Opiate (EP)

Last updated
EP by
ReleasedMarch 10, 1992 (1992-03-10)
RecordedDecember 1991 – January 1992
Studio Sound City, Van Nuys, California
Genre Heavy metal [1]
Label Zoo
Tool chronology
Alternative cover
Opiate 2019.jpg
Cover art for the re-release and digital versions
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [2]
Kerrang! Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [3]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [5]

Opiate is an EP by American rock band Tool. It was produced and engineered by Sylvia Massy and former Minor Threat bassist Steve Hansgen. Released in 1992, it was the result of some two years of the band playing together after their formation in 1990. Opiate preceded Tool's first full-length release, Undertow , by a year. It is named after a quote by Karl Marx: "religion ... is the opiate of the masses". [6] As of July 7, 2010, Opiate has sold 1,155,000 copies in the US and is certified Platinum by the RIAA. The EP charted on several international charts when Tool released their catalog to online streaming in August 2019. [7]

Extended play Musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Tool (band) American metal band

Tool is an American rock band from Los Angeles. Formed in 1990, the group's line-up includes drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, and vocalist Maynard James Keenan. Justin Chancellor has been the band's bassist since 1995, replacing their original bassist Paul D'Amour. Tool has won three Grammy Awards, performed worldwide tours, and produced albums topping the charts in several countries.


Background and recording

Opiate features seven songs spanning six tracks, two of which are live recordings. Most versions of the EP (all except the cassette) feature the hidden seventh song titled "The Gaping Lotus Experience". On CD versions, the song is hidden at the end of the last track of the album, "Opiate", and begins approximately 6 minutes and 10 seconds into the track after "Opiate" has concluded. Vinyl copies of the EP featured a double groove on the second side; one which contained "Cold and Ugly", with the second containing "The Gaping Lotus Experience" and a small period of silence. Both grooves led into "Jerk-Off".

In the field of recorded music, a hidden track is a piece of music that has been placed on a CD, audio cassette, LP record or other recorded medium in such a way as to avoid detection by the casual listener. In some cases, the piece of music may simply have been left off the track listing, while in other cases more elaborate methods are used. In rare cases a "hidden track" is actually the result of an error that occurred during the mastering stage of the record's production.

The song "Sweat" was featured on the Escape from L.A. soundtrack. [8]

<i>Escape from L.A.</i> 1996 film by John Carpenter

Escape from L.A. is a 1996 American postapocalyptic action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter, co-written and produced by Debra Hill and Kurt Russell, with Russell also starring as Snake Plissken. A sequel to Escape from New York, Escape from L.A. co-stars Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach, Bruce Campbell, and Pam Grier. The film received a mixed reception and was a box-office bomb.

"Cold and Ugly" and "Jerk-Off" were recorded specially for the album at the Jellö Loft on New Year's Eve 1991 with a live audience. As a result, these two songs have never been available as true "studio" recordings except for the band's 1991 demo tape. This demo tape, titled 72826 , also featured early versions of "Hush" and "Part of Me" (as well as "Crawl Away" and "Sober", which would eventually make it on Undertow ), and was used to get the band signed. All four songs were re-recorded for this album.

Green Jellÿ American Punk/Comedy Band

Green Jellÿ is an American comedy rock band formed in 1981. Originally named Green Jellö, the band changed its name due to legal pressure from Kraft Foods, the owners of the Jell-O trademark, who claimed that it was an infringement of their trademark. Despite the spelling difference, the new name and the old are pronounced identically.

Sober (Tool song) 1994 single by Tool

"Sober" is a song by American rock band Tool. The song was released as the first single from their debut studio album, Undertow. Tool guitarist Adam Jones has stated in an interview that the song is about a friend of the band whose artistic expression only comes out when he is under the influence. "A lot of people give him shit for that," Jones explains. "If you become addicted and a junkie, well, that's your fault."

<i>Undertow</i> (Tool album) 1993 studio album by Tool

Undertow is the debut studio album by American rock band Tool, released on April 6, 1993 by Zoo Entertainment. Produced by the band and Sylvia Massy, it was recorded from October to December 1992 at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys and Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood. The album includes some tracks the band decided to not release on their debut EP Opiate.

In the original CD inserts for the album there is a collage of photos of the band members as children, among various items and trinkets, and also includes a picture of someone engaging in necrophilia with a well-decomposed cadaver. In reality, it is a friend of the band joking around in prop maker Stan Winston's studio. [9]

Stan Winston American special make-up effects artist

Stanley "Stan" Winston was an American television and film special make-up effects creator. He was best known for his work in the Terminator series, the first three Jurassic Park films, Aliens, the first two Predator films, Inspector Gadget, Iron Man and Edward Scissorhands. He won four Academy Awards for his work.

A black and white music video was made for the track "Hush", the band's first. The Canadian music channel MuchMusic played it regularly. [10]

Black and white monochrome form in visual arts

Black-and-white images combine black and white in a continuous spectrum, producing a range of shades of gray.

Music and lyrics

Along with Undertow , many Tool fans consider Opiate to be the band's heaviest album. [11] The connection fans have to the EP was even addressed on the song "Hooker with a Penis" from their third release and second LP Ænima . The EP features straightforward song structures in place of the progressive traits the band became known for later on in their career. In a 2013 interview, guitarist Adam Jones stated "I love metal, but I love the other stuff that's been contributed by the band. When we started out, the record company said that we had to pick our heaviest songs, because that's the impact - you're metal and that's really important." [11]

Lyrical subjects explored on Opiate include censorship and organized religion. [12] [13]

2013 reissue

On March 26, 2013 the band released a special 21st anniversary limited edition package of the album, which includes bonus features, such as new artwork. It was limited to only 5,000 copies. [14] [15] [16] The packaging was done with an old fashioned Heidelberg Cylinder Press.

Track listing

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

3."Part of Me"3:17
4."Cold and Ugly" (live)4:09
5."Jerk-Off" (live)4:24
6."Opiate" (the song "Opiate" ends at 5:20. The hidden song "The Gaping Lotus Experience" starts at 6:10, after 50 seconds of silence.)8:28
Total length:26:52

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



Chart (2019)Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA) [17] 43
Canadian Albums (Billboard) [18] 85
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) [19] 87
US Billboard 200 [20] 59

Certification and sales

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA) [21] Platinum70,000^
United States (RIAA) [22] Platinum1,155,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

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  7. charting
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  11. 1 2 "TOOL: NEWSLETTER". Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2015.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
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