The music trade was going via seismic modifications on the flip of the twenty first Century, due to accelerating development of know-how, the Web and a particular revolutionary catalyst known as the MP3 file, which allowed followers to indiscriminately share music, each digitally and illegally, through groundbreaking digital instruments like Napster. Each musical artist on earth, with out exception, was caught within the crosshairs of this new know-how and the sudden, illicit client conduct it inspired — most notably prime heavy metallic canines Metallica, who led the cost in preventing Napster head on in court docket, and duly misplaced their shorts within the court docket of public opinion, for trying like a bunch of grumpy outdated capitalists.
However one other band victimized by the unauthorized leak of unreleased recordings on this new age of music piracy was Los Angeles nu-metal quartet System of a Down, when a collection of outtakes from their sophomore album, Toxicity, by some means made its approach out of the vaults and into file-traders’ fingers, in early 2002.
Only some months prior, in September of 2001, the group had unleashed their breakthrough sophomore album Toxicity and at last begun having fun with mainstream success, almost 4 years after their watershed self-titled debut had alerted discerning metallic followers to the group’s wildly authentic (and simply plain bizarre) musical system — summarized by some as Slayer jamming with Religion No Extra!
Now, barely six months after Toxicity‘s launch, over a dozen new songs — demos, basically — had been being liberally bandied throughout our on-line world, to the delight of followers, merely comfortable to listen to extra SOAD, and the band’s consternation over unfinished cuts informally known as “Toxicity II.”
So System of a Down, to their credit score, made the perfect of a foul scenario by swiftly sharpening off many of the tracks in query and making ready an official launch for the vacation purchasing season, which they wrapped in a spartan package deal impressed by all these home-burned CDRs made after which mockingly named the disc Steal This Album!, in reference to political activist Abbie Hoffman.
On Nov. 26, 2002, System of a Down’s Steal This Album formally hit shops. The album had been produced by System’s personal Daron Malakian, with in-demand producer Rick Rubin including his Midas contact to the recordings as effectively. Among the recordings had begun through the Toxicity periods, however had been ignored on account of continuity points. Nevertheless, the band insisted the fabric was not a b-sides set and have praised the recordings as a few of their stronger work.
System of a Down, “Innervision”
The driving rocker “Innervision” loved the best little bit of success from the album, climbing to No. 12 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The track urged the listener towards interior soul looking, with Serj Tankian providing up the insightful traces, “There’s just one true path in life / The street that results in all results in one.“
The band additionally gave their track “Growth” some consideration, utilizing the music to soundtrack a video spotlighting the Feb. 15, 2003 worldwide peace demonstration through which 10 million individuals in 600 cities that on the time turned the biggest peace demonstration ever. The monitor, a excessive vitality rocker with Tankian principally talking moderately than singing, in-built depth whereas driving house its level. Whereas there wasn’t a deep push by way of singles, tracks like “I-E-A-I-A-I-O,” “Mr. Jack” and the album opener “Stylish ‘N’ Stu” had their share of followers.
System of a Down, “Growth!”
Followers did their half for System regardless of the leak, scooping up a million-plus copies of the discharge and lapping up 16 tracks that featured all the traditional, lovable SOAD musical eccentricities with a extra stripped down sound paying homage to the group’s paradigm-shattering debut.
So, whereas it is a bit of a disingenuous stretch to name Steal this Album! a win-win scenario, SOAD’s forward-thinking response was infinitely higher than Metallica’s and different artists’ short-sighted, “put the genie again within the bottle” response to digital piracy — which sadly mirrored the prevailing music trade angle for the subsequent decade or so.
System of a Down Albums Ranked