Revelations (Audioslave album)

Revelations is the third and final studio album by American rock supergroup Audioslave. It was released on September 4, 2006 internationally and a day later in the United States, by Epic Records and Interscope Records. The band's lead vocalist Chris Cornell departed from the band shortly after the album's release release in February 2007. Brendan O'Brien, who has produced or mixed the albums of numerous major rock acts including Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, The Offspring, Pearl Jam, King's X, Incubus, and Bruce Springsteen, reunited with Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk after producing the Rage Against the Machine albums Evil Empire and The Battle of Los Angeles, and their cover of Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad".

Audioslave - Revelations.jpg
Audioslave - Revelations.jpg

Background

Audioslave had 20 songs written (a few of which were sampled during their 2005 tour), and returned to the studio in early January 2006 to finish recording them. For Revelations, which was influenced by 1960s and 70s music, Cornell adopted his "seventies funk and R&B-flavor vocals." Guitarist Tom Morello described the sound as "Earth, Wind and Fire meets Led Zeppelin". Musically, the album is similar to Audioslave's previous album, but with a twist. The band incorporates soul and funk influences in many (if not all) of the songs on the album. Love, life and loss are all themes on the new album. Political activism is also starting to rear its head in Audioslave's music with songs such as "Wide Awake", which uses the Hurricane Katrina disaster and George W. Bush as subject matter.

Morello stated that Revelations was "the first record [Cornell] didn't smoke, drink or take drugs through the recording." However, Morello said: "Chris was stone sober during the making of our Out of Exile album. Chris was also sober during the making of Revelations and prior to recording he gave up smoking as well. I apologize for any confusion or concern that was stirred up by the original article. Sobriety can be a matter of life or death and Chris' courage in maintaining his health for years has been an inspiration." The band had completed the record when producer Brendan O'Brien requested one more song to close it. The next day, they wrote and recorded "Moth", making it the last song Audioslave made together. Interestingly enough, Chris Cornell sings in it "I won't fly around your fire anymore".

Despite the exposure to other forms of media and the positive critical buzz for their third album, Audioslave did not tour behind the release. They went into hiatus to allow Cornell to complete "You Know My Name", the theme song for the 2006 James Bond film, Casino Royale, and Morello to pursue his own solo work under the moniker of The Nightwatchman. News about Cornell's departure first emerged in July 2006, when insiders stated that after the third album he would split for a solo career. The singer immediately denied the rumors, stating "We hear rumors that Audioslave is breaking up all the time. ... I always just ignore [them]." On February 15, 2007, Cornell officially announced his departure from Audioslave, stating that "Due to irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences, I am permanently leaving the band Audioslave. I wish the other three members nothing but the best in all of their future endeavors." As the other three members were busy with the Rage Against the Machine reunion, and Morello and Cornell had each released solo albums in 2007, Audioslave was officially disbanded.

Many of the tracks have not been performed live, as Cornell left the band in 2007. "One and the Same", "Wide Awake", and "Sound of a Gun" were played by the band during the Out of Exile tour, and Cornell performed alone recently acoustic versions from "Until We Fall", "Original Fire", and "Wide Awake". Lacking a lead vocalist and with the band's future in question, the remaining members declined to tour in support of the album.

Reception

Revelations entered the Billboard 200 at the number two spot with 150,631 copies. The album has sold nearly one million copies worldwide. The album has been certified gold in the US for shipments of 500,000, in Canada for shipments of 50,000, in Australia for shipments of 35,000 (first week), and in New Zealand for shipments of 7,500 (first week). The first two singles were "Original Fire" and "Revelations".

When marketing for the album, the band had the fictional nation dubbed 'Audioslave Nation' shown on the album art featured on Google Earth. Prior to the album's release, the title track appeared in the video game Madden NFL 2007. The songs "Wide Awake" and "Shape of Things to Come" were prominently featured in Michael Mann's 2006 film, Miami Vice, prior to the release of the album.

On July 3, 2006, a private listening party was held for fan club members and non-fan club contest winners. The album gained a strong fan review, noting a darker tone, and anthemic choruses. The album received mixed reviews, gaining a 60 out of 100 metascore at Metacritic based on 15 reviews. Rolling Stone wrote: "Most of these twelve tracks are impressive structures with periodic highs... that never resolve into songs."

Track listing

All lyrics written by Chris Cornell; all music composed by Audioslave.

No. Title Length
1. "Revelations" 4:12
2. "One and the Same" 3:38
3. "Sound of a Gun" 4:20
4. "Until We Fall" 3:50
5. "Original Fire" 3:38
6. "Broken City" 3:48
7. "Somedays" 3:33
8. "Shape of Things to Come" 4:34
9. "Jewel of the Summertime" 3:53
10. "Wide Awake" 4:26
11. "Nothing Left to Say but Goodbye" 3:32
12. "Moth" 4:57
Total length: 48:28
iTunes bonus tracks
No. Title Length
13. "Show Me How to Live" (Live at The Quart Festival) 5:02
Best Buy bonus disc (Japanese bonus tracks)
No. Title Length
14. "Set It Off" (Live at The Quart Festival) 4:25
15. "Doesn't Remind Me" (Live at The Quart Festival) 4:50
16. "Gasoline" (Live at The Quart Festival) 5:34
17. "Out Of Exile" (Live at The Quart Festival) 5:04

Special Edition DVD

A special edition of the album includes an 18-minute DVD featuring interviews with the band members on their thoughts on the album.

Personnel

Audioslave
Production
Artwork
  • Brandy Flower - Art Direction
  • P.R. Brown - Cover Art
  • Danny Clinch - Band photography

Chart positions

Chart succession

Preceded by
Modern Times by Bob Dylan
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
September 11–17, 2006
Succeeded by
FutureSex/LoveSounds
by Justin Timberlake

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