|Studio album by Rammstein|
|Released:||25 September 1995|
|Recorded:||Polar Studios, Sweden,
|Genre:||Neue Deutsche Härte|
XIII Bis (France)
|Format:||CD, Cassette, Vinyl|
|Producer:||Jacob Hellner, Carl-Michael Herlöfsson|
|Stream / Buy:||Spotify
|Rammstein album chronology|
|Singles from Herzeleid|
North America Edition
Herzeleid XXV Anniversary Edition
The recordings started in Sweden, in the Polar Studios. The band stayed in that studio for one week, where they only recorded the drum tracks. After that, they moved to the private studio of their producer Jacob Hellner. Jacob would only work during the day in the weeks. So in the evenings and in the weekend, the band was alone. None of the band members spoke good English, nor Swedish, so they couldn't go out anywhere, which led to a frustrating mood inside the band. All recordings took the band three months. After that Jacob was the first one to mix the album. Richard was the only band member present during mixing, and after he understood that Jacob had no idea what he did there, they started arguing and things were not getting done. So Richard called everyone in Stockholm: band, Jacob, the management and the label. They decided someone else has to mix the album, which is how they got to Ronald Prent. The mixing with him was done in Hamburg, and though they had some arguments and disagreements with the mixing, Richard thinks that he saved the album.
The first song written for this album was Rammstein, which was also the first song ever written by the band. The last song to be written was most likely Asche zu Asche since it wasn't played at their concerts in 1994, unlike all the other songs. A few songs were written in English before they were translated into German.
There are also eight songs known from that era that did not make it onto the album:
- Jeder lacht (lyrics were later recycled for Adios from Mutter.)
- Unknown instrumental song
- Schwarzes Glas
- Wilder Wein (a demo was later released on Engel (Fan Edition), a finished live version appeared on Live aus Berlin.)
- Alter Mann (later released on Sehnsucht with new music and slightly different lyrics.)
- Feuerräder (later released on Engel (Fan Edition), still in demo phase.)
- Tier (1994) (also referred to as Biest, a fanmade title. Not to be confused with the later released Tier from Sehnsucht.)
- Tiefer gelegt
The original cover caused a little controversy. It shows the band topless and sweaty. The press said Rammstein depicted themselves in this image as "Herrenmenschen". Richard says: "Das ist völliger Quatsch, das ist einfach nur ein Foto" (totally stupid. It is just a photo.) Till adds, that it was a quick shot on a parking lot somewhere in Berlin. North American versions had a different cover, comprised of the band members' faces from the inside of the original booklet, placed side-by-side.
The booklet shows the lyrics for Herzeleid, Das alte Leid and Heirate mich in French. According to Till it was just a fun idea because a friend of the band was French. In fact, the French translation for the title track is actually a translation of the demo of the song. The booklet also shows six single-member pictures, which were later combined to form the North American cover of the album. On some other versions the lyrics for Rammstein, Weißes Fleisch and Seemann are also translated.
For the 25th anniversary of the album's release, the band announced a special XXV edition of the album. It has a new packaging and design. CD and vinyl are remastered, whereas the vinyl uses the same remaster as the 2015 one from the XXI box, which also had a standalone release in 2017. For the CD the remaster was adjusted to digital standards (since vinyl needs a different mastering than a digital source). Jacob Hellner confirmed in an interview that the digital remaster was sourced from the 2015 vinyl remaster project, meaning all of the differences between the original album and the remaster are the same (i.e. shorter outro on Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen?).
This is the first time a full album remaster is released digitally. Whereas the vinyl is only a repackaging of an already available remaster, with new packaging and design. Both editions are said to be strictly limited, with no limitation or numbering given. Also it was noticed that a second and a third batch were pressed for the vinyl. This is the third time that a limited item gets repressed, starting with Völkerball in 2006, and Saddle Up in 2020.
Black double vinyl. Remastered. Released in 2015 as part of the XXI box set. Released separately on 8 December 2017.
Herzeleid was released on CD in many countries; German first press versions sometimes had black stickers on the front of their cases. The United States and Canada had alternative front covers, and were released by Slash Records, but still retained the same songs as on the German version. XIII Bis Records in France released Herzeleid on CD, as well as most of Rammstein's releases before 1999.
South Korean CDs excluded the song Das alte Leid from the tracklist and booklet, although the track is still on the CD.
Some editions of the Herzeleid CD were censored. Some copies had "Schulhof" and "töten" beeped out during Weißes Fleisch, and other versions had these words removed from the CD's lyric booklet, but not from the song itself.
Countries such as South Korea, Poland, Germany and the US (among others) produced commercial MCs for the album. European countries received cassettes featuring the original cover, but US MCs featured the different cover that they also used on CDs.
A very scarce number of German CDs were released with stickers to promote Rammstein's concert on 27 September 1996 slotted in the back of the case, in front of the insert artwork.
A Motor Music Vorabcassette of the album was released; there are two different variations of this tape, but the only difference is the appearance of the eszett (ß) character used in the title of Weißes Fleisch.
The only time Herzeleid has ever been released on Vinyl is on the XXI boxset, and the subsequently released individual LPs from said boxset.
As a promotional item, 50 few record stores got a Rammstein menhir. It is about 140cm high and 60cm thick at its thickest part. Front and back show two spaces for about three to five CDs each. The letters "Rammstein Herzeleid" are clearly visible on back and front. The stone is made of plastic. It was sold a few times on eBay but is one of the rarest promotional items of Rammstein. Two general variants exist; one, painted in the common browns and greys of a rock, and another appears to be pure white, with grey dots and marker pen scribbles. The grey one bares the standard dimensions (140cm high, 60cm thick), but the white variant appears to be much larger at its thickest part, too.
The album was released as a promotional item in the so-called "Riech!"-box. The box included the album, a little bottle of the perfume "Obsession" by Calvin Klein and promotional sheets about the album. The following is the text from these promotional sheets:
Entstanden aus einem Urknall, einer Dringlichkeit, die alle sechs Musiker gleichermaßen ergriffen hat, wollen sich RAMMSTEIN als unteilbare Einheit verstanden wissen. Alle Beteiligten haben immer schon Musik gemacht, die mit dem heutigen RAMMSTEIN-Sound nichts gemein hatte. Im Osten haben sie die Arbeitsverpflichtungen ignoriert und in den Nischen existiert.
4 August 1997
|Other:||This award was given to the band alongside a Gold award for Engel. Tim Renner, former CEO of Motor Music has been pictured owning one of these awards.|
|Herzeleid, Sehnsucht, Live aus Berlin & Mutter|
|Units sold:||200,000 (each)|
|Awarded:||Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany
16 December 2005
|Awarded:||Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany
16 December 2005
|CD / Digital|
The direct translation of "Herzeleid" is "heartache"; however, according to an interview on Talking Metal's podcast in 2007, Richard Kruspe stated that it doesn't translate to "Heartache", but in the German language, it simply means "heartbreak". The album is a culmination of the relationship troubles of all but one of the six band members, hence the title "Herzeleid".
The album was originally going to just be named Rammstein. This is evidenced from their old demo tapes referring to the album as "Rammstein (Demo-Version)", as well as the A Journey Into Sound IV Tape 1, which has the following text on its artwork: "Rammstein - Rammstein (taken from the forthcoming Album Rammstein)".
|Menhir / Hinkelstein|
|Other:||Only released to record stores; only 50 ever made.|