More Human than Human

Last updated

"More Human than Human"
White Zombie More Human Than Human.jpg
Single by White Zombie
from the album Astro-Creep: 2000
B-side
  • "More Human than Human (The Jeddak of the Tharks Super Mix)",
  • "Blood, Milk and Sky"
Released1995
FormatCD single,
Vinyl
Recorded1994 at NRG Studios, Los Angeles
Genre
Length4:28
Label Geffen
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Terry Date
White Zombie singles chronology
"Black Sunshine"
(1993)
"More Human than Human"
(1995)
"Electric Head Pt. 2 (The Ecstasy)"
(1995)

"More Human than Human" is the first official single from the Astro-Creep: 2000 album by metal band White Zombie. The song can also be found on Rob Zombie's Past, Present & Future , the greatest hits album The Best of Rob Zombie , and a remix is included on Supersexy Swingin' Sounds .

White Zombie (band) American heavy metal band

White Zombie was an American heavy metal band that formed in 1985. Based in New York City, White Zombie was originally a noise rock band, and was known for its later heavy metal-oriented sound. Their best-known songs are "Thunder Kiss '65", "Black Sunshine" and "More Human than Human". The group officially disbanded in 1998. In 2000, White Zombie was included on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, ranking at No. 56.

Rob Zombie American singer and film director

Rob Zombie is an American musician and filmmaker. He is a founding member of the heavy metal band White Zombie, releasing four studio albums with the band. He is the older brother of Spider One, lead vocalist for American rock band Powerman 5000.

<i>Past, Present & Future</i> (Rob Zombie album) 2003 compilation album by Rob Zombie

Past, Present & Future is a 2003 retrospective collection of the music of Rob Zombie. It includes selections of his work with White Zombie and his solo career, as well as two previously unreleased tracks. It won a Metal Edge Readers' Choice Award for Compilation Album of the Year.

Contents

Music and lyrics

The title and lyrics reference the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, adapted in film as Blade Runner . The title was the slogan of the Tyrell Corporation, manufacturers of the very humaniform biological androids, or "replicants" that are the focal point of the story. [4] "I want more life, fucker" (quoted in the lyrics) is one of the last things his creator hears when the replicant designed to be the perfect – and disposable – soldier (Rutger Hauer) finds him and is denied a reprieve from the programmed 4 year life span.

Philip K. Dick American author

Philip Kindred Dick was an American writer known for his work in science fiction. His work explored philosophical, social, and political themes, with stories dominated by monopolistic corporations, alternative universes, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness. His writing also reflected his interest in metaphysics and theology, and often drew upon his life experiences, addressing the nature of reality, identity, drug abuse, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences. Dick produced 44 published novels and approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime.

<i>Blade Runner</i> 1982 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott

Blade Runner is a 1982 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, and written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples. Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Sean Young, it is loosely based on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968). The film is set in a dystopian future Los Angeles of 2019, in which synthetic humans known as replicants are bio-engineered by the powerful Tyrell Corporation to work on off-world colonies. When a fugitive group of Nexus-6 replicants led by Roy Batty (Hauer) escapes back to Earth, burnt-out cop Rick Deckard (Ford) reluctantly agrees to hunt them down.

The moaning in the intro to the song was sampled from a post-apocalyptic porn movie called Café Flesh directed by Stephen Sayadian. [5]

<i>Café Flesh</i> 1982 film by Stephen Sayadian

Café Flesh is a 1982 post-apocalyptic cult pornographic science fiction film designed and directed by Stephen Sayadian and co-written by Sayadian and Jerry Stahl. Music was composed and produced by noted music producer Mitchell Froom.

Stephen Sayadian, also known as Rinse Dream, is a writer, production-designer and director active in the 1980s and 1990s.

The song is also notable for featuring slide guitar, a technique typically associated with blues music.

Slide guitar guitar technique for steelguitars

Slide guitar is a particular technique for playing the guitar that is often used in blues-style music. The technique involves placing an object against the strings while playing to create glissando effects and deep vibratos. It typically involves playing the guitar in the traditional position with the use of a tubular "slide" fitted on one of the guitarist's fingers. The slide may be a metal or glass tube like the neck of a bottle. The term "bottleneck" was historically used to describe this type of playing. The strings are typically plucked while the slide is moved over the strings to change the pitch. The guitar may also be placed on the player's lap and played with a hand-held bar and is then referred to as "lap slide guitar" or "lap steel guitar".

Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, and spirituals. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes, usually thirds, fifths or sevenths flattened in pitch are also an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove.

Reception

"More Human than Human" quickly became the band's highest-charting and most recognizable single in the entirety of their career. The song earned them their second Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance in 1995. The song was named the 68th best hard rock song of all time by VH1. [6]

VH1 American cable television network

VH1 is an American pay television network based in New York City owned by Viacom. It was originally created by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, at the time a division of Warner Communications and the original owner of MTV, and launched on January 1, 1985, in the former space of Turner Broadcasting System's short-lived Cable Music Channel.

The song was listed as number 4 on PopMatters' "The 10 Best Alternative Metal Singles of the 1990s" list. [2]

PopMatters is an international online magazine of cultural criticism that covers many aspects of popular culture. PopMatters publishes reviews, interviews, and detailed essays on most cultural products and expressions in areas such as music, television, films, books, video games, comics, sports, theater, visual arts, travel, and the Internet.

Music video

The music video of "More Human than Human," the first video made for Astro-Creep: 2000, features White Zombie playing the track in a room and short clips of old home video footage of Rob, his brother, Michael Cummings (better known as Spider One of the band Powerman 5000), and a cousin at a young age. Part of the video was also shot in the halls of Framingham High School, Framingham, Massachusetts as well as on the streets of Hollywood Boulevard. [7] It was the first video that had been completely directed by Rob alone. In 1995, he won the MTV Video Music Award for Hard Rock Video for this music video. At the time, it was Rob's favorite White Zombie music video. [8]

Cover versions

A notable cover of the song is the Richard Cheese jazz version on his Tuxicity album released in 2002. An electronica band called Razed in Black covered the song featuring Thomas Thorn as a guest performer for the compilation album Signal to Noise: Reinforced Industrial Hits in 2001. Also, Metallica performed a live doodle of "More Human than Human" at Donington Park a few months after the release of Astro-Creep: 2000. The song was recorded by Shockwerks for the White Zombie tribute album Super-Charger Hell in 2000 and then again by Transient for The Electro-Industrial Tribute to Rob Zombie in 2002.

The song was remixed in 2004 by The X-Ecutioners on their album Revolutions , and was titled "(Even) More Human than Human."

The 2018 show Altered Carbon (episode 06 season 01) features a cover of the song by Sune Rose Wagner.

Appearances

Track listings

First single

  1. "More Human than Human (LP Version)" – 4:28
  2. "More Human than Human (The Jeddak of the Tharks Super-Mix)" – 4:17
  3. "Blood, Milk and Sky (Kerokerokeroppi and the Smooth Operator Mix)" – 4:20

Second single

  1. "More Human than Human" (LP Version) 4 :28
  2. "More Human than Human" (The Jeddak Of The Tharks Super-Mix) – 4:17
  3. "Blood, Milk and Sky (Kerokerokeroppi and the Smooth Operator Mix)" – 4:20

Third single

  1. "More Human than Human (Clean Edit)" – 3:59
  2. "More Human than Human (LP Version)" – 4:29

Fourth single

  1. "More Human than Human (LP Version)" – 4:29

Charts

Chart (1995)Peak
Peak
Australian Singles Chart [11] 37
Canadian RPM Alternative 30 [12] 1
UK Singles Chart [13] 51
Radio Songs [14] 53
Alternative Songs [15] 7
Mainstream Rock Songs [16] 10

See also

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References

  1. Reed, Ryan (February 17, 2016). "White Zombie Revive Early Material for Massive Box Set". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  2. 1 2 Ramirez, AJ (August 3, 2011). "The 10 Best Alternative Metal Singles of the 1990s". PopMatters . Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  3. Brackett, Nathan and Christian David Hoard (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 871. ISBN   0743201698.
  4. "White Zombie - More Human Than Human • VideoSift: Online Video *Quality Control". Videosift.com. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  5. Café Flesh (1982), Event Occurs 44:11 - 44:24
  6. "spreadit.org music" . Retrieved February 5, 2009.
  7. RockNet Interviews Rob Zombie, cited September 25, 2009
  8. Miller, Gerri. "White Zombie Live & Backstage". Metal Edge Magazine . March, 1996. cited October 30, 2008
  9. "THDJ Soundtrack Listing". GameSpy . Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  10. "Arcade Heroes – REVIEW: Dirty Drivin' by Specular Interactive/Raw Thrills". Arcadeheroes.com. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  11. australian-charts.com, charts for White Zombie
  12. "Rock/Alternative – Volume 61, No. 19, June 11, 1995". RPM . Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  13. everyhit.co.uk, an archive containing all UK top 40 charts
  14. "White Zombie Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard . Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  15. "White Zombie Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard . Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  16. "White Zombie Chart History (Mainstream Rock Songs)". Billboard . Retrieved September 11, 2018.