Herzeleid (album)

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Herzeleid is the debut album by Rammstein. It was released on September 22, 1995, and on November 24, 1998, in the US.

Herzeleid
Herzeleid cover
Studio album by Rammstein
Released September 22, 1995
Recorded Polar Studios Stockholm, March 1995
Genre Neue Deutsche Härte
Format CD, Cassette, Vinyl
Length 49:26
Label Motor Music
Universal (Re-Release)
Producer Jacob Hellner, Carl-Michael Herlöfsson
Listen/buy Spotify
iTunes
Rammstein chronology
Herzeleid
(1995)
Sehnsucht
(1997)
Singles from Herzeleid
  1. "Du riechst so gut"
    Released: August 24, 1995
  2. "Seemann"
    Released: January 8, 1996
  3. "Du riechst so gut '98"
    Released: April 17, 1998
  4. "Asche zu Asche"
    Released: January 15, 2001

Information

Recording

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 on 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 weren't 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.

Writing

The first song written for this album was the song 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 on their concerts in 1994 like all the other songs. A few songs were written in English before they were translated into German.

There are also six songs known from that era that didn't make it onto the album:

  1. Alter Mann (later released on "Sehnsucht" with a new melody and different lyrics.)
  2. Tier (1994) (also referred to as 'Biest', a fanmade title. Not to be confused with the later released Tier from "Sehnsucht".)
  3. Feuerräder (later released on "Engel (Fan Edition)", still in demo phase.)
  4. Jeder lacht
  5. Schwarzes Glas
  6. Wilder Wein (later released on "Engel (Fan Edition)", still in demo phase.)

Cover

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 inside of the original booklet, placed side-by-side.

Booklet

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. Fun fact is, that the French translation for the title track is the 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.

Formats

CD

Both available stickers
Photos by RammsteinCollector

Herzeleid was released on CD in many countries; German first press versions sometimes had black stickers on the front of their cases. The USA and Canada had alternative front covers, and were released by Slash records, but still retained the same songs as on the German version. Bis XIII 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.

MC

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.

Arena Berlin Promo

A very scarce number of German CDs (which are speculated to have been commercially available) were released with tickets to Rammstein's Arena Berlin concert slotted in the back of the case, in front of the insert artwork.

Vorabcassette Promo

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"

Vinyl

The only time Herzeleid has ever been released on Vinyl is on the XXI boxset, and the subsequently released individual LPs from said boxset.

Menhir

Photo of the menhir

As a promotional item, a 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 grays of a rock, and another appears to be pure white, with gray dots and marker pen scribbles.

Promotion

The first of three pages.

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.

"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 auchdie 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: "lhr wollt das Bett in Flammen sehen/ lhr wollt in Haut und Haaren untergehen/ lhr wollt doch auch den Dolch ins Laken stecken/ lhr 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.[1]

Tracklist

Standard album

Trivia

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)", [2] [3] 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)".

Sources

  1. Motor Music promotional sheet
  2. Rammstein (Demo-Version)
  3. RAMMSTEIN