Herzeleid (album)

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

Herzeleid
Herzeleid cover
Studio album by Rammstein
Released: September 25, 1995
Recorded: Polar Studios, Sweden,
March 1995
Genre: Neue Deutsche Härte
Label: Motor
Universal (Re-Release)
Slash (US)
XIII Bis (France)
Format: CD, Cassette, Vinyl
Length: 49:26
Price: 17.00€[2]
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
    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 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.

Writing

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:

  1. Jeder lacht (lyrics were later recycled for Adios from Mutter.)
  2. Unknown instrumental song
  3. Schwarzes Glas
  4. Wilder Wein (later a demo was released on Engel (Fan Edition), a finished live version appeared on Live aus Berlin.)
  5. Alter Mann (later released on Sehnsucht with new music and slightly different lyrics.)
  6. Feuerräder (later released on Engel (Fan Edition), still in demo phase.)
  7. Tier (1994) (also referred to as Biest, a fanmade title. Not to be confused with the later released Tier from Sehnsucht.)
  8. Tiefer gelegt

Artwork

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.

Rammstein's first commercial logo was made for Herzeleid by Dirk Rudolph. This variation uses a thinner "T" character than what is used in later logos.

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

Both available stickers
Photos by RammsteinCollector

DiscogsLogo.png 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. 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.

DiscogsLogo.png 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.

DiscogsLogo.png 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.

DiscogsLogo.png A very scarce number of German CDs were released with stickers to promote Rammstein's concert on September 27, 1996 slotted in the back of the case, in front of the insert artwork.

DiscogsLogo.png 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.

DiscogsLogo.png 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

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.

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.[3]

Awards

Herzeleid
Herzeleid cover
Type: Gold
Awarded: Hamburg, Germany Flag of Germany.svg
August 4, 1997
To: Rammstein
Emanuel Fialik
Motor Music
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
Herzeleid, Sehnsucht, Live aus Berlin & Mutter cover
Units Sold: 200,000 (each)
To: Rammstein
Herzeleid
Herzeleid cover
Type: Gold-Platinum
Awarded: Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany Flag of Germany.svg
December 16, 2005
To: Rammstein
Herzeleid
Herzeleid cover
Type: Platinum
Units Sold: 1,500,000
Awarded: Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany Flag of Germany.svg
December 16, 2005
To: Rammstein

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

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)",[4][5] 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)".

Merchandise

Herzeleid
Herzeleid cover
Type: Shortsleeve shirt
Released: 1995
Herzeleid
Herzeleid cover
Type: Bag
Released: 1995
Other: Promo item
Menhir / Hinkelstein
Menhir / Hinkelstein cover
Type: CD Stand
Released: 1995
Album: Herzeleid
Origin: Germany
Other: Only released to record stores; only 50 ever made.


Sources