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The Gray Race is the ninth full-length album of the punk rock band Bad Religion, which was released in 1996. It was the follow-up to the band's highly successful 1994 album Stranger Than Fiction. The album's title refers to its cover art, which shows a portrait of faces in black-and-white.

This was the band's first album not recorded with original guitarist Brett Gurewitz (since the 1984 EP Back to the Known) and is their first release with Brian Baker, who replaced him during the Stranger Than Fiction tour. It was also the first album since How Could Hell Be Any Worse? that the band recorded as a group. Part of the reason for this was financial, but frontman Greg Graffin also wanted to foster a sense of unity following Gurewitz's jarring departure. This was also the first album with which Graffin solicited the opinions of other band members before recording. Graffin said that collaboration significantly improved the sound and quality of the album.

Although not as successful as Stranger Than Fiction, The Gray Race achieved modest success when MTV ran a commercial for the album during its release.

Production and marketing

After the 10 month Stranger Than Fiction tour, frontman Graffin soon began writing songs for Stranger Than Fiction's follow-up. The band recorded it at Electric Lady Studios, New York Citymarker, New Yorkmarker with producer Ric Ocasek (of The Cars, Bad Brains and Weezer fame). The recording lasted through out much of October and November 1995.

Reception

The Gray Race was released on February 27, 1996 and peaked at number 56 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It spawned the moderately successful single "A Walk" in the United Statesmarker. In Europe, the album also reached the Germanmarker charts at # 6 as well as earn the group a gold record for sales in Scandinavia. Then former and now current guitarist Brett Gurewitz disliked the album, and commented that it was "BR's worst selling record to date" and described it as "uninspired."

Track listing

All songs written by Greg Graffin, unless otherwise noted.

  1. "The Gray Race" – 2:06 (Graffin/Brian Baker)
  2. "Them And Us" – 2:50
  3. "A Walk" – 2:14
  4. "Parallel" – 3:19
  5. "Punk Rock Song" – 2:27
  6. "Empty Causes" – 2:51
  7. "Nobody Listens" – 1:57 (Graffin/Baker)
  8. "Pity The Dead" – 2:56
  9. "Spirit Shine" – 2:11 (Graffin/Baker)
  10. "The Streets of America" – 3:48 (Graffin/Baker)
  11. "Ten in 2010" – 2:22
  12. "Victory" – 2:36
  13. "Drunk Sincerity" – 2:13
  14. "Come Join Us" – 2:03
  15. "Cease" – 2:35


Personnel



  • Ric Ocasek – production
  • George Marino – mastering
  • Bruce Calder – engineer
  • Frank Gargiulo – art direction, design


Notes/Trivia

  • Due to Gurewitz's departure a year before the album was recorded, all tracks for this album were written by Greg Graffin.
  • The European release of the album contains Punk Rock Song in German as a bonus sixteenth track.
  • The track "Cease" was later re-recorded for Greg Graffin's 1997 solo album, 'American Lesion', this time as a piano and vocal arrangement. This version was played by Graffin on their 2006 DVD Live at the Palladium.
  • The album liner contains ten portraits of faces in black and white, different versions exist, with different pictures as the front cover.
  • The album would earn Bad Religion a gold record for sales in Scandinavia and reach # 6 on the German charts for the single "Punk Rock Song".
  • The songs "Them and Us" and "Ten In 2010" were featured in the game Crazy Taxi.
  • The album was re-released by Epitaph Records on September 15, 2008.


References




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