Splinter (1999)

About Splinter:

After the band had finished their lengthy 'Becoming X' tour, there were rumours of plans to record a new album. Due to disagreements on how they wanted to sound and on their need to evolve, Kelli was asked to leave the band. Even to this day, it holds a sour taste with some fans and thus it added to their publicity and status - in both good and bad ways. For 'Splinter', they took a little longer to record it, compared to the bedroom studio at Liam's house, this album was to be recorded in an actual studio - with Joe and David  now on-board. This time around, the album was produced entirely by themselves, under their 'Line Of Flight' guise, with mixing supplied by Mark Stent, rather than Jim Abbiss. Originally, it was intended to be called 'Scissors, Paper, Stone', but after some time it was changed to 'Splinter'. The album art was also very different, before it was changed; from Chris sitting in a shallowly filled bath, staring up to the camera, to what is is known as now. Once again, labelled under 'Clean-up' records, 'Splinter' was a totally different take on Sneaker Pimps. It had elements of indie rock, trip-hop and alternative, all glued together by a dark and gloomy atmosphere, rather than the bright and airy, pop and electronica feel to 'Becoming X'. It had a mixed reception upon release and 'Virgin Records' didn't like the fact that they had dropped Kelli, so they dropped the Sneaker Pimps. Being that this was their only connection to the USA, 'Splinter' was ultimately never released there. With the absence of Kelli, this put a lot of people off listening to the album, just for that reason alone. Chris said in a 'Making Music' interview (entire article in the 'Interviews' section): 'Generally the gigs have been well received. You can see people in the audience looking puzzled. We've had some people coming over and saying 'That was so much better' while others can't get their heads around the change'. It is unknown if Chris was originally intended to sing on the 'Splinter' album at first, as Emiliana Torrini is present on most of the original demos. Sampling, again, was present, but in short amounts. This time, an even more obscure choice of music was chosen, such as the 'Kronos Quartet's' tracks: 'Uleg-Khem' and 'Laengdans Efter Byfans Mats'. Compared to the previous five singles that 'Becoming X' had spawned, 'Splinter' only had two singles; 'Low Five' and 'Ten To Twenty'. A reason for this, that 'Splinter' was more of a personal experience, rather than a full-on, intended pop album. As per-usual with 'Clean-up' records and 'One Little Indian' records, both singles had a plethora of different versions, each with exclusive remixes and non-album tracks from the 'Splinter' sessions. After the album's release, they once again set out to tour, mostly at indie-type venues, such as colleges and universities. They performed nearly the entire album on 'Boxed Set', a popular Scottish TV program and they also did a live stint at 'V99'. Upon release, it was pressed onto LP and CD. The Japanese CD had extra tracks included from the 'Splinter' sessions (see below). Then in 2008, the album was re-pressed on 2-LP, 200gram, Direct Metal Mastered vinyl. It was also re-pressed once again in 2017, all identical except the vinyl was pressed at 180gram instead of 200gram. At some point whilst their official website was active, they supplied the entire album, for free, in instrumental form. It was planned to re-release 'Splinter' for free in 5.1 surround-sound form, but it was cancelled.

Standard CD Edition:

01: Half Life

02: Low Five

03: Lightning Field

04: Curl

05: Destroying Angel

06: Empathy

07: Superbug

08: Flowers And Silence

09: Cute Sushi Lunches

10: Ten To Twenty

11: Splinter

12: Wife By Two Thousand

13: Diving *Japanese Only Bonus Track.

14: Unattach *Japanese Only Bonus Track.

For more information, please visit: https://www.discogs.com/Sneaker-Pimps-Splinter/release/11063677

1LP Edition:

A1: Half Life

A2: Low Five

A3: Lightning Field

A4: Curl

A5: Destroying Angel

A6: Empathy

B1: Superbug

B2: Flowers And Silence

B3: Cute Sushi Lunches

B4: Ten To Twenty

B5: Splinter

B6: Wife By Two Thousand

For more information, please visit: https://www.discogs.com/Sneaker-Pimps-Splinter/release/1589510

2008 And 2016 2LP Editions:

A1: Half Life

A2: Low Five

A3: Lightning Field

B1: Curl

B2: Destroying Angel

B3: Empathy

C1: Superbug

C2: Flowers And Silence

C3: Cute Sushi Lunches

D1: Ten To Twenty

D2: Splinter

D3: Wife By Two Thousand

For more information, please visit: https://www.discogs.com/Sneaker-Pimps-Splinter/release/2348003

B-Sides:

'Diving' is the b-side to 'Low Five'.

'Unattach' is the b-side to 'Low Five'.

'Perfect One' is the b-side to 'Ten To Twenty'.

'Virgin' is the b-side to 'Ten To Twenty'.

Samples:

'Half Life' sampled Scott Walker's track: 'It's Raining Today', from 1969.

'Empathy' sampled 'Kronos Quartet's' tracks: 'Uleg-Khem' and 'Laengdans Efter Byfans Mats', from 1997.

'Superbug' sampled Dashiell Hedayat's track: 'Cielo Drive/17', from 1971.

'Flowers And Silence' sampled Scott Walker's track: 'Big Louise', from 1969.

'Cute Sushi Lunches' sampled David Sylvian's track: 'Brilliant Trees', from 1984.

The Personnel:

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

Sarah McDonnell: Backing-vocals

The Collection:

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