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Is it really a whole decade since Rated R’s original release? We must admit to being taken slightly by surprise when we discovered that Queens Of The Stone Age were reissuing their breakthrough second album to celebrate ten years since its first airing.
Maybe it’s hard to think of Rated R as a ‘classic album’ because it’s aged so well. In terms of both songwriting and production the record stands up against any great rock record released in the latter half of the last decade.
Of course, despite Rated R marking QOTSA’s breakthrough, they were by no means a band coming out of nowhere. Vocalist, guitarist, band-leader and producer Josh Homme already had a more-than-impressive CV behind him by the turn of the millennium. Prior to forming QOTSA Homme had spent much of the ‘90s as lead guitarist of the scene-defining ‘stoner rock’ band Kyuss, whom he’d formed in the late ‘80s at the tender age of 15.
Homme was also already several years into his Desert Sessions project - a series of collaborative albums recorded in the desert in Joshua Tree, Homme’s hometown - more on that later.
Rated R, however, was by no means a single-person effort. As has always been the case, the Queens Of The Stone Age of Rated R consisted of an ever revolving line-up of musicians and contributors; there are performances from 17 different musicians on Rated R. Most notable of these is Nick Oliveri, who was, from the Rated R sessions until his 2004 dismissal from the band, QOTSA’s full-time bassist and a close collaborator of Homme. It’s worth noting that Oliveri is also a man with, it seems, a genuine passion for getting naked.
So let’s take a track-by-track look at Rated Rx and see how Queens Of The Stone Age’s classic album is looking in 2010…