Herzeleid (album)

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Herzeleid is the debut album by Rammstein. It was released on 25 September 1995, and on 24 November 1998 in North America.[1]

Herzeleid
Herzeleid cover
Studio album by Rammstein
Released: 25 September 1995
24 November 1998 (N. America)
Recorded: Polar Studios, Sweden,
March 1995
Genre: Neue Deutsche Härte
Label: Motor
Universal (Re-Release)
Slash (US)
XIII Bis (France)
Format: CD, Cassette, Vinyl, Digital
Length: 49:26
Producer: Jacob Hellner, Carl-Michael Herlöfsson
Stream / Buy: Spotify
iTunes
Discogs: DiscogsLogo.png
Rammstein album chronology
Herzeleid
(1995)
Sehnsucht
(1997)
Singles from Herzeleid
  1. Du riechst so gut (24 August 1995)
  2. Seemann (8 January 1996)
  3. Du riechst so gut '98 (17 April 1998)
  4. Asche zu Asche (15 January 2001)
North America
XXV Anniversary
Herzeleid XXV Anniversary Edition

Information

Recording[2]

The band started recording the album in the Polar Studios in Sweden. For about two weeks the band and their producers, Jacob Hellner and Carl-Michael Herlöfsson, recorded most of the drums and bass, and some of the guitar parts. Additionally they worked on computer stuff to sample guitars and create sample sounds. After leaving the Polar Studios, they all went to the private studio of Jacob and Carl-Michael. During their time in the new studio they recorded the guitars and did additional recordings. The vocals were also tracked at the new studio, which was Till only working with Jacob, while Carl-Michael was more involved with programming and sampling. During these recordings, the band wanted to have the line "Der Wahnsinn" in Du riechst so gut to sound as if it came from a telephone. So one of the band members went out to a Stockholm subway, wearing nothing but a white t-shirt, suspenders, boots and short pants. From the subway he called the studio and repeated the line "Der Wahnsinn" over and over again in different intonations. Suddenly he heard someone next to him calling the police, telling them that there is a madman shouting German stuff into a phone.

The first mix, which was made by Jacob and Carl-Michael, was done at the MFG Studios. During these first mixing sessions, Richard was the only band member there. But he was not satisfied with how things turned out and called all other band members, the management and the label. Together they decided that they need a different person for the mix, which is how they agreed on Ronald Prent. When the label contacted Ronald, he was on holiday on the island of Crete in Greece. After being contacted, he talked to Jacob, who also happened to be in Greece at the same time. Together they went to Hamburg and tried mixing the album in the Chateau du Pape Sutdios. The whole band was present during the new mixes. They decided to start with one song and do as many versions of the mix as possible. Every time a new mix was done, the band left the studio and discussed outside. One day they wished to be mixed in a way, that makes them sound like Bon Jovi. After hearing the result, they declined that version of them. One day Ronald had the idea of using a certain type of compression, which would make the music more dry and "in your face". After hearing that mix, the band collectively agreed that this is the Rammstein sound they want.

Before finally going with the title Herzeleid, the album had the names Rammstein[3] and Heirate mich.[4]

The first press listening of the album happened in the Chateau Du Pape studio. The music journalist Matthias Mineur was invited by Motor Music to listen to the songs and see, if the band could really be the next big thing. Four weeks later the band held an open press conference in the "Blow Up" cinema in Berlin. A black and white silent film was shown on the screen and the band was sitting on the chairs inside the cinema, not in front of the screen, which was where the journalists sat down. The band always answered from left to right, regardless of who was asked.[5][6]

Other songs

Jacob Hellner mentioned in an interview, that they recorded a total of 18 songs in six weeks.[7] Based on our current knowledge of songs, the other seven recorded songs could be the following, of which only Feuerräder is confirmed:

Promotion

At first, the then-upcoming album was promoted with three different tapes: 3-Track Demo 3, 6-Track Demo 3 and 6 Rough-Mixes/3 Mixes. All of which were sent out by Motor Music. After the album and the first single Du riechst so gut were manufactured, the album was released as a promotional item in the so-called "Riech!"-box. The box included the album (sometimes only the single, sometimes both), a little bottle of the perfume "Obsession" by Calvin Klein and several different sets of promotional sheets about the album. The following is the text from one of the sets of these promotional sheets:

German original

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.
"Freie Wildbahn" nennen sie das heute - im Unterschied zum "Safari-Park" des wiedervereinigten Deutschlands, in dem "manchmal jemand vorbeikommt, der ein bisschen Futter hinwirft." Aber ein bisschen Futter macht bekanntlich auch nicht satt. Die Rammstein-Musiker stammen aus Ost-Berlin und Schwerin - "das ist im Norden", erklären sie noch heute hilfsbereit, als handelte es sich um ein ganz fremdes Land. Rammstein ereignete sich mit einer ungeheuren Wucht, die in der Musik und den Texten gleichermaßen aufgehoben ist. Zugleich mit der Gründung der Gruppe brachen alle Partnerschaften der Musiker auseinander und auch die allgemeinen Lebensumstände gaben Anlass zum Rammstein immanenten Zorn.
Rammstein schreiben sehr expressive Texte in einer wundersam unmittelbaren Sprache. Bildermächtig und harsch drängen sie zum größtmöglichen Ausdruck, zum reinen Gefühl, getrieben von ihrer ganz eigenen musikalischen Mischung aus programmierten Beats und Metalelementen, die sie selbst gerne als 'Tanzmetall' bezeichnen. Rammstein ist ein Appell an die pure Emotion und gelangt unweigerlich zum Ziel.
In Äußerungen wie: "Ihr wollt das Bett in Flammen sehen/Ihr wollt in Haut und Haaren untergehen/Ihr wollt doch auch den Dolch ins Laken stecken/Ihr wollt doch auch das Blut vom Degen lecken/Sex ist eine Schlacht/Liebe ist Krieg", und "Du riechst so gut/Ich geh Dir hinterher/Gleich hab ich Dich", liegt eine stoische Unbedingtheit. Das ihre Texte "sehr trivial" seien, ist kein Understatement. Aus der Sicht von Rammstein handelt es sich um "kleine Liebkosungen", um "Liebeslieder, auf vielleicht dekadente Weise." Auf die Frage, wie denn solche Texte entstehen, antwortet Rammstein lakonisch: “Auf der Schreibmaschine" Charles Baudelaire oder auch Brent Easton Ellis haben in Rammsteins Leben keine Rolle gespielt. Sie schreiben ihre Texte intuitiv, ohne Vorbilder Die deutschen Expressionisten will man eine Weile gelesen haben, bis man keine Zeit mehr hatte. Das ist wohl der Unterschied zwischen einer gelehrten und einer schöpferischen Begabung: Rammstein verwalten nicht die Halden der Literaturgeschichte, sie kübeln Sprache aufs Papier, als wäre es zum ersten (und zum letzten) Mal.
Vielleicht sind Rammstein tatsächlich blind für das eigene Werk. Fakt ist aber, daß "über manches nicht gesprochen werden sollte, um den Zauber der Musik nicht zu zerstören."
Fakt ist auch, daß Rammstein mit ihrer monolitihischen Metalmusik, ihren repetitiv-hypnotischen stählernen Klangmassen, dem theatralisch-gebieterischen Gesang und ihren Texten schon im Vorfeld einiges Aufsehen erregt haben. Bereits mit den ersten Demos gewannen sie 1993 eine Studioproduktion, 1994 eroberten sie mit ihrer ekstatischen Liveshow den Osten und ihren Wunschproduzenten Jacob Hellner, der nach einem Gig im Hamburger Logo spontan die Produktion von Herzeleid zusagte‚ obwohl er kein Wort deutsch verstand.
Eingespielt wurde Herzeleid im April/ Mai im Stockholmer BomKrash-Studio. Gemixt im Juli im Hamburger Chateau du Pape.
Und alle Beteiligten sind sich einig:
Herzeleid ist ein wegweisendes Debüt und Rammstein ein Rausch, den man einfach zulassen muß.
"Der Wahnsinn ist nur eine schmale Brücke/ Die Ufer sind Vernunft und Trieb" Das ungefähr ist die Quintessenz aus zweitausend Jahren Philosophiegeschichte.

English Deepl translation

Born out of a big bang, an urgency that gripped all six musicians equally, Rammstein want to be understood as an indivisible unit. All involved have always made music that had nothing in common with the Rammstein sound of today. In the East, they ignored work obligations and existed in niches.

They call it "free range" today - in contrast to the "safari park" of reunified Germany, where "sometimes someone comes along to throw a little food." But a little bit of food doesn't make you full, as we all know. The Rammstein musicians come from East Berlin and Schwerin - "that's in the north," they explain helpfully even today, as if it were a completely foreign country. Rammstein happened with a tremendous force, which is equally suspended in the music and the lyrics. At the same time with the foundation of the group all partnerships of the musicians broke apart and alsothe general life circumstances gave cause for the Rammstein immanent anger.
Rammstein write very expressive lyrics in a wondrously immediate language. Imagery-powerful and harsh, they push for the greatest possible expression, for pure feeling, driven by their very own musical mixture of programmed beats and metal elements, which they themselves like to call 'dance metal'. Rammstein is an appeal to pure emotion and inevitably gets there.
In statements like: "Ihr wollt das Bett in Flammen sehen/Ihr wollt in Haut und Haaren untergehen/Ihr wollt doch auch den Dolch ins Laken stecken/Ihr wollt doch auch das Blut vom Degen lecken/Sex ist eine Schlacht/Liebe ist Krieg" and "Du riechst so gut/Ich geh Dir hinterher/Gleich hab ich Dich" there is a stoic unconditionality. That their lyrics are "very trivial" is not an understatement. From Rammstein's point of view, they are "little caresses," "love songs, in a perhaps decadent way." When asked how such lyrics come about, Rammstein answers laconically: "On the typewriter" Charles Baudelaire or even Brent Easton Ellis have played no role in Rammstein's life. They write their texts intuitively, without models The German expressionists want to have read for a while, until they had no more time. This is probably the difference between an erudite and a creative talent: Rammstein do not manage the heaps of literary history, they pour language onto paper as if fo'Perhaps Rammstein are indeed blind to their own work. But the fact is that "some things should not be talked about, in order not to destroy the magic of the music."
It is also a fact that Rammstein caused quite a stir with their monolithic metal music, repetitive-hypnotic steel sound masses, theatrical-commanding vocals and their lyrics. Already with their first demos they won a studio production in 1993, in 1994 they conquered the East with their ecstatic live show and their dream producer Jacob Hellner, who after a gig at the Hamburg Logo spontaneously agreed to produce Herzeleid even though he didn't understand a word of German.
Herzeleid was recorded in April/May at BomKrash Studio in Stockholm. Mixed in July at Chateau du Pape in Hamburg.
And everyone involved agrees:
Herzeleid is a groundbreaking debut and Rammstein is a rush that you just have to let happen.
"Der Wahnsinn ist nur eine schmale Brücke/ Die Ufer sind Vernunft und Trieb" That is about the quintessence of two thousand years of philosophical history.

Menhir

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.

XXV Edition

Teasing for a re-release of the album started on 21 September 2020, when the official Rammstein Facebook page changed it's header image to a rotating flower.[8] The same day the official website was turned into looking like a retro computer, running Windows 95. With it came a variety of archival material, like newspaper articles ranging from 1994 to 1996, archival live photos, photoshoot pictures and even the game Snake. That day the website also announced that a remastered XXV edition, in celebration of the album turning 25, of the album will be released on CD and vinyl.

On the website was also a competition, to which you needed to find the password to get access to the folder "Privat". The password was broiler1995. The prize was an original Herzeleid award by Paul.

The CD and vinyl both come in a cardboard box. The CD is a digipak, while the vinyl is a gatefold. The CD features a new remaster and is also available as a high quality 24 bit download.[9] The vinyl features the old 2015 remaster, which was first presented in the XXI box set.

The website is still online, but not working completely anymore: Herzeleid XXV website

Tracklist

Standard album
  1. Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen? - 05:17
  2. Der Meister - 04:08
  3. Weißes Fleisch - 03:35
  4. Asche zu Asche - 03:51
  5. Seemann - 04:48
  6. Du riechst so gut - 04:49
  7. Das alte Leid - 05:44
  8. Heirate mich - 04:44
  9. Herzeleid - 03:41
  10. Laichzeit - 04:20
  11. Rammstein - 04:25

Formats

Over the years the album was released in many different versions all over the world. This table is showing you the main different versions of the album:

Release Country Label Type Comment Bonus content Cover Discogs
1995-XX-XX Germany Flag of Germany.svg Motor Music Cassette Jewel case Promotional cassette Standard DiscogsLogo.png
1995-09-25 Germany Flag of Germany.svg Motor Music CD Jewel case Standard DiscogsLogo.png
1995-09-25 Germany Flag of Germany.svg Motor Music CD Jewel case The words "Schulhof" and "töten" are beeped in Weißes Fleisch Standard DiscogsLogo.png
1995-09-25 Germany Flag of Germany.svg Motor Music CD Jewel case The words "Schulhof" and "töten" are blacked out in the lyrics for Weißes Fleisch Standard DiscogsLogo.png
1996-XX-XX Germany Flag of Germany.svg Motor Music Cassette Jewel case Standard DiscogsLogo.png
1996-XX-XX Germany Flag of Germany.svg Motor Music CD Jewel case Has a big sticker on the back to promote the concert 100 Jahre Rammstein Standard DiscogsLogo.png
2001-XX-XX Germany Flag of Germany.svg Universal Music CD Jewel case Re-release on Universal Music Standard DiscogsLogo.png
1995-09-25 France Flag of France.svg XIII Bis CD Jewel case Standard DiscogsLogo.png
1998-11-24 United States Flag of the United States.svg Slash CD Jewel case White DiscogsLogo.png
1998-11-24 United States Flag of the United States.svg Slash Cassette Jewel case White DiscogsLogo.png
2015-12-04 Europe Flag of Europe.svg Universal Music Vinyl Gatefold As part of the XXI box set Remastered Standard DiscogsLogo.png
2017-12-08 Europe Flag of Europe.svg Universal Music Vinyl Gatefold Standalone release Remastered Standard DiscogsLogo.png
2020-12-04 Europe Flag of Europe.svg Universal Music CD Digipack 25th anniversary release Remastered Alternate DiscogsLogo.png
2020-12-04 Europe Flag of Europe.svg Universal Music Vinyl Gatefold 25th anniversary release Remastered Alternate DiscogsLogo.png
2021-04-16 Europe Flag of Europe.svg Universal Music CD Digipack Remastered Standard DiscogsLogo.png

Trivia

  • The cover artwork caused some controversy, when the media reported that the band had intended to depict themselves as "Herrenmenschen".
  • In North America an alternate cover was used.
    • The album was the band's second album in the USA, being released after Sehnsucht.
  • The booklet has French lyrics for Das alte Leid, Heirate mich and Herzeleid.
    • The French version of the album additionally has French lyrics for Weißes Fleisch, Seemann and Rammstein.
  • The South Korean version of the album is missing Das alte Leid in the tracklist and the lyrics in the booklet, but the song can still be found on the CD.
  • Richard revealed in an interview on Talking Metal's podcast in 2007, that the translation of "Herzeleid" is "Heartbreak", and not, as it correctly would be, "Heartache".

Gallery

Credits

Music & Lyrics by Rammstein
Produced by Jacob Hellner & Carl-Michael Herlöfson for BomKrash Production
Mixed by Ronald Prent at Chateau du Pape
For - Seemann - additional production Emanuel Fialik & Olav Bruhn
Photography & cover idea Praler
Sleeve design by Dirk Rudolph
All songs published by BMG/UFA
Management: Emanuel Fialik for Pilgrim
Contact & Merchandising: Pilgrim, Postfach, 10042 Berlin, Germany

Sources

  1. Official Rammstein website
  2. RammWiki interviews with Carl-Michael Herlöfsson and Ronald Prent
  3. Credits from A Journey Into Sound IV Tape 1
  4. Metal Hammer Germany, September 1995
  5. Online article "Rammstein 1995 im Pumpwerk Wilkelmshaven
  6. Metal Hammer Germany, November 1995, p. 108/109
  7. Spark Rockmagazine, p. 65
  8. Flower video
  9. Qobuz HQ download