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Reissue Theory: System of a Down – “Toxicity”

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Lots of coverage on The Second Disc deals with music that has stayed part of the collective consciousness for decades. But it’s been stated before that fans and labels should always look into the recent past to find classics worth reissuing.

Toxicity, the second LP by Armenian-American metal band System of a Down, is one of those records. Of all the five LPs SoaD released in their brief tenure before embarking on an indefinite hiatus, Toxicity hits the hardest. It’s one of those one-in-a-million records where every track is worth dozens of spins (and that’s saying a lot in the age of downloads).

It also had an unpredictable amount of crossover success. I say “unpredictable” because it’s not often that ethnopolitical songs with cutting lyrics and multidynamic tunes end up in the mainstream – especially not when the album was released, just a week before America was hit by one of its worst terrorist attacks in history.

The album has a longevity to it that might be well-documented in the not-too-distant future, perhaps as a bridge to future System LPs (unlikely though they may seem). And it turns out there was a lot of extra studio content available; sure, one could cherrypick bonus tracks from the original Toxicity II bootleg that formed the basis for the band’s Steal This Album! in 2002. But there actually existed a few tracks hidden on soundtracks and even some vinyl singles that would make for some good extras on a reissue.

Free your mind with the Reissue Theory take on Toxicity after the jump.

System of a Down – Toxicity (American Recordings CK 66240, 2001)

  1. Prison Song
  2. Needles
  3. Deer Dance
  4. Jet Pilot
  5. X
  6. Chop Suey!
  7. Bounce
  8. Forest
  9. ATWA
  10. Science
  11. Shimmy
  12. Toxicity
  13. Psycho
  14. Aerials
  15. Arto (originally a hidden track after “Aerials”)
  16. Johnny (7” B-side to “Chop Suey!”/extra track on Toxicity bonus disc – Columbia 672034-7, 2001)
  17. Marmalade (B-side to “Toxicity” European CD single – Columbia 672304-2, 2002)
  18. Metro (B-side to “Toxicity” U.K. CD single – Columbia 672502-5, 2002)
  19. Störagéd (from Heavy Metal 2000: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Restless Records 7 73733-2. Later became the 7” B-side to “Toxicity” – Columbia 672502-7, 2002)
  20. Snowblind (7” B-side to “Aerials” – Columbia 672869-7, 2002)
  21. Streamline (from The Scorpion King: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture – Universal 440 017 115-2, 2002. Later became the B-side to “Aerials” U.K. CD single – Columbia 672869-5, 2002. Later re-recorded for Steal This Album! – American Recordings CK 87062, 2002)

Written by Mike Duquette

April 28, 2010 at 00:24

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