Throwing Copper

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Throwing Copper
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 26, 1994 (1994-04-26)
RecordedJuly–September 1993
Studio Pachyderm Studio, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Genre Alternative rock [1]
Label Radioactive
Producer Jerry Harrison, Live
Live chronology
Mental Jewelry
Throwing Copper
Secret Samadhi
Singles from Throwing Copper
  1. "Selling the Drama"
    Released: February 1994
  2. "I Alone"
    Released: May 22, 1994
  3. "Lightning Crashes"
    Released: September 24, 1994
  4. "All Over You"
    Released: December 5, 1994
  5. "White, Discussion"
    Released: April 1, 1995
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [3]
Q Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [4]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [6]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 7/10 [7]

Throwing Copper is the third studio album by American alternative rock band Live, released on April 26, 1994, on former MCA Records subsidiary Radioactive Records. [8] It was produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads and was recorded at Pachyderm Recording Studio. [9] Throwing Copper has generally been regarded as Live's best album, having sold over 8 million copies and certified 8× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. [10]


Cover art

The cover art is a painting by Scottish artist Peter Howson titled Sisters of Mercy. On September 23, 2005, it was sold for $186,000 by Christie's in New York. The painting is oil on canvas and measures 243 by 182 centimetres (7.97 ft × 5.97 ft). [11]

25th anniversary reissue

In May 2019, the band announced a 25th-anniversary reissue of Throwing Copper, which was released on July 19. [12] The reissue contains three bonus tracks: "Hold Me Up", which was recorded during the original Throwing Copper sessions and later heard in the 2008 comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno but was not officially released; [13] "We Deal in Dreams", which had been released as a single off the band's 2004 compilation album Awake: The Best of Live ; and "Susquehanna", another previously unreleased track originally recorded in 1993, though it had been written during recording sessions for the band's first studio album, Mental Jewelry .

Critical reception

Throwing Copper has typically been regarded as Live's strongest album. A Rolling Stone review stated that the band "strive for an epic sound" and successfully execute on that goal; [5] retrospective reviews have been similarly positive, with the Jakarta Post describing the album as "a solid beast from front to back" and uDiscoverMusic characterizing it as "challenging, yet commendably powerful". [14] [15] The instrumentation on the album has been generally praised: Rolling Stone considered the musicians to be "expert players [who] drop musical smart bombs with unerring precision", and the Jakarta Post referred to the music as "absolutely dynamic and catchy". [5] [14] Singer Ed Kowalczyk was applauded for his vocal performance as well, with a retrospective Stereogum review noting his ability to "raise his voice from a plaintive hush to a clenched roar". [16]

The lyrics of the album received more mixed reviews. The Jakarta Post felt that Throwing Copper "managed to push earnestness and wild esotericism as far as it could go without feeling resoundingly cheesy", but Gina Boldman of AllMusic was more negative, stating that the album's "melodrama [is] a bit much". [2] Stereogum described Kowalczyk's lyrics as "mystic gibberish" that nevertheless featured "memorably inscrutable turns of phrase". [16]

Track listing

All lyrics are written by Ed Kowalczyk; all music is composed by Live.

1."The Dam at Otter Creek"4:43
2."Selling the Drama"3:26
3."I Alone"3:50
5."Lightning Crashes"5:25
7."All Over You"3:59
8."Shit Towne"3:48
12."Pillar of Davidson"6:46
13."White, Discussion"6:08
14."Horse" (hidden track)4:16
25th anniversary reissue bonus tracks
15."Hold Me Up" (from the film Zack and Miri Make a Porno , previously unreleased) 
16."We Deal in Dreams" (previously released on Awake: The Best of Live ) 
17."Susquehanna" (previously unreleased) 
25th anniversary reissue bonus disc: Live at Woodstock '94
3."The Beauty of Gray" 
4."Selling the Drama" 
5."Shit Towne" 
6."Lightning Crashes" 
7."I Alone" 
8."Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition)" 
9."White, Discussion" 

The tracks "Pillar of Davidson" and "Horse" were not included on the original 1994 vinyl version. [17] They were, however, included on the 2012 vinyl reissue on Music on Vinyl, which also added "Horse" to the track listing. The 2019 vinyl re-release was a double album, featuring the bonus tracks and "Horse" on the D-side.


Adapted credits from the liner notes of Throwing Copper. [9]

Technical personnel



Sales chart performance for singles from Throwing Copper
SongPeak chart positions
US (Airplay) US (M.R.) Australia Ned UK Ger
"Selling the Drama" [46] [47] [48] 43149153089
"I Alone" [47] [49] 386 2048 
"Lightning Crashes" [47] [50] 12113 33 
"All Over You" [47] 334  48 
"White, Discussion" [47] 7115    
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Sales certifications for Throwing Copper
RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA) [51] 10× Platinum700,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
Belgium (BEA) [52] Gold25,000*
Canada (Music Canada) [53] 7× Platinum700,000^
Netherlands (NVPI) [54] 2× Platinum200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ) [55] 6× Platinum90,000^
Sweden (GLF) [56] Gold50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [57] Gold100,000^
United States (RIAA) [10] 8× Platinum8,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Double-dagger-14-plain.png Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

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