#184 Creed – Human Clay (1999)

 Creed was one of the leaders of the post-grunge hard rock movement. They burst onto the scene in 1997 with “My Own Prison” which although originally cost a mere $6,000 to make sold over 3 million copies. They were signed to a major label and released this, their sophomore effort, in 1999. From the start “Human Clay” was a tremendous hit and in the first week of its release sold over 300,000 units out of the gate. Lead singer Scott Stapp was  brought up by a Pentecostal minister for a father and was raised in a strict religious home. The exploration of his questioning & the darkness of his answers are the muse for the band’s first album “My Own Prison”. On “Human Clay” he continues to write about his spirituality, but in a much more positive and enlightened tone. The first single from the album was “Higher”, a guitar & vocal driven song that was drenched with positivity and spoke directly to the striving for personal self betterment and became a massive radio hit in almost all formats, topping the mainstream rock radio charts for 17 weeks. “What If” was the second single released and although a strong song, it failed to build on the success of “Higher”. It was with the albums third single that “Human Clay” went from being a hit platinum album to being a bona fide multi-platinum classic rock disc. “With Arms Wide Open” is just one of those iconic rock power ballads. It speaks directly to the feelings of being a father to a new infant son. It speaks to those feelings inside to the prospects of raising a child and of all the hope and promise they have for their child at that moment. It was with this push that Creed went on to sell 11 1/2 million copies in the U.S. alone. It also took home the Grammy for “Best Rock Song” in 2001. A fourth single was released “Are You Ready”, a good but not great tune that had no chance to break out of the shadows from underneath “With Arms Wide Open”. In 2004 Creed’s guitarist made disparaging comments about Pearl Jam, and in particular Eddie Vedder. The back lash Creed received from these comments led to him leaving the band prior to the release of their 3rd album in 2004. That along with Stapp’s drug & alcohol problems led to the break up of the band.

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