Co-founding Filter frontman, Richard Patrick was in a perplexing pickle. While his group’s 1995 debut record, Short Bus was a million-seller and birthed the monstrous rock radio single, “Hey Man Nice Shot,” the one-time Nine Inch Nails guitarist was struggling in 1997 — as intra band conflicts, lineup challenges and studio setbacks continued to bog down the production of his group’s sophomore set. Following the completion of Patrick’s private studio, and after the departure of the band’s (other) co-founder, keyboard / guitarist, Brian Liesegang, Filter finally released Title of Record on August 24, 1999. And to commemorate the record’s 20th Anniversary, Craft Recordings has just released a fabulous multi format Title of Record reissue — digital, CD and a deluxe two-record vinyl set.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll confess openly that in 1999, I still was clinging to my hair band heritage — consumed by the promise of upcoming revival concert tours from the likes of Poison, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi. As a result, I missed Title of Record the first time around. But even as an aging Aqua Net junkie, in 1999, I at least was aware of the band’s massive pop/rock crossover smash, “Take a Picture.” Fast-forward two decades — I’d become intrigued by recent anniversary-related Internet interviews with Richard Patrick, in which he discussed with refreshing transparency how his drug-hazed and alcohol-crazed issues had fueled the record’s music, while his salacious affair with Smashing Pumpkins bassist, D’arcy Wretzky was the primary source of lyrical inspiration. Simply put. Title of Record NOW was on my radar. Hence, I got my hands on an LP copy of the reissued version, pronto. And what a treasure it is.
Don’t just “Take A Picture” of this video, watch it on repeat!
A tag-team production effort between Patrick and Ben Grosse (Marilyn Manson, Sevendust, Disturbed, Alter Bridge), the original 11-song set reached the Billboard Top 30 and ultimately sold more than a million copies. The newly-released reissued versions all feature four bonus tracks — remixes of the singles “The Best Things” and “Take a Picture,” as well as the previously released soundtrack selections, “Jurassitol” and “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do.” Additionally, the digital album version offers five more rare tracks, including a live version of “Take a Picture” and the Dub Pistols club mix of “The Best Things.”
For me, experiencing the double-LP version was an extreme treat — not just because I’m a bona fide vinyl freak, but because this is an impressive package. The opened gatefold cover reveals a groovy, slightly-grainy color shot of the band, along with scattered song lyrics and “Special Thanks.” The extra-thick, glossy sleeves boast musician credits as well as exhaustive liner notes from entertainment journalist, Bryan Reesman. Truth be told, from the sweet smell of the cover to the warm feel of the 12″ discs, the vinyl presentation is authentic and organic, indeed — a vital aspect of music consumption that sadly has been missing for many years.
A promotional shot of the four-piece Filter back in 1999:
While fun formats, authentic packaging and rare re-mixes are cool, at the end of the day, it’s all about the music — the songs. And in that regard, especially for a guy like me who was just introduced to the album, Title of Record delivers a huge payoff. Particularly impressive is Patrick’s enormous artistic palette. Unrestrained by musical boundaries, Patrick paints with broad brush strokes. From the guitar-driven, rib-cracking urgency of “Welcome to the Fold,” “Captain Bligh” and “I Will Lead You” to the irresistible pop appeal of “Take a Picture” to the industrial punch of “It’s Gonna Kill Me” and “The Best Things” to the hypnotic, psychedelic allure of “Cancer” and “Miss Blue,” the album makes a bold statement.
In sum, it’s never too late to discover great music. And although it took me 20 years to finally find Title of Record, it was well worth the wait — a musical portrait that remains vivid and vibrant.
Yes, “The Best Things” in life are free.
Title of Record Track Listing:
(20th Anniversary Double LP Edition)
1. Stand (:37)
2. Welcome to the Fold (7:40)
3. Captain Bligh (5:12)
4. It’s Gonna Kill Me (5:05)
1. The Best Things (4:24)
2. Take a Picture (6:00)
3. Skinny (5:43)
4. I Will Lead You (3:22)
1. Cancer (6:39)
2. I’m Not the Only One (5:50)
3. Miss Blue (5:36)
1. Jurassitol (5:13)
2. (Can’t You) Trip Like I Do (4:27)
3. Take a Picture – H&H Remix (4:13)
4. The Best Things – Humble Brothers Remix (6:36)
Run Time: 77:37
Record Label: Reprise (Original) / Craft Recordings (Reissue)
Release Date: August 24, 1999 (Original) / August 9, 2019 (Reissue)