release, the band’s sixth single, “If Everyone Cared,” arrived in November of 2006. A more altruistic single, the band tied the release of the album to helping to raise funds for Amnesty International and International Children’s Awareness Canada organizations. The video put a spotlight on world leaders and activists working to better the world through peaceful and human rights campaigns. Though not a huge hit for the group, it did reach No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100, continuing their inroads into the pop world.

Nickelback, “Side of a Bullet”

The seventh and final single from the All the Right Reasons album was “Side of a Bullet,” an emotionally raw track that Kroeger penned after the murder of his friend and musical peer Dimebag Darrell of Pantera.

“I was very upset, and for two months, if I saw his picture somewhere I would get angry,” Kroeger told MTV. “I hadn’t lost somebody to a shooting before — it wasn’t as though he’d been killed in some sort of accident. He was taken in such a horrible, malicious way that just made it more painful.”

Dime’s longtime love Rita Haney and his brother Vinnie Paul gave Nickelback their blessing for the song and even allowed for the group to add some guitar solo outtakes from Dime to be incorporated into the song. Kroeger had previously worked with Dime on the Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle soundtrack cover of Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.” “That was the first time I appeared on a record with Dime, and now this. I just wish this wasn’t the way it had to happen,” said Kroeger to MTV. Released only in the U.S., the track hit No. 7 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

By the time all was said and done, there were some pretty amazing accomplishments for the band. The album was the first chart-topper of their career on the Billboard 200 Album chart. It spent over 100 weeks in Billboard’s Top 30, becoming the first act to do so since Shania Twain did so in 1997 with Come On Over. The album won the 2006 American Music Award for Best Pop Rock Album and it ended up being the No. 13 album on the Billboard Album chart for the entire decade.

All the Right Reasons sold more than 18 million copies worldwide and was diamond certified for over 10 million in U.S. sales in 2017. When asked by Loudwire Nights about joining the ranks of Nirvana and Michael Jackson in the Diamond Album club, guitarist Ryan Peake stated, “It’s kind of like sneaking into a club when you feel like you’re going to get kicked out.” Chad Kroeger added that they were “ecstatic and very humbled” by the achievement.

In a video promoting the 15th anniversary of the album, Kroeger stated, “All those songs off that record really don’t feel like ours anymore. Those songs got played a ton on the radio. Some got played too much, hence a bit of the backlash, but they belong to the fans now.” Peake added, “I’m very proud it connected with the fans that well. As an artist you can only hope for stuff like that.”

Nickelback have continued to enjoy huge success in the years since, but All the Right Reasons still ranks as their biggest selling album.

Nickelback Albums Ranked

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Tool’s ‘Ænima’: 10 Facts Superfans Probably Already Know

Listen, we’re well aware that Tool‘s fanbase are one of the most dedicated in the world. They know the albums front to back, the band’s history top to bottom and even all there is to know about the Fibonacci Sequence. If there were a PhD based on one’s knowledge of Tool, every one of their dedicated fans would attain it.

Ænima was released on vinyl on Sept. 17, 1996 and on Oct. 1 on CD format. We know you know how great of an album it is, and how it took Tool from a hard rock band to progressive psychedelic masterminds. So instead of preaching what you already know, here are 10 facts superfans probably already know about Ænima, but the rest of you may not. Test your Tooldom below.

1. Ænima is a double entendre. 

Tool’s both intellectual and highly sarcastic nature means a lot of ambiguous hidden meanings and messages within their work. The title Ænima comes from both the words “anima,” which means soul in Latin, and “enema,” which is a medical procedure on the rectum.

2. The band dedicated it to Bill Hicks.

Bill Hicks was a comedian who passed away in 1994. His style consisted of dark humor, mainly surrounding controversial topics like religion and philosophy, just like Tool — so they dedicated Ænima to him. An illustration of Hicks dressed as a doctor appears on the inner cover of the album with the line, “Another dead hero.”

3. Lines from Hicks’ sets were even sampled on the album.

The comedian’s speeches “One Good Drug Story” and “The War on Drugs” were sampled on the album before the song “Third Eye.” Hicks had used the phrase “third eye” before when talking on psychedelic mushrooms.

4. Some songs were originally recorded with Paul D’Amour.

Prior to original bassist Paul D’Amour‘s acquittal from the band, he played on the demos of “Pushit,” “Stinkfist,” “Ænema” and “Eulogy.” Justin Chancellor of the U.K. band Peach took over on bass in 1995.

5. Half empty or half full?

The original title for the song “H.” was supposedly “Half Empty,” as Maynard James Keenan had introduced it under that name before playing it live in 1995.

6. Useful pranksters.

The interlude track “Useful Idiot” consists of sounds of record player needles skipping. It was strategically placed at the end of side 1 of the vinyl version of the album in order to trick people.

7. Cookies.

“Die Eier von Satan” actually means “the balls of Satan” or “the eggs of Satan” in German, as “eier” can mean eggs or testicles. While the track sounds like an angry German speech, the words translate to a recipe for edible marijuana cookies. Marko Fox, the bassist of ZAUM and SexTapes, provided the narration.

8. It charted twice.

The album debuted at No. 2 in 1996, selling just under 150,000 copies in its first week. By 2003, it was certified triple platinum. It’s often regarded as one of the best rock albums of the 1990s, and its longevity stood the test of time when it charted again 23 years later. Right after Tool uploaded their discography to digital platforms and streaming services in 2019, Ænima peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200.

It was in the top 10 twice more than two decades apart.

9. The European pressings.

An entirely fictional discography was included on the insert of the European versions of the CD. There were 16 fake album covers to go along with satirical titles: Gay Rodeo, Bethlehem Abortion Clinic, Bad Breath, The Other White Meat, Two Weiners For Daddy, Three Fat Brown Fingers, Mungey the Clown, I Smell Urine, The Christmas Album, Iced Pee, Spring Boner, Tetanus for Breakfast, Crapsteaks Smothered in Dictators, Nurse Ketimella’s Kit’chen, Just Up That Dirt Road: Tool Live! at the Acropolis and Brown Magic and Big Appetites: Music from the Movie Soundtrack Jelly Donut.

10. “Track #1.”

MTV put the music video for “Stinkfist” on heavy rotation, but they changed the name to “Track #1” when it aired because they felt the actual title was too offensive for their audience. Fans complained about the censorship, so MTV’s 120 Minutes host Matt Pinfield shook his fist while encouraging viewers to buy the album.

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11 Years Ago: Alice in Chains Release ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’

Nobody would have faulted them and it certainly wasn’t expected, but on Sept. 29, 2009, Alice in Chains officially began one of the great “second act” stories in rock history by releasing their Black Gives Way to Blue album. How did they get there? Let’s backtrack a little bit.

During the early ‘90s, Alice in Chains emerged as one of the core four of the Seattle scene often credited with the explosion of grunge. The band enjoyed a very successful first part of the decade, with Layne Staley’s vocals often beautifully paired with those of guitarist Jerry Cantrell to deliver some of the ‘90s greatest hits. But by 1996, Staley’s descent into drug addiction curtailed the band’s ability to continue, and they took a small break after their self-titled 1995 album. Staley recorded some new material in 1998 for a hits collection, but the band began to splinter off into side projects afterward. They never getting a chance to continue following Staley’s death from an overdose in 2002.

“He was the focal point, like singers are. So they’d single him out. But the truth was, it was pretty much everybody. I definitely had my hand firmly on the wheel going off the cliff. And the reason we pulled back — you know when you stop when you have two No. 1 records, it’s not really the greatest career move — but we did that because we love each other and we didn’t want to die in public,” admitted drummer Sean Kinney in an interview with Drum Magazine. And I know for a fact in my heart that if we were to continue that I wouldn’t be on the phone right now talking to you. I wouldn’t have made it. I just wouldn’t have.”

Alice in Chains, “Lesson Learned”

With Staley’s death, the band’s story could have easily ended right there, and it appeared as though it had with the band already going on four years since the release of any new material. The band members had moved on with other projects, addressed some of their own personal demons and privately mourned the death of Staley before terminating their recording contract in 2004.

But in 2005, a good cause brought the band members back together. Kinney reached out with the idea of doing a benefit concert for victims of 2004’s tsunami disaster. The living members of the band — Kinney, Cantrell and Mike Inez — were joined onstage by a number of guest vocalists handling the Staley parts for the one-off show. But the reunion gig sparked something and the trio decided they had more to say, eventually pushing to book a tour. They just needed someone to help with the Staley parts.

CBS approached the band about taking part in their Rock Star show, which had helped place new vocalists with INXS and the supergroup Rock Star Supernova through a talent competition, but the band balked at taking part. Instead they found their guy within another special show. Comes With the Fall vocalist William DuVall was one of the special guests joining them to salute fellow Seattle act Heart during the VH1 Decades Rock Live concert in 2006. DuVall had a standing friendship with Cantrell already, as Comes With the Fall had opened for the singer/guitarist during his solo touring five years prior.

DuVall wasn’t initially announced as the new vocalist, with Cantrell stating to MTV in 2006 ahead of their touring, “We’re making it up as we go along. It’s an exploratory thing, and we’re just having fun with it. We’d like to go out and play for the people that supported us and love the music as much as we have all these years. We want to celebrate what we did and the memory of our friend.” However, he did tease, “We have played with some [singers] who can actually bring it and add their own thing to it without being a Layne clone. We’re not interested in stepping on [Staley’s] rich legacy,”

Eventually DuVall emerged from that period, with Cantrell and Kinney revealing that it only took one audition for him to land a role in the band. Sponge’s Vinnie Dombroski and Stone Temple Pilots’ Scott Weiland were also bandied about as potential vocalists for the group, but their rehearsal with DuVall put him over the top.

With some touring under their belts, the group continued what had felt right up to that point, deciding to make music again. Kinney told Drum Magazine, “I never called Jerry; he never called me, and said, ‘Hey, let’s get the band back together,’ you know? We had been taking every step extremely cautious and slow, and just doing whatever feels right: If it’s genuine and we’re doing it for genuine reasons and we’re all okay with it then we take a little step. None of us is broke. Nobody needs to be a rock dork, and you know, stroke their ego. I mean, we don’t really operate like that. So as long as it felt good and from the right place and it’s about making music and carrying on.”

“We bonded by being on the road and being onstage,” DuVall said of his entry into the group to the L.A. Times. “But obviously there is an emotional back story that’s pretty extensive for everybody here.” The group started writing for their new album in 2007, and eventually teamed up with producer Nick Raskulinecz in the fall of 2008 to start recording what would be Black Gives Way to Blue — first at Studio 606 in Northridge, California and then finishing at Henson Studios in Los Angeles.

“Being an Alice in Chains fan myself, I know what I want to hear,” says Raskulinecz to the L.A. Times. “It’s a performance record. There’s not any trickery. It’s those guys performing the instruments and singing the parts and doing it over and over and over again until we get it right.”

Before continuing with new music, the band met with Layne Staley’s mother and other family members, seeking their approval to continue. Staley’s mother gave them her blessing. “It was really important that it was okay with them,” said the band’s manager Susan Silver. “There were a lot of baby steps. The first year especially was such a profound healing for everybody.”

One of the major steps taken forward was the emergence of Cantrell as a more prominent voice for the band. While his voice was often heard and sometimes featured during Alice’s first era, it was mainly Staley who was considered to be the lead singer of the band. Speaking with The Aquarian, Cantrell stated, I had to step up quite a bit more than I ever had. [Layne] always gave me a lot of confidence to do that, to sing more lead. And you can hear that as the albums progress, I kind of start growing into that role. I attribute a lot of that to the confidence that Layne gave me. Basically, him just saying, ‘Dude, you gotta fucking sing. These songs are your songs, you write all this fucking great material, and it’s not like I don’t like singing ‘em or whatever, but they’re personal to you, you should fucking sing ‘em.’ (laughs) ‘You can do it.’ I’m always forever grateful to him for that.” DuVall was now the perfect complement to Cantrell as Cantrell had been to Staley.

Still, there was a big hurdle ahead for the band — acceptance from the fans. There had been reunion albums before, but for any number of reasons it was often hard for reunion albums to live up to the expectations. And with Staley no longer around and a largely unknown vocalist joining the ranks, there was reason for concern about what the new era would yield. But the band managed to walk that fine line of being respectful of the legacy and while starting something fresh. Their new material was uniquely its own, but it could also continue to build upon what they began in the ’90s.

“It’s nice to sound like yourself,” Kinney told Billboard. “It’s not really that hard, actually. I know people are blown away that we really sound like ourselves, and I understand the apprehension, but it’s not really that big a stretch to sound the way that you sound.”

Alice in Chains, “A Looking in View”

Fans were first introduced to the new era of the band through “A Looking in View,” a track that was just meant as a preview song, especially given the seven minute-plus runtime. But radio still picked up the track, which was enthusiastically embraced by the fans. It hit No. 12 on the Mainstream Rock chart and was later nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Cantrell explained of the track,  “The song basically speaks to any number of things that keep you balled up inside. A cell of our own making with an unlocked door that we choose to remain in. Focusing our attention inward instead of reaching out to a much larger world. I think this is common to us all. It’s funny how hard we fight to hang on to a bone we can’t pull through a hole in the fence, or how difficult it is to put down the bag of bricks and move on.”

Alice in Chains, “Check My Brain”

The first official single, “Check My Brain,” followed. With sludgy guitars and that signature Alice in Chains harmonic vocal, it connected with listeners in a big way. Cantrell wrote the song as his sarcastic response to eventually taking to Los Angeles after years of living in Seattle. “There’s a certain aspect of sarcasm, I guess, being a guy from Seattle who lives in L.A., ex-drug addict who lives in the belly of the beast and doesn’t partake, and being totally cool with that … It’s like being the bad gambler and living in Vegas. It’s right there. It’s just the irony of that and a little bit of sarcasm. And it’s not putting this place down at all. It’s just kind of like, ‘Wow, you know, check my brain, wow.'”

The track topped both the Mainstream Rock and Alternative Airplay charts and was also recognized with a Grammy Nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2010.

Alice in Chains, “Your Decision”

Pulling back to something a little more somber for their next single, the band released “Your Decision” just ahead of their European touring. While many fans assumed the track was about Staley’s death, the group didn’t speak of a direct connection. DuVall explained of the track to WMMR, “You’ve got to sleep in the bed you make, you know. Things happen, and it’s just funny how one little left or right turn in your life can just totally take you off on a tangent that can be so bizarre and unanticipated, you know.” Kinney added, “I’ve taken a lot of lefts and a lot of rights. I’m sure we all have. You’ve got to deal with it when you there.” Like its predecessor, “Your Decision” also rose to the top of the Mainstream Rock chart, but peaked at No. 4 for Alternative Airplay.

Alice in Chains, “Acid Bubble”

The album also had one more radio song in it with “Lesson Learned,” which hit No. 4 at Mainstream Rock radio, but the album was filled with gems from top to bottom. The dark rocker “Acid Bubble,” the DuVall-led “Last of My Kind” and the angst-ridden “Private Hell” ensured that Black Gives Way to Blue was a top-to-bottom listen, while the solemn title track that closes the album put the perfect stamp on the record.

The “Black Gives Way to Blue” title cut definitely addressed the death of Staley, serving such an emotional catharsis for Cantrell that he became physically ill while recording it. “I got deathly ill,” Cantrell recalled to Guitar World. “I had these mystery migraines, intense physical pain, and I’d even gotten a spinal tap to test for certain things. They never could find anything wrong with me. I felt I was puking up all this undigested grief in losing Layne.”

The song also included a very high profile guest, with Elton John agreeing to lay down piano for the track. Cantrell had met the legend in Las Vegas and decided to give him a call to see if he would be up for the guest appearance. “He totally got it,” Cantrell told Noisecreep. “He was like, ‘I get what the song’s about, man, I think it’s a beautiful sentiment, and I think it’s a beautiful thing, I love it, and I want to play on it.'” Looking back on the track, the singer/guitarist says, “I’m really, really proud of that song. I’m proud of it for a lot of reasons. It’s all about facing up, owning your shit, owning your good stuff and your bad stuff, and continuing to walk forward and live a life.”

By the end of Alice in Chains’ album cycle, apprehensions over the continuation of the band had subsided, the band more than achieved the approval of their fans and critics with a stellar album that sat perfectly alongside their best works from the first era and they had the building block in place to ensure they could compete with the current era of rock’s great bands. Black Gives Way to Blue peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 Album chart and set the band up perfectly to continue their second act.

15 Best Hard Rock Albums of 2009

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11 Years Ago: Breaking Benjamin Come Clean With ‘Dear Agony’

After three successful albums that spooled out over the 21st Century’s first decade, Breaking Benjamin sought to finish out the oughts on a high note. On the surface they did, but by the end of the Dear Agony cycle run, things started to splinter within the group.

Coming off the Phobia album, a record that revealed and explored some of singer Benjamin Burnley‘s various fears, the band began writing in 2008 for their fourth release. A significant change during the writing sessions was that Burnley revealed that it was the first album he had written completely sober.

The singer told Billboard that he had worked as a “functioning alcoholic” throughout his career, and had also developed neurological problems as a result. “I’ve suffered permanent brain damage through alcoholism,” explained the vocalist at the time. “I don’t want to say that I’m proud to have stopped, but I’m glad I realized that I wanted to stick around for a while.”

After he quit drinking, Burnley decided to use his struggles and recovery for themes within the record. The vocalist stated, “All the tests and hospital visits stick with you, so I thought the scan was an effective image to use. It was a dangerous situation to be in . . . thankfully, I was able to reflect what was going on in my life within the music.”

The album cover for Dear Agony is actually a scan of Burnley’s brain, with the singer telling The Weekender, “It’s just going along with these issues that I have to deal with. They’re mainly, besides like chronic fatigue syndrome, there’s a couple of neurological disorders that I have that stem from alcoholism, so that’s kind of the whole Dear Agony theme.”

He elaborated on the themes of the album, explaining that after being fairly private through most of his career, he wanted to be more open about what was going on with his life. “It’s personal to a certain degree because I write it and it has to come from somewhere. I want it to be known I’ve been suffering with some debilitating things for years, and it’s become such an impedance on my life now that I can’t help but have it come through in the music that I write,” said Burnley. “It does affect me in some ways on a performance level and on an availability level and things like that, so I’m kind of glad that it’s finally coming to be known and that I can use the album as kind of a platform to let it be known, basically just trying myself to take a bad thing and make something useful out of it.”

The singer wasn’t alone in translating his message. In a bit of foreshadowing, Burnley called up RED guitarist Jasen Rauch to write with him on the record, with the songs “Without You” and “Hopeless” coming out of their session, as well as the outro for the hit single “I Will Not Bow” and some additional writing on “Lights Out” taking place.

“Jasen and I are two of the same mind in a lot of ways, especially writing, and he just basically writes songs how I would like them to be written and writes songs that I would want to write myself,” Burnley told The Weekender.

With a new record written, Breaking Benjamin entered the studio, once again using David Bendeth to produce the album. On Sept. 29, 2009, Dear Agony dropped, buoyed by the success of the lead single “I Will Not Bow.”

The defiant rocker gave the band another uplifting anthem and the song got an extra boost when it was tied to the movie Surrogates. While not specifically written for the movie, Disney had reached out to Hollywood Records for a Breaking Benjamin song, with “I Will Not Bow” being chosen from the material Burnley sent over. The track, which speaks to standing strong in your determination when all may seem lost, connected with listeners. It hit No. 1 at Mainstream Rock Radio, No. 5 on the Alternative Songs chart and crossed over to hit No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming one of their biggest hits to date.

Breaking Benjamin, “I Will Not Bow”

Following the pulsing energy of “I Will Not Bow,” Breaking Benjamin switched it up with the rock ballad, “Give Me a Sign.” The heartstring tugging track had Burnley singing of reaching for a ray of hope amidst a deteriorating relationship, trying to stay upbeat. Though not as huge as its predecessor, the song did hit No. 6 for Mainstream Rock and No. 10 on the Alternative Songs chart, giving the band a successful follow-up.

Breaking Benjamin, “Give Me a Sign”

One more single would come from the album. With some pulsing low end and a tension-building guitar riff, “Lights Out” hit the airwaves. Burnley exorcised some of his own demons, singing about the “monster in your head” that leads to negative behavior. The powerful cut hit No. 9 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

Breaking Benjamin, “Lights Out”

The band hit the road, touring with Three Days Grace, Rauch’s band RED, Nickelback, Shinedown and others during their support of Dear Agony. They gave the album a pretty extensive look in concert, with the slow-ebbing title track, the dark rocker “Fade Away,” the hopeful “Without You” and the solemn “Anthem of the Angels” all making set lists during the touring cycle.

But as the calendar hit 2010, several problems were lying in wait. In March of 2010, the band’s label reached out for two new songs, and sought to release a version of the track “Blow Me Away” with newly added guest vocals by Valora singer Sydnee Duran. The request led to a divide in the group that proved to be a breaking point for Burnley.

In early June, the band canceled a performance in Vancouver, reportedly “due to illness.” Not long after, rumors began to circulate of a potential split, with Burnley later posting on the band’s website, “I am officially letting everyone know that Breaking Benjamin has NOT broken up!”

Nearly a year later it was revealed that guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark Klepaski had granted the band’s label permission to record the new version of “Blow Me Away” with Duran, which was eventually included as a single on the band’s Shallow Bay hits collection. Not long after the pair granted permission on the song, both members were fired from the group via e-mail.

A legal battle then ensued over the rights to the name, with Burnley demanding compensatory and punitive damages over “Blow Me Away.” By the time everything was settled a couple of years later, Burnley remained the lone original member of Breaking Benjamin. After Burnley’s legal victory, drummer Chad Szeliga exited the group as well citing creative differences, leaving the singer to replenish the ranks in order to continue his career under the Breaking Benjamin banner.

As Burnley formed his new group, he called upon Rauch, whom he’d written with for Dear Agony, to be the new guitarist. Rauch had exited Red in 2009, but continued to write for the group until he became part of the new Breaking Benjamin lineup alongside guitarist Keith Wallen, bassist Aaron Bruch and drummer Shaun Foist.

Though Dear Agony proved to be the end for most of Breaking Benjamin’s lineup, the album fared quite well. It outsold the predecessor Phobia, reaching No. 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It also went on to become a platinum selling album, and yielded a trio of tracks that remain essential cuts in the band’s catalog.

15 Best Rock Albums of 2009

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