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|Studio album by Our Lady Peace|
|Released||March 22, 1994
(see release history)
September 1993 - January 1994
|Genre||Alternative rock, post-grunge|
|Label||Sony Music, Epic, Relativity|
|Our Lady Peace chronology|
|Singles from Naveed|
Naveed is the debut album by Canadian rock band Our Lady Peace. It was produced by Arnold Lanni, and was released on March 22, 1994 by Sony Music Canada. Naveed became a success in Canada, selling over 100,000 copies (Platinum Certification) by the end of the year. There were five singles released for the album, including "The Birdman", "Starseed" and "Naveed". The title Naveed is taken from the Persian name for the bearer of good news.
The band recorded several demo songs in January 1992 including, "Out of Here" and an early version of "The Birdman" at Arnyard Studios. They would record another three-song demo in March in hopes of compiling a full album. "but we ran out of money after three songs," noted guitarist Mike Turner. "It was all self-financed, same old story. A friend of ours was going to CMJ, so we dubbed a few copies of what we had -- they didn't even have printed sleeves, just a phone number jotted on them -- and he passed those out. We started getting phone calls right away, and it was like, 'Well, maybe we ought to take this a little more seriously.'"
In September of that year, they enlisted the help of Arnyard owner Arnold Lanni to oversee the recording of additional demo songs. At first they were unsure whether or not to choose Arnold Lanni to produce, only being familiar with his work with Frozen Ghost. They eventually hit it off on a personal level because they admired his brutal honesty about the music business. With him, they composed 19 songs right away and would recorded 7 of them for label consideration. Three of the tracks were shopped around to labels by the bands new management team, Coalition Entertainment, co-owned by Lanni's brother Robert. The other four were sent to interested parties in early 1993. By April 1993, after hearing feedback from labels such as Geffen and Interscope, they had signed a record deal with Sony Music Canada. An offer by Sony's president Rick Camilleri "to make me a record that sounds like your demo", with no outside interference, was the most appealing option for the band. According to Raine, "We were signed on faith that we could come up with more material like the demos but there was so much emotion and adrenalin flowing amongst us, I think we had ten more songs written inside a couple of weeks."
Almost immediately after signing with Sony in 1993, the band entered pre-production to record their debut album. They rented rehearsal space in Mississauga, Ontario and from that Spring through Summer would hold day-long jam sessions with a cassette recorder. Lanni would visit them each day to help with song arrangements. Raine made it clear to Lanni that he wanted to make a straightforward rock record. "I was really bullheaded on our first record ... I remember saying, we are a rock band, I don’t want to hear a piano or a synthesizer or even a tambourine."
With their demos finalized, the band entered Arnyard Studios in September 1993 to record the final 11 tracks. Prior to this, they had only played seven or so live shows together and only recently hired 18-year-old drummer Jeremy Taggart, whose high school graduation briefly postponed the recording of the album. Originally, they had planned to release their demo songs on an independent label and sell them at live shows but were instead rushed to the studio to record Naveed because of the positive vibe they felt playing together. "We hardly knew each other on a personal level," said Mike Turner, "but when we began working on a musical level the vibe was so great that we couldn't ignore it...the songs became our first initiative. Getting into the studio was the next step." Many of their demo songs would be re-recorded for the album.
The band described the recording sessions for Naveed "a huge learning experience". Prior to recording, the band embraced a primitive Punk style with very simple chords and had limited technical experience in the studio. Mike Turner found that he lacked the technical proficiency to play the melodies and chord changes he heard in his head. "That was a problem," acknowledged Maida, "We really had to pull up our socks during the sessions -- we all got better in a hurry." The band's quest for musical wisdom guided them through the process as well as the help from veteran producer Lanni. For three months, the band lived together recording at Arnyard Studios and laboring over song arrangements with minimal interference by Lanni, who would show up briefly to make suggestions. "When we got in the studio he was able to direct us on the equipment and to use the room, but he never imposed anything." bassist Chris Eacrett told the Ottawa Citizen in 1995, "He always had suggestions but we made the final decisions." Every written song would be taken through every possible musical arrangement before being committed to tape. "There's nothing on the album we didn't want there," says Mike. "If we didn't feel a song suited the setting we'd created, it was dropped. We recorded this as an album. There is no filler." For unknown reasons, the last song "Neon Crossing" almost didn't make the final cut for the album.
Toward the very end of recording in January 1994, the band was given the opportunity to record a Neil Young song for an upcoming tribute album and they chose "The Needle and the Damage Done" before anyone else could. "That whole song fit the vibe of our record, and we recorded it at the tail end of our sessions. It just seemed to be the 12th song," Raine Maida. The song would subsequently be issued as a 7" single sent to radio stations to promote Naveed in the United States and would later be included as a bonus track on imports of the band's 1999 release, Happiness...Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch.
Release and reception
When Naveed was released in Canada in March 1994 it took a little while to pick up steam but eventually became very popular. The band's sound was compared to Led Zeppelin and was praised for not trying to sound like Grunge "in an era ruled by it." As of 1998, Naveed had sold over 400,000 copies in Canada.
In the United States, advance copies of the album were sent to radio stations on December 6, 1994 in the form of a three track sampler. In releasing it in the States, Raine commented, "Even that was lucky. Initially, our U.S. label Relativity serviced it on cassette, and through an oversight forgot the 'Do Not Broadcast' title on the promotional copy. Radio stations were so hyped they started playing the cassette on the air. There was no information on the cassette about the band - just Our Lady Peace."
Upon its release in the United States one year later, Naveed was admired by critics and was received very well by fans who were aware of the song "Starseed". The rhythm section of the band was praised by most critics as well as the diversity in the band member's musical backgrounds and Raine Maida's "hauntingly provocative" lyrics. Many critics also believed the album could serve as the bridge between Grunge and the next big thing. Bob Remstein of the L.A. Village View noted how the album grooved "with insistent, seductive beats" and called the album "perhaps the best hard-rock album of the young year ." Ken Wilson from the Cincinnati Post gave the album a B+, saying, "The impressive thing about this sassy debut effort is that Our Lady Peace members share equal parts in delivering this seductively hard and interesting set." Jennifer Crocker from Pitch Weekly in Kansas City, MO called the album "damn good" and that "the compelling sound produced by this four man faction of musical ingenuity will wind you so tight, you'll spin on to track eleven with nary a notion of what's going on around you."
Tom Sinclair of Entertainment Weekly called the album overwrought and derivative but gave the album a rating of "B" saying that it "ought to leap onto the charts faster than a stage diver on steroids." Later on, MacKenzie Wilson of Allmusic called the album "a stunning debut" as well as "a decent introduction to the band's spirituality." She gave the album three out of five stars.
Packaging and design
The band's logo on the album cover varies from American, Canadian and European releases. The American version, released on the Relativity label, features a larger and bolder logo while on the Canadian version, 'Our Lady Peace' is displayed very small and in regular font with a brushed texture. The European release on the Epic label is the same, but the band name is much larger. When re-released in the U.S. in 1997 by Columbia, the logo was slightly enlarged.
The album cover is the first to feature art model Saul Fox, who the band had met and befriended in 1993. On the cover, he is seen posing like a statue without a shirt and covered with pigeons, representing The Bird Man. The rest of the packaging follows this theme. The photography was done by Andrew MacNaughtan.
Following the somewhat Middle-Eastern themes in the album, a line of Sanskrit writing, designed by Margo McPherson that roughly translates into "Our Lady Peace" appears several times in the album's packaging. The word "Naveed" written in Persian (توىد) was also seen on Raine Maida's acoustic guitar throughout the subsequent tours and included in the music video for "Naveed."
Style and themes
Naveed is considered one of the band's most raw and edgy works to date. One of the main highlights of the band was vocalist Raine Maida's extreme falsetto, and his ability to travel between high and low octaves with varying intensities with ease. These vocals provided an overall condensed melody to subside with the heavy instruments and would be utilized even further in later albums. They exchanged this sound for a more mainstream sound in 2002 with the release of Gravity and made a slight return in 2005 with Healthy in Paranoid Times. The tone of the album is darker and about more controversial topics than later releases.
Raine Maida was also the chief songwriter for the album. This would introduce his trademark of ambiguous lyrics and "dark optimism" for which the band's music would come to be known. According to Raine in the band's first press release, "Naveed is a constant quest to obtain knowledge, possessed with the desire to grow mentally and spiritually. We have forced Naveed to travel the distance between mysticism and bitter reality."
|“||Naveed kind of ties in all the lyrics. Naveed is a middle eastern name that stands for the bearer of good news, and a lot of the songs talk about strife and struggle, but it's more on a personal level for me. 'Naveed' talks about someone scared to die, but at the same time interested in it. - Raine Maida||”|
The middle eastern theme carries over into several of the songs such as "Starseed", "Denied" and the title track. Raine confessed that in early mixes of these songs, the middle eastern vibe was even stronger but "We decided we had to pull back on it a bit. We realized we weren't knowledgeable enough, or steeped enough in that kind of music, to give it the treatment and respect that it deserves."
All songs written and composed by Our Lady Peace and Arnold Lanni, with lyrics by Raine Maida.
|8.||"Is It Safe?"||3:48|
- The cassette release puts tracks 1 - 5 on side one, and tracks 6 - 11 on side two.
As listed in liner notes
- Chris Eacrett - bass guitar
- Raine Maida - vocals
- Jeremy Taggart - drums, percussion
- Mike Turner - electric guitar
- Phil X - guitar solo on "Denied"
- Ted Jensen - mastering engineer
- Arnold Lanni - production and engineering
- Terrance Lee - assistant engineer
- "Julia" (Live Piano Version) - never released, available on internet, arranged by Sarah Slean.
Demo 1 (January 1992)
- "The Birdman"
- "Out of Here"
Demo 2 (March 1992)
- "Personal Parade"
- "Edge of Sanity"
- "Neon Crossing"
Demo 3 (September 1992)
- "Nobody's Wrong"
- lyrics re-written and name changed to "The Birdman" to make the Naveed version. Studio version available on internet.
- "Blind Anniversary"
- no relation to the Gravity song. Studio version available on internet.
Demo 4 (September 1992)
- "Neon Crossing"
|Canada||March 22, 1994||Sony Music, Epic||EK80191|
|United States||March 21, 1995||Relativity||88561-1507-2|
|June 3, 1997||Columbia (reissue)||CK68170|
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