Hey headbangers! themetalhead is here comin' at ya with another metal take. This time on Pantera's Far Beyond Driven album. A pretty brutal album this is. However, as we jump into this take, let me point out one thing before speaking about anything else...... that album cover.
So yes this album cover depicts a huge drill going into that guy's head. It goes with the album name pretty well. However, this isn't the original album art. The original was banned from being used. Why? It showed that same huge drill going up someone's ass. So yes it was banned for being too explicit, however there are still some original copies of the album with that cover. And LP re-pressings that are issued by Rhino records include the original picture.
Far Beyond Driven is Pantera's 7th studio album, released through Elektra Records on March 22 1994. This is also the first album where guitarist Darrell Abbott changed his nickname from "Diamond Darrell" to "Dimebag Darrell". The rest of the guys in the band were Phil Anselmo (vocals), Rex Brown (bass), and Vinnie Paul (drums).
Now this album was Pantera's fastest selling. Also certified platinum, although critics gave mixed reviews on the album. Some ranked it the best ever made, others say that it's kinda "eh..". The band's LP stayed on the Billboard 200 for around 29 weeks. Not bad for a metal band XD Far Beyond Driven particularly has some pretty brutal inspirations for the songs. And one is also a Black Sabbath cover.
The track list on this album is:
1."Strength Beyond Strength"
3."5 Minutes Alone"
5."Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills"
6."Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks"
10."Use My Third Arm"
11. "Throes of Rejection"
12."Planet Caravan" (originally by Black Sabbath)
"I'm Broken" was Pantera's first single, that became a highest charted single worldwide. This song is apparently a song influenced by Anselmo's issues he had with back pain from a degenerative disease. The pain caused him to become more addicted to pain killers and muscle relaxers. I'll let Anselmo himself speak for me about the song "5 Minutes Alone":
"There are always gold-diggers out there. The way I remember it was there was this kid that swore that I jumped off the stage and beat him up. Well, that was bullshit. That did not happen at all. When the father asked for five minutes alone with me, our manager responded aptly and perfectly: 'No, you don't.' [Laughs] 'I really doubt that,' and basically hung up on the guy. But once that story was conveyed to me, it actually made me angry because it wasn't fucking true. I basically plucked out those words from my agitator's mouth and yeah, man, 'five minutes alone,' fucking bring it."
(originally from "Pantera Look Back at 20 Years of 'Far Beyond Driven'" for Rolling Stone)
Anyone ever noticed that the song "Good Friends And A Bottle of Pills" is pretty similar to the Ted Nugent song "Good Friends And A Bottle of Wine"? This song pretty much explains the way Anselmo was as a kid. He felt this song pointed out pretty well the mistakes he made.
"Shedding Skin" is about pretty much any girlfriend Anselmo had when he was in his 20s.
Really almost all of the songs dealt with something pretty rough about life. All songs (except the Black Sabbath cover of course) were written by all of the guys in the band. Though many speak of what Anselmo has dealt with in life.
Now the first time I ever heard this album I was around 10 years old. Yeah, I know, pretty young for brutal stuff like that. It was on a CD my mom got from a friend of hers. She wore the living shit out of that thing in the car all the time, along with the Vulgar Display of Power album, and Cowboys From Hell. Though I do remember that whenever she would listen to "Shedding Skin", she would only listen to half of it around me. Stupid me wasn't sure why. One day I snuck and got the CD, and played it in the little pink CD player I had at the time. At first I didn't listen to that particular song, since I was already enjoying the rest. But I eventually went to "Shedding Skin", and once it got to that other half that was usually blocked by mom and I thought to myself "Oh, that's why. I get it now". Honestly she still plays half of it around me these days. And though she does that she still lets me play the CD, since I don't have a copy for myself right now. But I'm willing to have it as part of my growing music collection soon.
Thanks to the fellow metalheads who have read this! Coming soon will be a take on the Garage Inc. album by Metallica, so keep your eyes out for it.
Stay Metal \m/