Fallen (Evanescence album)

Fallen (Evanescence album)
Fallen
Studio album by Evanescence
Released March 4, 2003
Recorded 2002–2003
Track Record Inc. & NRG Recording Studios, Ocean Studios, Conway Recording Studios
Genre Alternative metal, nu metal[1][2]
Label Wind-up
Producer David Fortman
Evanescence chronology
Fallen
(2003)
Anywhere but Home
(2004)
Singles from Fallen
  1. "Bring Me to Life"
    Released: April 22, 2003
  2. "Going Under"
    Released: September 9, 2003
  3. "My Immortal"
    Released: December 8, 2003
  4. "Everybody's Fool"
    Released: June 7, 2004

Fallen is the debut studio album by American rock band Evanescence. It was released on March 4, 2003 through Wind-Up Records. The album was recorded in multiple recording studios, including Conway Recording Studios in Hollywood, California. It is commercially the band's most successful album to date, selling more than 7 million copies in the United States alone, and more than 15 million worldwide. It debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200, selling more than 141,000 copies within its first week, eventually peaking at number 3 in June 2003. Internationally, it has topped the charts in more than ten countries worldwide. It was certified Platinum seven times by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and acquired multiple certifications worldwide.

Upon its release, Fallen received mixed to positive reviews from music critics. It spawned four singles: "Bring Me to Life", "My Immortal", "Going Under", and "Everybody's Fool". "Bring Me to Life" and "My Immortal" peaked within the charts of more than ten countries, including Australia, United Kingdom, and the United States. The album earned the band five nominations at the 46th Grammy Awards: Album of the Year, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song, Best Hard Rock Performance and Grammy Award for Best New Artist, winning Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance.

Contents

Background and recording

After Evanescence was formed by Amy Lee and Ben Moody in 1997, the band released three extended plays (EP) and one demo CD and in January, 2001 they signed with their first major label, Wind-up.[3] The writing process for the album took a period of eight years.[4] During an interview with MTV, Ben Moody revealed that he never wrote together with Lee adding, "maybe two or three times in eight years did we actually sit down and write together in the same room."[3]

Evanescence performing in 2003 in Denver

The album was recorded at Track Record Inc. & NRG Recording Studios, Ocean Studios, Conway Recording Studios, all in California.[5] Different tracks were recorded as demos before the album's recording sessions, while "My Immortal", "Imaginary", and "Whisper" appeared on the band's earlier material.[3] The album was recorded and mixed between late August and early December, 2002.[4] Recording work for Fallen started at Ocean Studios in Burbank, California, where most of "Bring Me to Life" was recorded for the Daredevil soundtrack, prior to full album production. For that song, Jay Baumgardner used a mix at his studio, NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, on an SSL 9000 J.[4] Drum kits were recorded at Ocean Studios, with Josh Freese playing to click-tracks, containing stereo guitars and vocals on selected songs.[4]

On the rest of the drums, Fortman said that he used a D112 on the inside of the kick drum, a U47 on the outside, an NS-10 speaker as an outside mic. The producer ran 414s on the ride cymbal and hi-hat. He recorded the drums onto 2-inch tape on a Studer machine and then bounced the parts into Pro Tools.[4] The guitars (Gibson Les Paul, Gibson SG, Mesa Boogie, Marshall Amplification) for the album were cut at Mad Dog Studios, Burbank, California in an old Mesa/Boogie cabinet. Lee's vocals, pianos and background vocal by The Millennium Choir were recorded in NRG Recording Studios.[4] The orchestra parts were arranged by David Hodges and David Campbell, except in "My Immortal," which was done by composer Graeme Revell. The mixing for the album took a period of two weeks at Conway Recording Studios in North Hollywood while the album was mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound in New York City.[4]

Composition

Songs and lyrics

"I didn't want it to sound too fabricated. I love electronics and I love digital manipulation, but I wanted to first establish us as a real rock band. We're actually playing all of those parts: The strings are real, the choirs are real, the piano is real. [...] I think one of the most positive features about [the album] is that it's like watching a movie from front to back."

-Ben Moody talking about Fallen.[4]

According to Amy Lee, "Going Under" is about a previous emotionally and physically damaging relationship, saying, "And when you're at the end of your rope, when you're at the point where you realize something has to change, that you can't go on living in the situation that you're in. It's cool. It's a very strong song."[6] It was the last song written for the album, and was originally intended to be the first single, however, "Bring Me to Life" was chosen due to its release as the lead single on the Daredevil soundtrack. It was released as the second single.[7] "Bring Me to Life" is a rock, alternative metal, chamber pop and gothic metal song set in a common time and performed in a moderate tempo of 96 beats per minute. It was written by Lee, Ben Moody, and David Hodges, and was inspired by an incident that occurred while she was sitting at a restaurant.[8] Lee also confirmed that it was about longtime friend Josh Hartzler, who she married in 2007.[9]

"Everybody's Fool" was written by Lee, Moody, and Hodges, and is about celebrities who have completely false images.[10] In an interview with VH1, Lee stated, "My little sister was really getting into these, I don't want to offend anyone, but like really fake, cheesy, slutty female cracker-box idols, and it really pissed me off. She started dressing like them and she was like 8 years old. So I gave her the talk and I wrote a song."[11] "My Immortal" is a piano rock ballad,[12] and was written by Moody whilst the bridge was added by Lee during later recordings, and is based on a short story written by Moody himself. Moody also stated in the album's booklet that he dedicated it to his grandfather, Bill Holcomb.[5] "Haunted" is also based on a short story written by Moody, which was posted onto the band's EvBoards.[13] "Tourniquet" was originally written for Christian metal band Soul Embraced, which included former band member Rocky Gray before he joined Evanescence.[14] "Hello" was written in tribute to Lee's younger sister who died at the age of three because of an unidentified illness. "My Last Breath" was written by Lee, Moody, and Hodges, and was inspired by the September 11 attacks.[15]

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Blender 3/5 stars[16]
Entertainment Weekly (B-)[17]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[18]
PopMatters (mixed)[19]

Critical response

Fallen has received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics. Johnny Loftus of Allmusic scored the album three and a half stars out of five, and named it an AMG Album Pick, saying, "The album does include flashes of the single's PG-rated nu-metal ("Everybody's Fool," "Going Under"). But it's the symphonic goth rock of groups like Type O Negative that influences most of Fallen."[1] Loftus picked "Bring Me to Life", "My Immortal", and "Tourniquet" as the AMG Track Picks.[1] Entertainment Weekly also gave a generally positive review, scoring the album a B-, saying, "The genre now too old to be called nü-metal isn't exactly overflowing with spine-tinglingly great vocalists --let alone female ones. Amy Lee, lead singer of gloomy Arkansas rockers Evanescence, is an exception."[17] Kirk Miller of Rolling Stone gave a more mixed review, scoring the album three out of five stars, saying, "When vocalist Amy Lee croons about lying 'in my field of paper flowers' or 'pouring crimson regret,' she gives Fallen a creepy spiritual tinge that the new-metal boys lack."[18] Adrien Begrand of PopMatters was negative about the album saying that it's "basically as unoriginal and dumb as everything else in its genre, it has a small handful of transcendent moments, but a complete lack of musical adventurousness has the band mucking around either in stultifying nu-metal riffage, pretentious high school journal caterwauling, or even worse, both." However he praised Lee's "soaring, enchanting, [and] angelic" voice saying that "Evanescence would be nothing" without her.[19] Billboard's Christa Titus called Fallen a "highly polished, hook-filled affair."[20]

Commercial performance

Evanescence performing in 2003 in Barcelona.

Fallen was a commercial success, selling more than 15 million copies worldwide since its release in 2003.[21] On the Billboard 200 the album debuted at number 7 with more than 141,000 copies sold in its first week.[22] In the United States, it has sold more than 7.6 million copies.[23] Fallen was the eighth best selling album of 2004[24] and the nineteenth best selling album of the 2000s.[25] As of October 2011, it has spent 106 weeks weeks on the Billboard 200,[23] with 58 weeks in the top 20. It peaked at number 3 on the Billboard 200 on June 14, 2003,[26] and re-entered the chart at number 192 on March 13, 2010. It spent over 223 weeks on the Top Pop Catalog chart after falling out of the Billboard 200.[27] The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it platinum in April 2003, and by June 2008 it had reached seven times platinum.[28]

On the UK Albums Chart, Fallen debuted at number 18 selling 15,589 copies.[29] It reached number one with 38,570 copies seven weeks later, after "Bring Me to Life" topped the UK Singles Chart.[29] However it sold more than 56,193 copies in December 2003 which became its highest week of sales although it was at number 28 the same week.[29] It later spent 33 weeks within the top 20, and 60 weeks within the top 75. The album re-entered the UK charts at number 35 following the week of the release of the band's second studio album, The Open Door.[30][31] As of October 2011, the album has sold more than 1,367,900 copies in the United Kingdom.[29] It was also an international success, topping the charts in more than ten countries whilst charting within the top ten of more than twenty countries worldwide. After spending over three months in the top 10 on the Canadian Albums Chart, the album peaked at number one on August 13, 2003 selling 8,900 copies according to figures compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.[32]

Christian controversy

Evanescence was originally promoted in Christian stores. Later, the band made it clear they did not want to be considered part of the Christian rock genre, like fellow Wind-up Records artists Creed.[33] In April, 2003 Wind-up Records chairman, Alan Meltzer, sent a letter to Christian radio and retail outlets to explain that despite the "spiritual underpinning that ignited interest and excitement in the Christian religious community," Evanescence are "a secular band, and as such view their music as entertainment."[34] Therefore, he wrote, Wind-Up "strongly feels that they no longer belong in Christian markets."[34] Almost immediately upon receipt of the letter, many Christian radio stations pulled Fallen songs from their playlists.[34] Terry Hemmings, CEO of Christian music distributor Provident, expressed puzzlement at the band's about-face, saying "They clearly understood the album would be sold in these [Christian music] channels."[35] In 2006, Amy Lee told Billboard that she had opposed being identified as a "Christian band" from the beginning.[36] She further added, "Can we please skip the Christian thing? I'm so over it. It's the lamest thing. I fought that from the beginning; I never wanted to be associated with it. It was a Ben thing. It's over. It's a new day."[36]

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Going Under"   Amy Lee, Ben Moody, David Hodges 3:35
2. "Bring Me to Life" (feat. Paul McCoy of 12 Stones) Lee, Moody, Hodges 3:58
3. "Everybody's Fool"   Lee, Moody, Hodges 3:16
4. "My Immortal"   Lee, Moody 4:24
5. "Haunted"   Lee, Moody, Hodges 3:06
6. "Tourniquet" (Soul Embraced cover) Lee, Moody, Hodges, Gray 4:38
7. "Imaginary"   Lee, Moody 4:17
8. "Taking Over Me"   Lee, Moody, Hodges, John LeCompt 3:50
9. "Hello"   Lee 3:40
10. "My Last Breath"   Lee, Moody, Hodges 4:08
11. "Whisper"   Lee, Moody 5:27
12. "My Immortal" (Band version; unlisted bonus track on later pressings) Lee, Moody, Hodges 4:33

Charts and certifications

Peak positions

Chart (2003–2005) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[37] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[38] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[39] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 40 Wallonia))[40] 4
Canada (Billboard)[26] 1
Denmark (Tracklisten)[41] 1
Europe (Billboard)[42] 1
Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland)[43] 1
France (SNEP)[44] 2
Germany (Media Control Charts)[45] 2
Greece (IFPI Greece)[46] 1
Italy (FIMI)[47] 3
Japan (Oricon)[48] 7
Mexico (AMPROFON) 1
Netherlands (MegaCharts)[49] 2
New Zealand (RIANZ)[50] 2
Norway (VG-lista)[51] 3
Portugal (AFP)[52] 1
Russia (Russian Music Charts)[53] 1
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[54] 69
Sweden (IFPI Sweden)[55] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[56] 2
UK Albums (The Official Charts Company)[57] 1
US Billboard 200[26] 3
US Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[26] 18

Certifications

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Argentina (CAPIF)[58] 2× Platinum 80,000x
Australia (ARIA)[59] 6× Platinum 420,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[60] Platinum 30,000x
Brazil (ABPD)[61] 2× Platinum 250,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[62] 7× Platinum 700,000^
Finland (IFPI Finland)[63] Platinum 59,679[63]
France (SNEP)[64] 2× Platinum 600,000*
Germany (BVMI)[65] 5× Gold 750,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[66] 2× Platinum 40,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[48] Platinum 200,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[67] Platinum+Gold 225,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[68] Platinum 80,000^
New Zealand (RIANZ)[69] 5× Platinum 75,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[70] Platinum 40,000*
Portugal (AFP)[71] 2× Platinum 80,000x
Russia (NFPF)[72] Platinum 20,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[73] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (IFPI Sweden)[74] Platinum 60,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[75] 2× Platinum 80,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[76] 3× Platinum 900,000^
United States (RIAA)[28] 7× Platinum 7,500,000[77]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[78] 3× Platinum 3,000,000*
Worldwide 15,000,000[21]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Year-end charts

Chart (2003) Position
Australian Albums Chart[79] 15
Australian Heavy Rock and Metal Albums[80] 2
Austrian Albums Chart[81] 17
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[82] 38
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[83] 17
Danish Albums Chart[84] 25
Dutch Albums Chart[85] 23
Finnish Albums Chart[86] 2
French Albums Chart[87] 10
Hungarian Albums Chart[88] 81
New Zealand Albums Chart[89] 6
Swedish Albums Chart[90] 5
Swiss Albums Chart[91] 3
UK Albums Chart[92] 16
US Billboard 200[93] 8
Chart (2004) Position
Australian Albums Chart[94] 7
Austrian Albums Chart[95] 15
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[96] 12
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[97] 16
Danish Albums Chart[98] 52
Dutch Albums Chart[99] 10
Finnish Albums Chart[100] 16
French Albums Chart[101] 20
Hungarian Albums Chart[102] 28
New Zealand Albums Chart[103] 14
Swedish Albums Chart[104] 39
Swiss Albums Chart[105] 15
UK Albums Chart[106] 59
US Billboard 200[107] 6
Worldwide Charts[108] 43
Chart (2006) Position
UK Albums Chart[109] 191

Decade-end charts

Chart (2000–09) Position
Austrian Albums Chart[110] 28
Dutch Albums Chart[111] 67
U.S. Billboard 200[112] 19

Chart procession and succession

Preceded by
Hail to the Thief by Radiohead
UK number one album
June 28, 2003 – July 4, 2003
Succeeded by
Dangerously in Love by Beyoncé
Preceded by
Just as I Am by Guy Sebastian
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
January 26, 2004 – February 15, 2004
Succeeded by
That's What I'm Talking About by Shannon Noll

Personnel

Credits are taken from Allmusic,[113] and Fallen's liner notes.

  • Beverly Allen – choir, chorus
  • Geri Allen – choir, chorus
  • Zac Baird – programming
  • Jay Baumgardner – mixing
  • Sergio Chavez – assistant engineer
  • Jason Cupp – assistant engineer, engineer
  • Mark Curry – engineer, mixing
  • Francis Dicosmo – bass
  • Dave Fortman – mixing, producer
  • Josh Freese – drums
  • Al Fujisaki – assistant engineer
  • Rocky Gray – composer
  • David Hodges – composer, keyboards, piano, programming, string arrangements
  • Melanie Jackson – choir, chorus
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
  • Chris Johnson – programming
  • John LeCompt – composer
  • Amy Lee – arranger, composer, vocals
  • Diana Meltzer – A&R
  • Ben Moody – composer, engineer, producer
  • Victor Murgatroyd – production supervisor
  • Dean Nelson – assistant engineer
  • Joanne Paratore – choir, chorus
  • Jeremy Parker – engineer
  • Leslie Paton – choir, chorus
  • Graeme Revell – string arrangements
  • John Rodd – engineer
  • Edwards Sherman – art direction
  • Tom Steel – stage crew
  • Dwight Stone – choir, chorus
  • Sam Story – assistant engineer
  • Richard Stubbs – choir, chorus
  • Bill Talbott – engineer
  • Damon Tedesco – stage crew
  • Talaya Trigueros – choir, chorus
  • Susan Youngblood – choir, chorus

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