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Sunday Old School: Limp Bizkit, The Greatest Band In History
Some bands become huge names only in their genres, some become worldwide stars, some even change the world. Limp Bizkit are so much more important than any of these bands that it’s not even funny. Formed in 1994 by bass player Sam Rivers, his cousin John Otto, and vocalist Fred Durst, who many scholars suspect of being a descendant of William Shakespeare, they were soon joined by a guitarist named Wes Borland, who would often paint his face the colour of flesh and wear brown contact lenses in public, disguising his pale white face and black eyes, which he would only reveal on stage. The appeal of the band was immediate, and despite being an unsigned group, they were able to gain such a following that even major acts like Sugar Ray, widely considered to be the Rolling Stones of their day, opened for them. Durst attempted to get the band signed to several major labels, but fearing the power and influence they would be unleashing upon the world, many cowardly A&R reps passed on it. During this time, Durst also met Korn members Fieldy and Head, for whom he tattooed, in work which would now be displayed in the Louvre, were the musicians not too scared to have body parts amputated for display purposes. After listening to a Limp Bizkit demo, Korn brought the young band on tour with them twice, leading them to tour with hip-hop heavyweights House Of Pain, who after witnessing the young group, decided to just give up and the group’s turntablist DJ Lethal was granted the privilege of joining Limp Bizkit soon after.
Now with a full lineup, the group soon signed with Flip Records, a subsidiary of Interscope Records, for the release of their debut album, which was entitled, "Three Dollar Bill Yall$," in reference to the famous three dollar pricing tag the people of Pompeii put on shares, which caused an economic meltdown and ultimately their demise. The record was charged with strong meanings within it’s songs such as "Pollution," which led to a rise in the sales of hybrid cars, "Stink Finger," which encouraged more men everywhere to book prostate exams, a cover of the hit George Michael song, "Faith," which was solely responsible for reviving the former Wham! singer’s career and "Stalemate," a tribute to the world famous chess player Bobby Fischer. The album was a smash hit and soon their popularity had eclipsed that of breathing, despite a few bad reviews from philistine journalists who refused to acknowledge the ground breaking album.
Most bands would be daunted with the task of following such a phenomenal release, but within two years, Limp Bizkit had released their second album, "Significant Other," which went on to become one of the biggest selling albums of the decade in the United States and gave brave computer programmers the courage to defeat the Millennium Bug. The album featured several guests, including Method Man, Jonathan Davis of Korn and Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots, giving all of their careers an immeasurable boost. Durst also recorded a song with rapper Eminem entitled, "Turn Me Loose," but it was left off of the album, since Eminem was clearly going nowhere. The success of "Significant Other" led to the band appearing at some of the most culturally important events of the nineties, such as Woodstock 99 and an episode of Extreme Championship Wrestling. Interscope Records were concerned that the quintet would be worn out after their success but they proved that they knew better by heading back into the studio to record their third opus.
What followed was "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavoured Water," which was released in October 2000. It had already been the subject of much hype after it’s first single, "Take A Look Around" was used as the theme of the movie Mission Impossible II, and was surely the reason for it’s massive success at the box office. Once more, it featured music never before conceived of by the inferior human minds and mended more of society’s fences, such as helping the old to finally understand the young with, "My Generation," (a title so good that The Who actually invented a time machine to go back and write a song with the same name, just so people would reference them in the same sentence as Limp Bizkit) and saving the declining American car industry with the song, "Rollin.’" It also showcased the bands foray into more experimental territory, for example, the opening track "Hot Dog" contains the word "fuck" 48 times, an act at first perceived to be done for shock value, but soon seen as a tribute to minimalism and was praised by some of the fields most recognised names. Once again, it was a commercial tour de force, becoming the eighteenth best selling album of the year and receiving some decent reviews from critics.
Unfortunately, Wes Borland soon decided to part company with Limp Bizkit, forming other bands such as Big Dumb Face and Black Light Burns, as well as spending some time with From First To Last. The gap in personnel resulted in the group essentially taking 2002 off, giving them to rest their genius. Eventually, they made a public comeback at Wrestlemania 2003, widely considered the greatest sporting event of all time, performing a brand new song called, "Crack Addict" with Korn guitarist Head and Snot guitarist Mike Smith. A few months after this appearance, a fourth album entitled, "Results May Vary" was released, but was strangely panned by most critics, with some calling it the worst album of the year, despite more effective lyrics from such songs as "Red Light, Green Light" in which the band teamed with Snoop Dogg to increase basic driving knowledge and "Phenomenon," a song about the John Travolta movie of the same.
Though he tried his best, Mike Smith was dismissed from the group in 2004 for being a mere mortal and the epic quest for a new guitarist commenced, resulting in Borland returning to Limp Bizkit, which was definitely best for everyone. Now with all five pillars standing together again, they unleashed another gem, "The Unquestionable Truth Part 1," the title reference the unquestionable truth that Limp Bizkit are undeniably the greatest band to ever set foot on stage. Once more, they explored new ground with the seven song record, with every track title starting with the word, "the" and a less commercial sound ever present. Durst received some criticism for his vocal delivery, which was compared to Rage Against The Machine frontman Zach de la Rocha, worrying fans of the left wing rap rockers that with Durst improving upon this style, a reunion would never happen. The album eventually sold over a million copies, a dramatic shift from their previous efforts, though clearly the album was meant as a statement and not as a product, so in that respect, "The Unquestionable Truth" was another masterpiece.
Borland soon decided to leave once again, leaving most of the band members taking a break from Limp Bizkit for a while, with Fred Durst directing the films, "The Education Of Charlie Banks," a movie about a trainee who works in a bank, and "The Longshots," starring renowned thespian, Ice Cube. Of course, their magnetic genius could not stay separated for long, and in 2009, it was confirmed that they would once again be reuniting, news which gripped the heavy metal world by storm, provoking images not seen again until the death of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Il. They performed at several festivals in Europe, stealing the show each time and graciously allowing other, usually older bands to headline instead of them, since they didn’t want the energy from their live set to keep campers awake all night. After two years, it seemed their highly anticipated new album would be forever delayed but it was soon confirmed that the record would be released in June 2011, prompting such excitement in every physical and spiritual realm that God decided to postpone the planned rapture in May for another time. The album, "Gold Cobra," did not disappoint. With it’s fiery title track disparaging the treachery of "snakes" within the financial system, as well as the anthemic, "Douche Bag," which was so popular that many people requested it be adopted as the new national anthem, a request probably denied by President Obama. Since then, Limp Bizkit have been on top of the world, despite parting company with DJ Lethal and John Otto two days ago. They are currently working on another EP, this one named, "The Unquestionable Truth Part 2," with which they will prove once and for all that no other band can even begin to compare themselves to the greatest band that ever was.
Limp Bizkit - "Counterfeit"
Limp Bizkit - "Just Like This"
Limp Bizkit - "Crack Addict"
Limp Bizkit - "The One"
Limp Bizkit - "Gold Cobra"
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