|Blues for the Red Sun|
|Studio album by Kyuss|
|Released||June 30 1992|
|Recorded||1992 at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California|
|Genre||Stoner Rock, Heavy Metal, Desert Rock|
|Producer||Kyuss, Chris Goss|
|Blues for the Red Sun
|Welcome to Sky Valley |
Blues for the Red Sun is the second studio album by American rock band Kyuss.
Released in 1992 to favorable reviews and despite poor initial sales, Blues for the Red Sun has been cited by many as a landmark and an influential album within the stoner rock genre. Notably it would be the first album to feature producer Chris Goss and the last to feature bassist Nick Oliveri, whom left the band after the recording of the album.
Background[edit | edit source]
Following the release of the band's debut album Wretch in September 1991 and it's respective tour alongside The Dwarves work would begin on a second studio album. A fan of the band who'd catch their early shows, Chris Goss (Masters of Reality) opted to work as the band's producer. According to Brant Bjork in a Kyuss retrospective presented by Roadburn the album was recorded in roughly three weeks in early 1992.
In the same Roadburn retrospective on Kyuss, Bjork would speak about the making of Blues:
|“||"In my opinion, Blues was a natural progression from Wretch. We were older, wiser more confident. In a lot of ways we had nothing left to prove. We just got stoned, drank some wine and jammed.
Chris Goss was there from the beginning. We would play some little bar in Hollywood in front of nine people and two of them would be Chris and his wife Cynthia. When our label gave us the go-ahead to do Blues we of course asked Chris to help us capture our sound and get it moving in a natural direction.
He helped us with our confidence to evolve. Not to question our natural instincts. Blues was the result. Recorded and mixed in something like three weeks. We went in and rocked. We would listen to all playbacks on the biggest speakers as loud as possible. We knew we were creating something beautiful."
— Brant Bjork, Roadburn
The band themselves were drawing from the desert lifestyle and the desert scene in making Blues For The Red Sun. When asked at the time if Black Sabbath were an influence guitarist Josh Homme would deny that, citing more of a "coincidental thing". In later interviews Brant Bjork confirmed Homme's dismissal of the genre tags, honestly just citing themselves as a punk band at the time. Goss himself opted to take the production role, stating in an interview "I'm not letting any shithead metal producer touch this band and ruin it.".
Guitarist Josh Homme plugged down-tuned guitars into bass amplifiers for the distortion featured on the album along with Wah-wah pedals. Wayne Robins of Newsday described Homme's riffs as "post-Hendrix guitar flurries". Several of the songs on Blues for the Red Sun have slow tempos and groove-laden rhythms along with single "Green Machine" featuring a bass guitar solo. The album also featured several instrumental tracks, many of which crediting John Garcia on "lyrics", likely as an inside joke. The only other song Garcia is credited in lyrics is album closer "Yeah" where he simply says that word.
Also of note is "Mondo Generator" is the sole Kyuss song credited entirely to bassist Nick Oliveri. He would also sing on this track in one of the only Kyuss songs to feature a vocalist besides Garcia. Notably Oliveri would leave the band after the recording sessions. In an interview on his career via Louder Sound, Oliveri would state he was asked to leave the band due to his recklessness and citing that " I was going in a more aggressive musical direction too.".Oliveri would also cite Welcome To Sky Valley as his favorite Kyuss album despite not playing on it. Scott Reeder was initially asked to join the band while Kyuss and The Obsessed toured the West Coast in 1992 but he declined at the time. Some months later after Oliveri was out of the band, Reeder initially joined as a fill-in but would join full-time. His first show with the band was in July for the release party for Blues For The Red Sun. In an interview with Louder Sound Brant Bjork also cited Blues as his favorite Kyuss album in the following:
|“||"I love Welcome To Sky Valley, and …Circus is a good record,” says Brant, “but Blues For The Red Sun captures what that band really was in its most natural, most organic state. I didn’t know if anyone would like it, but I thought it was badass. I think you get these eras when there’s bands doing stuff that’s not really in line with where culture’s at, especially back then with the grunge thing blowing up. It took a good 10 years for people to catch up."||”|
— Brant Bjork, Louder Sound
Reception[edit | edit source]
Blues For The Red Sun was originally released on 30 June 1992 via Dali Records. A single would be produced for "Thong Song" that same year. A single for "Green Machine" would also be produced but in 1993 to promote the band's tours with Faith No More and Metallica, respectively. Music videos for "Thong Song" and "Green Machine" were made, the latter made after Oliveri left the band and thus featuring Scott Reeder on bass. Both music videos received moderate rotation on MTV's Headbangers Ball and on MuchMusic in Canada. The album also received airplay on such album-oriented radio stations as KNAC, KISW, WYSP, and KIOZ. Despite critical acclaim at the time the album only sold 39,000 copies in it's initial release, being considered a commercial failure. Sometime after it's release Dali Records would be bought out by major label Elektra.
In support of the album, Kyuss went on tour with such established groups as Faith No More, White Zombie, and Danzig. In early 1993, the band was chosen by Metallica to be an opening act for nine shows in Australia. After their first show with Metallica, the group was only allowed to use half the P.A. system for the other eight concerts.
At the time of release the album attained praise from fans and conventional critics alike. A To X writer Steve Taylor considers it to be Kyuss' best album. AllMusic's Eduardo Rivadavia gave the album four and a half out of five stars and called the album, "a major milestone in heavy music." In particular he praised producer Chris Goss, who had also been the singer-guitarist for Masters of Reality, for its "unique heavy/light formula." Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B+. Rolling Stone considered "Green Machine" and "Thong Song" to be the albums highlights and also thought that the production had greatly improved from the band's previous album, Wretch. Kerrang! also award the album a perfect score, eliciting high praise. College Music Journal claimed that the album was "raw and unorthodox" and, like Rivadavia, complimented Chris Goss for the production. Q called it "one of the landmark metal albums of the '90s," and rewarded it a perfect five out of five stars. Guitar Player magazine added Green Machine in their 1995 article titled "50 Heaviest Riffs Of All Time". Spin would rank Blues for the Red Sun tenth on their list of "10 Best Albums You Didn't Hear in '92.". Kerrang would rank the album #3 on their end of the year list, only behind The Black Crowes and Alice in Chains.
With time Blues For The Red Sun has attained further praise for it's importance in shaping the stoner rock and desert rock scenes. In 2002 Spin would rank the album #36 on their "40 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time" list. Rolling Stone would rank the album #41 on their "Top 100 Metal Albums of All Time". Chad Bowar of About.com named the album the 8th best heavy metal album of 1992 and went on to write that Blues for the Red Sun, "was a landmark album that influenced a lot of bands." MusicRadar included the album on "The 50 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time" and ranked it in 48th place. Retroactive reviewers such as Metal Assault, Doodlehound, Metal Injection, Sputnik Music and Tiny Mix Tapes among others have given the album universal praise.
Tracklist[edit | edit source]
- 1. Thumb (4:41) (Lyrics: Homme; Music: Josh Homme, Brant Bjork)
- 2. Green Machine (3:38) (Lyrics and Music: Bjork)
- 3. Molten Universe (2:49) (Lyrics: John Garcia; Music: Homme)
- 4. 50 Million Year Trip (Downside Up) (5:52) (Music and Lyrics: Bjork)
- 5. Thong Song (3:47) (Music and Lyrics: Homme)
- 6. Apothecaries' Weight (5:21) (Lyrics: Garcia; Music: Homme)
- 7. Caterpillar March (1:56) (Music: Bjork)
- 8. Freedom Run (7:37) (Lyrics: Homme, Bjork; Music: Homme)
- 9. 800 (1:34) (Lyrics: Garcia; Music: Homme)
- 10. Writhe (3:42) (Music and Lyrics: Homme)
- 11. Capsized (0:55) (Lyrics: Garcia; Music: Homme)
- 12. Allen's Wrench (2:44) (Lyrics: Bjork; Music: Bjork, Homme)
- 13. Mondo Generator (6:15) (Music and Lyrics: Nick Oliveri)
- 14. Yeah (0:04) (Lyric: Garcia)
Personnel[edit | edit source]
- John Garcia - Lead Vocals (1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14), Producer
- Josh Homme - Guitar, Producer
- Brant Bjork - Drums, Album Concept, Producer
- Nick Oliveri - Bass, Lead Vocals (13), Producer
- Chris Goss - Producer
- Joe Barresi - Engineer, Mixing
- Brian Jenkins - Engineer (Drums)
- Jeff Sheehan - Assistant Engineer
- Mike Bosely - Additional Mixing
- Howie Weinberg - Mastering Engineer
- Skiles - Art Director
- Art Industria - Design
- Marc Rude - Cover Illustration
- Big Bear Solar Observatory - Cover Photography
- Michael Anderson - Additional Photography
External Links[edit | edit source]
- / Blues For The Red Sun on Discogs
- The Obelisk Article on Sky Valley and Blues For The Red Sun
- Merryjane article on the album's 25th anniversary
- Every Record Tells A Story article on Blues For The Red Sun
References[edit | edit source]
- Louder Sound
- Archive.org Bennett, J. (2009). Mudrian, Albert (ed.). Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces. Da Capo Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-306-81806-6. Precious metal Kyuss., accessed 17 June 2020
- Roadburn via Wayback MachineKyuss Retrospective accessed 17 June 2020
- Louder Sound
- [Bukszpan, Daniel; James Dio, Ronnie (2003). The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal. Barnes & Noble Publishing Inc. p. 120. ISBN 0-7607-4218-9.]
- Louder Sound
- Roadburn via Wayback Machine
- Louder SoundKyuss’ Blues For The Red Sun: the cult 90s masterpiece that sparked the stoner rock revolution accessed 17 June 2020
- [Morris, Chris (January 15, 1994). "Kyuss Lands on Its Feet and Keeps Climbing". Billboard.]
- Exclaim! via Wayback Machine
- [Taylor, Steve (2006). A to X of Alternative Music. Continuum. p. 199. ISBN 0-8264-8217-1.]
- [Frost, Deborah. "Blues for the Red Sun". Entertainment Weekly. January 1993. pg. 53, cited March 17, 2010]
- [Brackett, Nathan. "Kyuss". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 473, cited March 17, 2010]
- [Mörat (July 11, 1992). "Kyuss 'Blues for the Red Sun'". Kerrang!. 400. London, UK: EMAP.]
- [John, Robert. "KYUSS: Blues For The Red Sun". CMJ. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
- Q via Wayback Machine
- ["10 Best Albums You Didn't Hear in '92". Spin. December 1992.]
- Every Record Tells A Story
- [40 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Spin. September 2002.]
- Rolling Stone
- Music Radar
- Metal Assault
- Metal Injection
- Sputnik Music
|Past Members||Josh Homme • John Garcia • Scott Reeder • Alfredo Hernández • Brant Bjork • Nick Oliveri • Chris Cockrell|
|Albums||Wretch • Blues for the Red Sun • Welcome to Sky Valley • ...And The Circus Leaves Town|
|Compilations||Muchas Gracias: The Best of Kyuss|
|Extended Plays||Sons of Kyuss|
|Splits||Kyuss/Queens of The Stone Age|
|Associated Bands||Vista Chino • Peace • The Desert Sessions • Queens of the Stone Age • Mondo Generator • Hermano • Fu Manchu • Unida • Slo Burn • Ché • Chris Goss • Masters of Reality|