I humbly declare August 2nd, 2019 to be National Rock out to Tool Day. Or, The Day Tool Broke iTunes.
Folks, this is a B.F.D.
Growing up, I was just as big a music nerd as I am today, but those were a simpler times. I had CDs, hundreds of them, and I had them everywhere. In my room (hey that’s the name of the blog!), in my car, at school, and with me virtually everywhere I went. Well, for the last 7 or 8 years, they have more or less been relegated to a corner of my office or a spare bedroom, relics from another time that I don’t really use but still care too much about to get rid of. Except for Tool. Well, Tool and Garth Brooks, to be exact. Why?
Because they were the last holdouts to rebuff the streaming age, refusing to license their music to Spotify and all of the other, inferior services. I love Tool’s music so much, and even though their last record was released 13 years ago (and was their weakest, to boot) I have remained firmly in their camp, albeit solely on CD.
Well, this morning as I got up early for a 7:00 meeting (yes, really, on a Friday), Spotify informed me that Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones, Danny Carey, and Justin Chancellor finally joined the 21st century and I have been rocking out ever since. Apparently, I am not alone: every Tool album was simultaneously on iTunes Top 10 list today. Yes, you read that right: for most of the day today, Tool claimed the #2, #4, #5, #6, and #8 album spots on iTunes.
The whole catalogue is available: their debut EP Opiate, with the biting rebuke of organized religion that is the title track; Undertow, the first LP and absolute classic (yes, “Sober” is dandy, but check out “Swamp Song” and “Prison Sex”); their even better follow-up Aenima (the complete evisceration of an ignorant fan who labels Maynard a sellout on “Hooker With a Penis” and Maynard’s instruction to the residents of Southern California to “learn to swim” on the title track are fantastic); their magnum opus Lateralus, which was the sound of my summer before starting college and has been a favorite ever since (see “Ticks & Leeches” and the title track, you’ve heard “Schism” a million times already); and the aforementioned 10,000 Days, which proved that even when Tool disappoints, they still bring some solid jams (i.e. “Vicarious”, “The Pot”).
As if this wasn’t enough, we finally have an official announcement to the long, long, long awaited 5th LP: Fear Inoculum will be released on August 30th. Yes, 28 years in, this band is getting ready to submit album #5 – that is how they roll. Granted, each album is well, well over an hour in duration – here’s hoping after more than a decade of suspense this one is up to the ridiculous standards one of America’s finest rock bands has set for themselves.
Just for fun, I went ahead and made a Best of Tool playlist for those unfamiliar or those who want to hit the high points. Also, I’ll include my Best of A Perfect Circle playlist, because you can never have too much MJK.
Best of Tool Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/1217400912/playlist/7Ei56fZOL8oVEAz4na5UrR?si=NKTI1BEDSwG7awxd4A8JLQ
Best of A Perfect Circle Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/1217400912/playlist/0JcnkBE8dP6l3mfJoHsZcN?si=x0bDlKuBQHycURXM_68y2w