HAPPY BIRTHDAY “THE BURNING RED”!
By Robb Flynn
That’s right 18 years ago today, our infamous third album was released. Inspiring some of our most beloved (and most loathed) songs, and in many ways drawing a dividing line between older metal fans and nu-er metal fans.
And while the boys choice of clothes and hair may have been, er uh, questionable… 18 years later the songs still stand up with live favorite such as “The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears”, and “From This Day” proving to be certifiable smashes in the MH Setlist.
The album undeniably changed the course of the band’s history forever, some might argue for the worse, but most would agree it was absolutely for the better. The melodic influences and guitar tones of Robert Smith/ The Cure brought into the sonic spectrum with songs like “The Burning Red”, “Devil With The Kings Card” and ”Silver” would later inspire melodic masterpieces such as “Descend The Shades of Night”, “Darkness Within” and The Cure worshipping guitar intro to “Locust”.
Fun facts about TBR:
- The first song written for the album was "I Defy” which contains a riff from then-guitarist Logan Mader. Logan quit right at the beginning of the writing sessions.
- The band held guitar tryouts for several months, with people traveling from all over the US and included Gary Holt of Exodus.
- Ahrue Luster was brought in in the summer of 1998, based on his catchy song writing with Man Made God, but just as much from his riff-work in his previous death metal band The Horde Of Torment (of which Robb was a fan).
- It was recorded by Ross Robinson at Indigo Ranch in Malibu, CA at the same time as the debut Slipknot album, with both bands occasionally living at Indigo Ranch with each other for periods of time. Joey Jordinson screams back ups during the build up/breakdown on the song “Nothing Left” (I’ve got nothing left for nobody / ahhhhhh)
- It charted at #88 on the Billboard charts, and would go on to sell nearly 400,000 albums worldwide. It is the 2nd best selling album for Machine Head in terms of CD sales.
- The infamous video for “From This Day” was directed by rapper Master P’s video director for “Make ‘Em Say Ugh” Michael Martin at the behest of Roadrunner Records president Jonas Naschin. It shows Robb with blonde and black spikes in his hair, Dave with yellow leopard-print hair, Ahrue in a Kung Fu outfit ( a look later taken on by Zoltan of Five Finger Death Punch) and Robb in a much-debated / much-maligned bright orange nylon outfit (not a track suit!).
- The “From This Day” single was edited down to 3 minutes (with the breakdown in the middle deemed “too heavy for radio”), and featured a cover of the Bad Brains song “House Of Suffering” and the b-side “Alcholocaust” recorded during the TBR sessions.
- Machine Head’s “Year of the Dragon" tour in January 2000 would prove to be the biggest U.S. tour band had put together at the time. Featuring Reveille, and Primer 55, it turned Machine Head into a verifiable headliner in America.
- Machine Head sold out the Brixton Academy in London (for the first time) on their headline tour of the U.K featuring One Minute Silence opening.
Do you have any memories of this album?
Did you catch the band on tour during this period?
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