After a year of doing their own thing, Sneaker Pimps got together again and started to record new material. This would be their last officially released album for at least 20 years - 'Bloodsport'. It was released in 2002 and was recorded mainly in France, between 2000-2001. Rather than regular visits to the studio, such as in the case of 'Splinter', the entire band (including Ian) moved to the French countryside. The album was to be called 'Bloodsport' (previously named 'Forsythe') and it was a vast shift from their earlier work, this time their new output was an alternative dance record, with slight hip-hop elements to it, covered with an overall gothic feel. Sneaker Pimps ditched their previous label 'Clean-up' records and started to work towards being more independent. At this time, their website was thriving and so they demoed most of their new material there as downloadable MP3 files, which was a new medium at the time and so it attracted a lot of attention and ultimately landed a very healthy deal with the popular, American hip-hop label 'Tommy Boy' records, soon after. The band had now evolved, not only in sound, but also in style; most 'Bloodsport' gigs had Chris equipped with latex surgeons gloves, whilst being overshadowed by hospital operating theatre lamps - later sets had him clad in a blazer adorned with Swiss badges with a 'Gucci' bandanna. The album was produced and mixed by 'Flood' with band-regular Jim Abbiss and due to this, it had very high public anticipation, with people now accustomed to the vocals of Chris Corner. Things were looking good for the band, but due to the tragic events of 9/11, this put the brakes on the project. 'Tommy Boy' records' offices were destroyed in the aftermath and they had to pause their business, due to a massive loss of revenue. This meant that 'Bloodsport' would either have to be delayed or cancelled completely. Thankfully, this was never the case as the band released it themselves on their own 'Splinter Recordings' label. This was never shown on actual releases, due to all of the covers and logos being printed prior to the 9/11 tragedy. Having to fund the album themselves meant that each individual member supposedly lost on average of around £10,000 each. Nevertheless, it was released with 3 singles and to promote it, they set out on another lengthy tour. The most popular single from the album was 'Loretta Young Silks'. It was inspired by the 1940's film star Loretta Young, whom mysteriously passed away on the day that the 'Bloodsport' album was released. The music video also featured Honor Blackman from 'The Avengers' and the track itself was included in the popular British TV series: 'Queer As Folk'. Sampling, once again was plentiful and original; they used Bill Withers' track: 'I Wish You Well', manipulated a synth hook from 'Visage's' track: 'Tar' and used a snippet of James Horner's Yamaha CS-80 drenched 'Gorky Park' soundtrack. In 2005, an edited version of 'Bloodsport' was used in the Colombian crime film: 'Rosaria Tijeras'. This has and still garners a lot of traffic to Sneaker Pimps, as it is the 2nd most popular film in Colombian history. The male on the front of the album cover and varying 'Sick' singles is 'DJ Groove', from Moscow, a one of Russia's most respected DJ's, who still follows his passion to this day. The theme of the cover (and entire album) is simply 'Bloodsport' itself, not just in the form of violence, but in love and also life. The album was promoted with various images of bulls and bullfighting and even the tour visuals were slowed down footage clips of vintage bullfighting. A promotional sick bag, given away at gigs at the 'I.C.A.' in London, amongst other goodies, had plastic bulls included, found on the top of certain brands of wine bottles and Dunlop teamed with the band to make the first ever, non-green coloured 'Green-flash' sneakers, adorned with blood splatter and a rubber bull tag. During the 'Bloodsport' tour, Liam had left due to the birth of his daughters and so Chris Tate was temporarily recruited to take charge of keyboards. Soon after Chris left, Ian joined the live setup until the final 'Bloodsport' gigs in 2003, at a time where the band were gathering together new material for their next album (which later became the demos for the unreleased 'SP4' set) and so some of it was played live, to test the water. Upon release, it was pressed onto LP, and CD. The Japanese CD had an extra included from the 'Bloodsport' sessions (see below), a live video of 'Loretta Young Silks' (enhanced CD screenshots below) and was released on Simon Le-Bon's own 'SYN' record label. This collaboration led to an official Sneaker Pimps studio recording of 'The Chauffeur', by 'Duran-Duran' for the 'Meli-Melo' CD and concert. The LP edition was a 2-LP, 180gram, red vinyl set. It was planned to re-release 'Bloodsport' for free in 5.1 surround-sound form, but it was cancelled.
Standard CD Edition:
01: Kiro TV
03: Small Town Witch
04: Black Sheep
05: Loretta Young Silks
07: The Fuel
09: Think Harder
10: Blue Movie
12: After Every Party I Die *Japanese Only Bonus Track.
13: Loretta Young Silks (Live In Japan) *Japanese Only Bonus Video.
For more information, please visit:
A1: Kiro TV
A3: Small Town Witch
B1: Black Sheep
B2: Loretta Young Silks
C2: The Fuel
D1: Think Harder
D2: Blue Movie
For more information, please visit:
'After Every Party I Die' is the b-side to 'Sick'.
'Miami Counting' is the b-side to 'Loretta Young Silks'.
'O-Type' is the b-side to 'Bloodsport'.
'Kiro TV' sampled 'Ultravox's' tracks: 'ROckWrok' and 'Hiroshima Mon Amour', from 1977.
'Small Town Witch' sampled Iggy Pop's track: 'Nightclubbing', from 1977.
'Loretta Young Silks' sampled both Bill Withers' track: 'I Wish You Well', from 1975 and the 'Ippu-Do' track: 'Chinese Reggae', from 1980.
'The Fuel' sampled James Horner's tracks: 'Following Kirwell' and 'Irina's Chase', from the film 'Gorky Park', from 1983.
'Bloodsport' sampled 'Visage's' track: 'Tar', from 1979.
'Blue Movie' sampled 'The Keynotes' track: 'Canaan's Land', from 1973.
The unreleased 'Bloodsport' sessions track: 'Polaroids' sampled Gary Numan's track: 'Metal', from 1979.
Chris Corner: Vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming and lyrics
Liam Howe: Keyboards, programming and lyrics
Joe Wilson: Bass, guitars, programming and backing-vocals
David Westlake: Drumming and programming
Ian Pickering: Lyrics
Sue Denim: Backing-vocals
Zoe Durrant: Backing-vocals