0028. Serj Tankian – Elect The Dead [2007]

Elect_the_dead2

FanTASTic album right here.  I’ve been a huge fan of System of a Down from the beginning, and I’ll always be interested in what System’s members do on their own.  This album has music videos for each song, and each video is beautiful.  Serj wrote and recorded everything on this album himself (except for the drums).  He even released an electronic press kit, of sorts, for this album where he interviews himself.  It’s informative and hilarious.  Check it out:

Basically, if you’ve ever been a fan of System of a Down, you’ll probably enjoy this album.  Honestly, I think this album sells itself just by having Serj Tankian’s name on it.  I hope someone out there enjoys it as much as I do (and did when I first heard it).

Wikipedia Says:

Elect the Dead is the debut album by rock musician Serj Tankian, lead singer and founding member of Armenian-American metal quartet System of a Down. It was released on October 22, 2007. Alongside Tankian appears Armenian-American coloratura Ani Maldjian, drummers John Dolmayan from System of a Down and B. Brain Mantia of Primus and Guns N’ Roses, Dan Monti on guitars, as well as a string section featuring Antonio Pontarelli.[10]

Marketing

The initial single from the album was a 2-track promo including “Empty Walls” and “The Unthinking Majority”, released on September 10. Tankian immediately appeared on MTV‘s “You Rock The Deuce” program.[citation needed] Meanwhile a music-video of “Feed Us” was released in Sweden[11] and on UK MTV.[12] The album was released October 22, 2007, and opened at #4 with 66,000 USA units sold according to the Billboard 200 trade listing.[13]By September 2010 the album had sold 319,000 copies total.[14]

Music-videos of the album’s songs were each filmed by discrete directors. Tankian revealed: “I asked each of the directors for their visual interpretation of my work. They were asked not to write treatments and that they could make whatever they liked. The results have been overwhelmingly amazing”.[15] Initially some videos were released as ‘limited edition’ premiums. All videos were later freely offered on Tankian’s website and hisYouTube channel. Some of these “official videos” were alternate versions released one version at a time- suggesting incrementally evolving narrative.[citation needed]

Collectible versions of the album include an instrumental disk offered by Serjical Strike/Reprise Records; and the “final master” from Reprise intended for specific journalists and reviewers. That embargoed disk was labeled “Smart Talk” [a coded reference to the artist’s own name].[16]Previously an undated, un-mastered ‘Smart Talk’ promo featured these same ‘final versions’ of the songs[citation needed]; but the sequence of tracks ten and eleven was juxtaposed.

Production

Tankian stated that some of these songs were new, and others had developed earlier. An acoustic version of “Blue” was released on the album’s ‘special edition bonus disc’. The original version appeared on System Of A Down’s fourth demo tape but had not been recorded otherwise.

It’s very wide sounding — lots of different sounding instruments. The excitement I had making this record was the same excitement I had making the first System record.
Serj Tankian

An Elect the Dead tour commenced October 12, 2007 at Chicago’s Vic Theater. Tankian cautioned fans this production featured a new band ‘The F.C.C.‘ (aka Flying Cunts of Chaos) which was not promoting the System of a Down material. They did however perform “Charades”- written with System bandmate Daron Malakian.[citation needed] A recording of this tour titled Elect the Dead Symphony was released February 23, 2010 in the USA.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Serj Tankian.

No. Title Length
1. Empty Walls 3:49
2. “The Unthinking Majority” 3:46
3. “Money” 3:53
4. “Feed Us” 4:31
5. “Saving Us” 4:41
6. Sky Is Over 2:57
7. “Baby” 3:31
8. “Honking Antelope” 3:50
9. Lie Lie Lie 3:33
10. “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” 4:23
11. “Beethoven’s Cunt” 3:13
12. “Elect the Dead” 2:54
Total length:
45:03

Personnel

Elect the Dead
  • All drums recorded at The Pass in Los Angeles, CA
  • Drum Engineer Krish Sharma
  • Assistant Drum Engineer Bo Joe
  • Drum Technician at The Pass Sako Karaian
  • Mixed by Neal Avron at Paramount Recording Studios in Los Angeles, CA
  • Mix Assistant Nicholas Fournier
  • Drumming on Tracks 1, 3, 7-9, 11 byBrain
  • Drumming on Track 2 by John Dolmayan
  • Drumming on Tracks 4 and 5 by Brain and John Dolmayan
  • Drum Programming on Track 6 by Dan Monti
  • Additional Guitar on Tracks 1-4, 6, 8, 11 by Dan Monti
  • Additional Bass on Tracks 2, 6-9, 11 by Dan Monti
  • Additional Solo Guitar on Track 5 byDiran Noubar
  • Additional Vocals on Tracks 5 and 9 by Ani Maldjian
  • Additional Cello on Tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11, 12 by Cameron Stone
  • Additional Violin on Tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 by Antonio Pontarelli
  • Additional Synthesizers on Track 6 byDan Monti and Fabrice Favre
Special Edition Bonus Disc
  • Drums on Track 4 recorded at The Pass in Los Angeles, CA
  • Additional Engineering on Track 1 byThom Russo
  • Drum Engineer on Track 4 Krish Sharma
  • Assistant Drum Engineer on Track 4Bo Joe
  • Drum Technician on Track 4 Sako Karaian
  • Tracks 1-3 Mixed by Serj Tankian & Dan Monti
  • Track 4 Mixed by Neal Avron
  • Track 4 Mix Assistant Nicholas Fournier
  • Drumming on Track 4 by John Dolmayan
  • Violin Solo on Track 4 by Antonio Pontarelli
  • Additional Guitars on Track 4 by Dan Monti
  • Additional Violin on Tracks 2-4 byAntonio Pontarelli
  • Additional Cello on Tracks 2-4 byCameron Stone
  • A&R Craig Aaronson & George Tonikian
  • Original Artwork Provided by Sako Shahinian
  • Album Packaging Design by Sako Shahinian
  • Digipack Album Packaging Design by Keith Aazami
  • Photography by Greg Watermann
  • Worldwide Management Dave Holmes and Darin Harmon
  • Booking (US) Don Muller at CAA
  • Booking (Europe) Emma Banks at CAA
  • Legal Don Passman and Gene Salomon at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, Inc.
  • Business Management David Weise at DW & Associates

Chart positions

Year Chart Peak
2007 Top Canadian Albums 1
The Billboard 200 1
Austrian Albums Top 75 1
German Albums Top 75 1
Swiss Albums Top 100 1
Finland Albums Top 40 1
New Zealand Albums Chart 1
ARIA Top 50 (Australia) 1
France Albums Top 150 2
UK Albums Chart 2
JAPAN Oricon Albums Chart 5
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