Tool’s ‘Ænima': 10 Facts Superfans Probably Already Know
Listen, we're well aware that Tool's fanbase are one of the most dedicated in the world. They know the albums front to back, the band's history top to bottom and even all there is to know about the Fibonacci Sequence. If there were a PhD based on one's knowledge of Tool, every one of their dedicated fans would attain it.
Ænima was released on vinyl on Sept. 17, 1996 and on Oct. 1 on CD format. We know you know how great of an album it is, and how it took Tool from a hard rock band to progressive psychedelic masterminds. So instead of preaching what you already know, here are 10 facts superfans probably already know about Ænima, but the rest of you may not. Test your Tooldom below.
1. Ænima is a double entendre.
Tool's both intellectual and highly sarcastic nature means a lot of ambiguous hidden meanings and messages within their work. The title Ænima comes from both the words "anima," which means soul in Latin, and "enema," which is a medical procedure on the rectum.
2. The band dedicated it to Bill Hicks.
Bill Hicks was a comedian who passed away in 1994. His style consisted of dark humor, mainly surrounding controversial topics like religion and philosophy, just like Tool — so they dedicated Ænima to him. An illustration of Hicks dressed as a doctor appears on the inner cover of the album with the line, "Another dead hero."
3. Lines from Hicks' sets were even sampled on the album.
The comedian's speeches "One Good Drug Story" and "The War on Drugs" were sampled on the album before the song "Third Eye." Hicks had used the phrase "third eye" before when talking on psychedelic mushrooms.
4. Some songs were originally recorded with Paul D'Amour.
Prior to original bassist Paul D'Amour's acquittal from the band, he played on the demos of "Pushit," "Stinkfist," "Ænema" and "Eulogy." Justin Chancellor of the U.K. band Peach took over on bass in 1995.
5. Half empty or half full?
The original title for the song "H." was supposedly "Half Empty," as Maynard James Keenan had introduced it under that name before playing it live in 1995.
6. Useful pranksters.
The interlude track "Useful Idiot" consists of sounds of record player needles skipping. It was strategically placed at the end of side 1 of the vinyl version of the album in order to trick people.
"Die Eier von Satan" actually means "the balls of Satan" or "the eggs of Satan" in German, as "eier" can mean eggs or testicles. While the track sounds like an angry German speech, the words translate to a recipe for edible marijuana cookies. Marko Fox, the bassist of ZAUM and SexTapes, provided the narration.
8. It charted twice.
The album debuted at No. 2 in 1996, selling just under 150,000 copies in its first week. By 2003, it was certified triple platinum. It's often regarded as one of the best rock albums of the 1990s, and its longevity stood the test of time when it charted again 23 years later. Right after Tool uploaded their discography to digital platforms and streaming services in 2019, Ænima peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200.
It was in the top 10 twice more than two decades apart.
9. The European pressings.
An entirely fictional discography was included on the insert of the European versions of the CD. There were 16 fake album covers to go along with satirical titles: Gay Rodeo, Bethlehem Abortion Clinic, Bad Breath, The Other White Meat, Two Weiners For Daddy, Three Fat Brown Fingers, Mungey the Clown, I Smell Urine, The Christmas Album, Iced Pee, Spring Boner, Tetanus for Breakfast, Crapsteaks Smothered in Dictators, Nurse Ketimella's Kit'chen, Just Up That Dirt Road: Tool Live! at the Acropolis and Brown Magic and Big Appetites: Music from the Movie Soundtrack Jelly Donut.
10. "Track #1."
MTV put the music video for "Stinkfist" on heavy rotation, but they changed the name to "Track #1" when it aired because they felt the actual title was too offensive for their audience. Fans complained about the censorship, so MTV's 120 Minutes host Matt Pinfield shook his fist while encouraging viewers to buy the album.
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