Undertow (Tool album)

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Undertow is Tool's first full-length album, released in 1993. When this album was released, grunge music was at its most popular, and pop punk was slowly beginning to become popular. Undertow helped heavy metal music continue as a leading mainstream musical style, and allowed several later bands to break through to the mainstream.[1] Allmusic saw the album's success in the "striking, haunting visuals that complemented the album's nihilistic yet wistful mood."[1] It was eventually certified double platinum by the RIAA on May 14, 2001.[2]

The album was recorded between October and December 1992 at Grand Master Studios, Hollywood, California, and includes songs that the band decided to not release on their previous EP, Opiate.[3]

Track listing[change | edit source]

CD[change | edit source]

All songs written by Tool unless otherwise noted.

1. "Intolerance" – 4:53
2. "Prison Sex" – 4:56
3. "Sober" - 5:06
4. "Bottom" - 7.13 (Tool, Henry Rollins)
5. "Crawl Away" - 5:29
6. "Swamp Song" - 5:31
7. "Undertow" - 5:21
8. "4°" - 6:02
9. "Flood" - 7:45
69. "Disgustipated" - 15:47

"Disgustipated" is track 69 on most pressings in North America (causing most CD players upon reaching the end of track 9 to advance through tracks 10-68, which contain no data, at a rate of about 2 per second until track 69 is reached). It also appears as track 39, track 10 (mostly in Europe) or as a hidden track following "Flood" on track 9. On certain Japanese imports, "Disgustipated" is track 70, with a short live version of "Flood" as track 71. The exact breakdown of "Disgustipated" is as follows:

Percussion/Animal sounds - 0:00 - 1:10
Preacher - 1:11 - 2:32
Disgustipated - 2:33 - 6:45
Crickets - 6:46 - 13:50
Phone message - 13:51 - 15:47

LP[change | edit source]

Side one[change | edit source]

  1. "Intolerance"
  2. "Prison Sex"
  3. "Sober"

Side two[change | edit source]

  1. "Bottom"
  2. "Crawl Away"
  3. "Swamp Song"

Side three[change | edit source]

  1. "Undertow"
  2. "4°"
  3. "Flood"

Side four[change | edit source]

  1. "Disgustipated"

Charting[change | edit source]

Albums[change | edit source]

Year Chart Position
1993 Billboard 200 50
1993 Top Heatseekers 1

Singles[change | edit source]

Year Single Chart Position
1993 "Sober" Mainstream Rock Tracks 13
1994 "Prison Sex" Mainstream Rock Tracks 32
1994 "Sober" Mainstream Rock Tracks 23

Accolades[change | edit source]

Publication Country Accolade[4] Year Rank
Raw UK Albums of the Year 1993 6
Raw UK 90 Essential Albums of the 90s 1995 *
Visions Germany The Best Albums 1991-96 1996 *
Pause & Play US The 90s Top 100 Essential Albums 1999 11
Classic Rock UK The 100 Greatest Rock Albums of All Time 2001 87

(*) designates unordered lists.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Rob Theakston (July 2, 2001). "Undertow Review". AllMusic.com. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r169347. Retrieved 2007-05-22. "Just as grunge was reaching its boiling point and radio-friendly punk-pop loomed on the horizon, Tool released Undertow, which firmly reinforced metal's prominence as a musical style [...] With its technical brilliance, musical complexities, and aggressive overtones, Undertow not only paved the way for several bands to break through to the mainstream [...], it also proved that metal could be simultaneously intelligent, emotional, and brutal."
  2. "British Rock Royalty Add More Awards". RIAA. July 2, 2001. http://www.riaa.com/news/newsletter/press2001/070201.asp. Retrieved 2007-05-14. "..."Aenima" and "Undertow" are currently double Platinum..."
  3. Gennaro, Loraine (1994). "Tool Guitarist Adam Jones is a Master of Many Trades". Guitar School 03: 16. http://toolshed.down.net/articles/text/gsch.mar.94.html. Retrieved 2006-04-07.
  4. "Undertow". Acclaimedmusic. http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/061024/A3500.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-22.