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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. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 28, 2010 at 00:24