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Fear Inoculum

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Fear Inoculum
Tool - Fear Inoculum.png
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 30, 2019 (2019-08-30)
RecordedMarch 2018 – January 2019
Studio
Genre
Length79:10
Label
ProducerTool
Tool chronology
10,000 Days
(2006)
Fear Inoculum
(2019)
Singles from Fear Inoculum
  1. "Fear Inoculum"
    Released: August 7, 2019
  2. "Pneuma"
    Released: 2020

Fear Inoculum is the fifth studio album by American rock band Tool. It was released on August 30, 2019, through Tool Dissectional, Volcano Entertainment, and RCA Records. It is the band's first album in 13 years, due to creative, personal, and legal issues band members encountered since the release of 10,000 Days. It was released to critical acclaim, with reviewers generally agreeing that the band had successfully refined their established sound. The album topped the US Billboard 200 chart, their third in a row to do so, selling over 270,000 album-equivalent units. The album topped five other national album charts in its opening week as well. Two songs off the album received Grammy nominations, the first single "Fear Inoculum", for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song, and "7empest",[1] for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance, with the latter winning the award. The title track also holds the Guinness World Record for longest song ever to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.[2]

Discover more about Fear Inoculum related topics

Rock music

Rock music

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, developing into a range of different styles in the mid-1960s and later, particularly in the United States and United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style that drew directly from the blues and rhythm and blues genres of African-American music and from country music. Rock also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical, and other musical styles. For instrumentation, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass guitar, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music with a 44 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political. Rock was the most popular genre of music in the United States and much of the Western world from the 1950s to the 2010s and remains popular.

Tool (band)

Tool (band)

Tool is an American rock band from Los Angeles. Formed in 1990, the group's line-up includes vocalist Maynard James Keenan, guitarist Adam Jones and drummer Danny Carey. Justin Chancellor has been the band's bassist since 1995, replacing their original bassist Paul D'Amour. Tool has won four Grammy Awards, performed worldwide tours, and produced albums topping the charts in several countries.

Volcano Entertainment

Volcano Entertainment

Volcano Entertainment was an American all-round music record label founded in 1996 which released albums by Tool, 311, Size 14, Survivor and "Weird Al" Yankovic. The Volcano Records catalog is owned by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

RCA Records

RCA Records

RCA Records is an American record label currently owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. It is one of Sony Music's four flagship labels, alongside RCA's former long-time rival Columbia Records; also Arista Records, and Epic Records. The label has released multiple genres of music, including pop, classical, rock, hip hop, afrobeat, electronic, R&B, blues, jazz, and country. Its name is derived from the initials of its defunct parent company, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). RCA Records was fully acquired by Bertelsmann in 1987, making it a part of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) and became a part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment after the 2004 merger of BMG and Sony; it was acquired by the latter in 2008, after the dissolution of Sony/BMG and the restructuring of Sony Music. RCA Records is the corporate successor of the Victor Talking Machine Company, founded in 1901, making it the second-oldest record label in American history, after sister label Columbia Records, founded in 1889.

10,000 Days (Tool album)

10,000 Days (Tool album)

10,000 Days is the fourth studio album by American rock band Tool. The album was released by Tool Dissectional and Volcano Entertainment on April 28, 2006 in parts of Europe, April 29, 2006 in Australia, May 1, 2006 in the United Kingdom, and on May 2, 2006 in North America. It marked the first time since recording 1993's Undertow that the band had worked at Grandmaster and without producer David Bottrill. 10,000 Days spawned three top 10 rock singles: "Vicarious," "The Pot," and "Jambi."

Billboard 200

Billboard 200

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine and is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 list in May 1967, and acquired its current name in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–1972), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–1984), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–1985) and Billboard Top Pop Albums (1985–1992).

Album-equivalent unit

Album-equivalent unit

The album-equivalent unit, or album equivalent, is a measurement unit in music industry to define the consumption of music that equals the purchase of one album copy. This consumption includes streaming and song downloads in addition to traditional album sales. The album-equivalent unit was introduced in the mid-2010s as an answer to the drop of album sales in the 21st century. Album sales more than halved from 1999 to 2009, declining from a $14.6 to $6.3 billion industry. For instance, the only albums that went platinum in the United States in 2014 were the Frozen soundtrack and Taylor Swift's 1989, whereas several artists' works had in 2013.

Fear Inoculum (song)

Fear Inoculum (song)

"Fear Inoculum" is a song by American rock band Tool. The song was released as the title track and lead single from their fifth studio album Fear Inoculum. It was released on August 7, 2019, the first new Tool song since the release of their previous album 10,000 Days. Upon its debut on the Billboard Hot 100, "Fear Inoculum" became the longest song ever to chart on the Hot 100, overtaking David Bowie's "Blackstar".

Grammy Award for Best Rock Song

Grammy Award for Best Rock Song

The Grammy Award for Best Rock Song is an honor presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards, to recording artists for quality songs in the rock music genre. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".

7empest

7empest

"7empest" is a song by American rock band Tool. Clocking in at over 15 minutes in length, it is the final song on the band's fifth studio album, Fear Inoculum. The song peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart and was cited by critics as a standout track from the album. It later won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.

Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance

Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance

The Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance is an award presented at the Grammy Awards to recording artists for works containing quality performances in the heavy metal music genre. The Grammy Awards is an annual ceremony, where honors in several categories are presented by The Recording Academy of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position". The ceremony was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards.

Background

Writing

In 2006, Tool released their fourth studio album, 10,000 Days.[3] It topped the US Billboard 200 album chart and was certified platinum by the RIAA, indicating more than one million units sold, a month later.[3][4] The band toured heavily in support of the album, playing more than 200 shows through 2007.[5] After this, frontman Maynard James Keenan mentioned that he saw Tool breaking up in the near future, and focused on his side project, Puscifer.[6] However, by early 2008, at the 50th Grammy Awards, Keenan announced to MTV that the band would begin writing new material for their fifth studio album "right away".[7]

The band was quiet over the next few years, only with Tool's website announcing that guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Justin Chancellor, and drummer Danny Carey were working on instrumental material while Keenan focused his efforts on Puscifer.[6][8] The approach was consistent with what the band had done in the past, with Keenan waiting to write vocals and lyrics until instrumentals were completed.[9] In 2012, the band's website was updated again, with the webmaster writing that they had heard instrumental material that had "sounded like Tool…some of it reminiscent to earlier Tool stuff, with other parts pushing the envelope" and that they estimated that the album was around half done.[6][10]

Outside problems slowed progress on the album over the following years. In 2013, it was reported that two separate scooter accidents injured two undisclosed members of the band, eliminating nine days of planned “jamming” time.[11] Carey later revealed himself as one of the involved members, noting that he had been involved in a motorcycle accident that resulted in multiple cracked ribs, which caused him pain that further slowed recording.[6] Keenan summed up the album's progress at the time in a cooking analogy, explaining that "Basically right now it's a lot of ideas. There's no actual songs…It's still kind of noodles in a big basket. Lots of noodles, just no dishes."[6] In 2014, Jones and Carey revealed that complicated legal issues and court battles stemming from a 2007 lawsuit had been slowing down the process as well.[12] The issues stemmed from a lawsuit from a friend who claimed credit for artwork the band had used, but escalated after an insurance company involved sued the band over technicalities, leading to the band then counter-suing the insurance company.[12] The constant court battles and delays, coupled with other life obligations, limited the band's time for working on music, and drained members of their motivation to be creative and write music.[12] At the time, Carey stated that only one song was “pretty much done”, an untitled ten-minute track.[12] In 2015, Jones announced that the legal issues were completely over.[13]

The four of us are a lot of fucking work, just to get anywhere, oh my god. Everything’s a fucking committee meeting and it always gets shut down. [The hurdle is] success. When you get successful, you think you’re right about everything and you’re pretty sure as that individual — ‘I am right and you are wrong, because I’m successful and we’re successful because of me, not because of you.’ It’s not that bad with us, but there’s a dynamic of like, ‘I want this and I’ve always gotten my way and that’s why we’re successful, because I don’t compromise on this or that.’ I’m the same way. I’m totally the same way.[14]

Maynard James Keenan, on the creative struggles on writing Fear Inoculum.

Work on the album continued to progress through 2015 "slowly", according to Keenan.[6] Jones reported that the band had 20 different song ideas being developed.[15] The band toured, and debuted a new track, "Descending", in a shortened, incomplete form, according to Jones.[6] Jones also reported that instrumentals had been completed and passed on to Keenan to work on, though he hesitated to call any of the work "done".[6][15] While it was reported in early 2016 by the band's webmaster that it was largely just a few shorter songs and interludes that needed finishing,[16] by the end of the year, Chancellor described the band's status as still "deep into the writing process”.[17] He explained that while main themes and a loose "skeleton" had been established, Jones, Carey, and himself were continually creating and reworking new instrumental content.[17] This work on the album continued throughout 2017. At the time, Carey predicted finishing and releasing in mid-2018,[18] while Keenan countered these claims, stating it would likely take longer than that to finish.[6] Jones, Chancellor, and Carey continued to work on the album while Keenan returned to A Perfect Circle in late 2017 to work with Billy Howerdel to record and release their fourth studio album, Eat the Elephant, in early 2018. By February 2018, Keenan announced that he had received rough music files from the rest of the band members containing instrumentals labeled "FINAL" for all but one track on the album in the prior few months, and had since started writing lyrics and vocal melodies.[19]

In retrospect, Keenan recounted that the band constantly second-guessing themselves was a reason for the album taking so long, and that he believes the version of the album the band had going eight years ago in 2011 would have been "fantastic" too.[20] Chancellor noted that one of many guitar riffs used in the track “7empest” traced back to musical ideas written by Jones back in the mid-1990s. The band had tried to implement the riff into 10,000 Days without success as well.[20][21] Carey notes that there were no completed songs that were left off the album, but that there were many partial guitar riffs and jam sessions that went unused from the sessions.[22]

Recording

On March 10, 2018, Tool entered a major recording studio to start recording sessions with Joe Barresi, with whom they had worked on 10,000 Days.[9] On May 11, it was reported that all drum parts had been tracked.[6] In September, Keenan announced he had finished recording scratch vocals, but had not started final vocal takes.[9] Keenan recorded his vocals during the 2018 wine harvest at his Caduceus Cellars winery, resulting in him having to fit in his recording hours around his winemaking. Barresi and engineer Mat Mitchell traveled to his Arizona home for the recording process.[23] In January 2019, Keenan announced that he had finished his final vocal recording sessions "months ago", but that the album would still likely require lengthy mixing sessions.[24] In the same month, Carey stated that they aimed to release the album in April 2019,[25] though Keenan countered that this was unrealistic, instead pointing to a release between May and July.[26] The band was in the studio with Bob Ludwig in March 2019; Ludwig had also mastered 10,000 Days.[27][28]

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10,000 Days (Tool album)

10,000 Days (Tool album)

10,000 Days is the fourth studio album by American rock band Tool. The album was released by Tool Dissectional and Volcano Entertainment on April 28, 2006 in parts of Europe, April 29, 2006 in Australia, May 1, 2006 in the United Kingdom, and on May 2, 2006 in North America. It marked the first time since recording 1993's Undertow that the band had worked at Grandmaster and without producer David Bottrill. 10,000 Days spawned three top 10 rock singles: "Vicarious," "The Pot," and "Jambi."

Billboard 200

Billboard 200

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine and is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 list in May 1967, and acquired its current name in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–1972), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–1984), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–1985) and Billboard Top Pop Albums (1985–1992).

Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and winemaker. He is best known as the singer and primary lyricist of the rock bands Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer.

MTV

MTV

MTV is an American cable channel that launched on August 1, 1981. Based in New York City, it serves as the flagship property of the MTV Entertainment Group, part of Paramount Media Networks, a division of Paramount Global.

Adam Jones (musician)

Adam Jones (musician)

Adam Thomas Jones is an American musician and visual artist, best known as the guitarist for Tool. Jones has been rated the 75th-greatest guitarist of all time by the Rolling Stone and placed ninth in Guitar World's Top 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. With experience in special effects and set design in the Hollywood film industry, Jones is also the director of the majority of Tool's music videos.

Justin Chancellor

Justin Chancellor

Justin Gunnar Walter Chancellor is an English musician best known as the bass player for progressive metal band Tool since 1995. He was also the bassist of the band Peach. After settling in the US, along with his engagement in his musical projects, he and his wife Shelee Dykman Chancellor ran a store called Lobal Orning in Topanga, California, dedicated to music and literature "that shaped and changed" both of them. The store closed in 2008. He started M.T.Void music project with Piotr "Glaca" Mohammed from Sweet Noise.

Danny Carey

Danny Carey

Daniel Edwin Carey is an American musician and songwriter. He is the drummer for the American rock band Tool. He has also contributed to albums by artists such as Zaum, Green Jellö, Pigface, Skinny Puppy, Adrian Belew, Carole King, Collide, Meat Puppets, Lusk, and the Melvins.

A Perfect Circle

A Perfect Circle

A Perfect Circle is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1999 by guitarist Billy Howerdel and Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan. A Perfect Circle has released four studio albums, the first three during the early 2000s: Mer de Noms, their debut album in 2000, and followed up by Thirteenth Step in 2003; then in 2004, Emotive—an album of radically re-worked cover songs. Shortly after Emotive's release, the band went on hiatus; Keenan returned to Tool and started up solo work under the band name Puscifer, while Howerdel released a solo album, Keep Telling Myself It's Alright, under the moniker Ashes Divide. Band activity was sporadic in the following years; the band reformed in 2010, and played live shows on and off between 2010 and 2013, but fell into inactivity after the release of their greatest hits album, Three Sixty, and a live album box set, A Perfect Circle Live: Featuring Stone and Echo in late 2013. The band reformed in 2017 to record a fourth album, Eat the Elephant, which was released on April 20, 2018.

Billy Howerdel

Billy Howerdel

Billy Howerdel is an American musician, best known as the founding member, guitarist, backing vocalist, songwriter, and producer for the band A Perfect Circle, as well as for his former solo project, Ashes Divide. Howerdel has recorded six studio albums across his career: four with A Perfect Circle, one under the moniker Ashes Divide, and one under his own name.

Eat the Elephant

Eat the Elephant

Eat the Elephant is the fourth studio album by American rock band A Perfect Circle. It is their first album release in fourteen years since 2004's Emotive. While early work on new material traces back to as early as 2008, years of slow progress would ensue due to conflict between the band's chief music writers, frontman Maynard James Keenan and guitarist Billy Howerdel, largely stemming from their commitments to other projects and inability to come to an agreement on the direction to take the band. Renewed focus, alongside assistance from music producer Dave Sardy, helped propel the band into much more productive sessions across 2017, with the album being completed in early 2018. Thematically, the album covers a variety of Keenan's views on modern societal, religious, and political issues, focusing on his perceived lack of accountability in humanity. Musically, the album was viewed as an extension and maturation of their rock sound, adding more piano and electronic elements into songs for a more mellow sound than prior albums.

Lyrics

Lyrics

Lyrics are words that make up a song, usually consisting of verses and choruses. The writer of lyrics is a lyricist. The words to an extended musical composition such as an opera are, however, usually known as a "libretto" and their writer, as a "librettist". The meaning of lyrics can either be explicit or implicit. Some lyrics are abstract, almost unintelligible, and, in such cases, their explication emphasizes form, articulation, meter, and symmetry of expression. Rappers can also create lyrics that are meant to be spoken rhythmically rather than sung.

Melody

Melody

A melody, also tune, voice or line, is a linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity. In its most literal sense, a melody is a combination of pitch and rhythm, while more figuratively, the term can include other musical elements such as tonal color. It is the foreground to the background accompaniment. A line or part need not be a foreground melody.

Composition and themes

The album consists of seven main tracks of music, and a run time just short of 80 minutes, the maximum runtime of CDs.[29] The digital version of the album contains three short interlude tracks, stemming from Carey's scrapped plan to have the album be entirely one long song.[30] Jones and Carey described the songs as lengthy, but containing multiple movements within each track.[31] The concept of seven is a recurring theme of the album both musically and conceptually; Chancellor and Jones wrote guitar riffs in unusual time signatures related to the number seven, while Keenan introduced ideas related to seven as well.[29] Music videos also covered the theme.[29] The album also explores the concept of growing "older and wiser".[32] Keenan explained that the album covers the idea of "embracing where we are right now, acknowledging where we've come from and some of the things we've gone through."[32] Keenan also advised that patience and multiple listens were required in understanding the album, comparing it to a slowly developing movie.[32] Jones described it as very different from their prior album 10,000 Days.[33] Music critics and journalists have described the album as progressive rock,[34][35] progressive metal,[36] and alternative metal.[34]

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Movement (music)

Movement (music)

A movement is a self-contained part of a musical composition or musical form. While individual or selected movements from a composition are sometimes performed separately as stand-alone pieces, a performance of the complete work requires all the movements to be performed in succession. A movement is a section, "a major structural unit perceived as the result of the coincidence of relatively large numbers of structural phenomena".A unit of a larger work that may stand by itself as a complete composition. Such divisions are usually self-contained. Most often the sequence of movements is arranged fast-slow-fast or in some other order that provides contrast.While the ultimate harmonic goal of a tonal composition is the final tonic triad, there will also be many interior harmonic goals found within the piece, some of them tonic triads and some of them not. ...We use the term cadence to mean a harmonic goal, specifically the chords used at the goal.

Time signature

Time signature

The time signature is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats (pulses) are contained in each measure (bar), and which note value is equivalent to a beat.

Progressive rock

Progressive rock

Progressive rock is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States through the mid- to late 1960s, peaking in the early 1970s. Initially termed "progressive pop", the style was an outgrowth of psychedelic bands who abandoned standard pop traditions in favour of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz, folk, or classical music. Additional elements contributed to its "progressive" label: lyrics were more poetic, technology was harnessed for new sounds, music approached the condition of "art", and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening rather than dancing.

Progressive metal

Progressive metal

Progressive metal is a broad fusion music genre melding heavy metal and progressive rock, combining the loud "aggression" and amplified guitar-driven sound of the former with the more experimental, cerebral or "pseudo-classical" compositions of the latter.

Alternative metal

Alternative metal

Alternative metal is a genre of heavy metal music that combines heavy metal with influences from alternative rock and other genres not normally associated with metal. Alternative metal bands are often characterized by heavily downtuned, mid-paced guitar riffs, a mixture of accessible melodic vocals and harsh vocals and sometimes unconventional sounds within other heavy metal styles. The term has been in use since the 1980s, although it came into prominence in the 1990s.

Release

The album was released on August 30, 2019, through the band's own Tool Dissectional imprint as well as Volcano Entertainment and RCA Records.[37][38] Prior to release, the band toured in May 2019 in North America.[39] It was reported in March that Jones had been working on album artwork, generally one of the last steps in the process.[40] The band began pre-album release touring in May, kicking it off with a headlining show at Welcome to Rockville, where they debuted two new songs, "Descending" and "Invincible".[41][42] The title was announced on July 29, 2019.[43] On August 2, 2019, the band's back catalog was added to digital download and streaming outlets to promote the release,[44] with Tool being one of the few holdouts among major artists.[45] The album's cover art, revealed on August 5, was created by Alex Grey, who also created the art for the band's prior two albums.[29] The album's opening track and first single to be released from the album, also titled "Fear Inoculum" was released on August 7.[46] The song charted at number 93 on the Billboard Hot 100, and with its 10:21 runtime, became the longest song to ever enter the chart.[47][48][49]

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Volcano Entertainment

Volcano Entertainment

Volcano Entertainment was an American all-round music record label founded in 1996 which released albums by Tool, 311, Size 14, Survivor and "Weird Al" Yankovic. The Volcano Records catalog is owned by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

RCA Records

RCA Records

RCA Records is an American record label currently owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. It is one of Sony Music's four flagship labels, alongside RCA's former long-time rival Columbia Records; also Arista Records, and Epic Records. The label has released multiple genres of music, including pop, classical, rock, hip hop, afrobeat, electronic, R&B, blues, jazz, and country. Its name is derived from the initials of its defunct parent company, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). RCA Records was fully acquired by Bertelsmann in 1987, making it a part of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) and became a part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment after the 2004 merger of BMG and Sony; it was acquired by the latter in 2008, after the dissolution of Sony/BMG and the restructuring of Sony Music. RCA Records is the corporate successor of the Victor Talking Machine Company, founded in 1901, making it the second-oldest record label in American history, after sister label Columbia Records, founded in 1889.

Welcome to Rockville

Welcome to Rockville

Welcome to Rockville is a four-day hard rock and heavy metal music festival. The festival is held annually at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Alex Grey

Alex Grey

Alex Grey is an American visual artist, author, teacher, and Vajrayana practitioner known for creating spiritual and psychedelic paintings. He works in multiple forms including performance art, process art, installation art, sculpture, visionary art, and painting. He is also on the board of advisors for the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and is the Chair of Wisdom University's Sacred Art Department. He and his wife Allyson Grey are the co-founders of The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM), a non-profit organization in Wappingers Falls, New York.

Fear Inoculum (song)

Fear Inoculum (song)

"Fear Inoculum" is a song by American rock band Tool. The song was released as the title track and lead single from their fifth studio album Fear Inoculum. It was released on August 7, 2019, the first new Tool song since the release of their previous album 10,000 Days. Upon its debut on the Billboard Hot 100, "Fear Inoculum" became the longest song ever to chart on the Hot 100, overtaking David Bowie's "Blackstar".

Billboard Hot 100

Billboard Hot 100

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

Packaging and artwork

A deluxe edition of the album, which includes a full 4-inch HD screen (featuring original video material), a 2-watt speaker (featuring an additional song called "Recusant Ad Infinitum") and a 36-page insert book, was made available for pre-order on the same day as the digital edition of the album.[50] The band's European distributor Napalm Records has this available as well.[51] In November 2019, an "expanded book edition" of the album was announced containing all of the songs on the deluxe edition but without the electronic screen, speakers, etc. This edition included lenticular lens graphics, a book of lyrics and additional artwork, links to download the video experience and bonus song from the deluxe edition, and the audio CD.[52][53]

Reception

Critical

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.6/10[54]
Metacritic81/100[55]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[56]
Clash9/10[57]
Consequence of SoundA−[35]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[58]
Financial Times[59]
The Guardian[60]
Kerrang!5/5[61]
NME[62]
Pitchfork5.4/10[63]
Rolling Stone[64]

Fear Inoculum received acclaim from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 81 out of 100, which indicates "universal acclaim" based on 23 reviews.[55] NME gave Fear Inoculum a perfect score, singling out Keenan's work as "perhaps the best collection of vocals that singer Keenan has ever committed to tape, with many lines exiting the vocalist's lips closer to the honey daubed croon of Keenan's ... A Perfect Circle than the coarse rasp of yore" and concluding that the album was "worth the wait".[62] The Boston Globe agreed with the sentiment, praising the album for being "an 80-minute prog-metal fever dream that proves the band is back and better than ever."[36] The Atlantic praised the album for being as good as prior releases, describing it as "precise and devastating as it has always been" containing a "nearly unhandle-able amount of that Tool feeling."[65] Spin praised the album "continu[ing] to blur the lines between art, psychedelia, alt metal, and prog rock with undiminished curiosity and skill" while "remain[ing] defiantly contrary to the auto-tuned, digitally-quantized world in which we now live."[34]

Loudersound (formerly Metal Hammer) praised the album's density and layer of sound, and singling out Keenan's "grandiosity" and "emotional" vocals and the album's heaviest track, "7empest", as album highlights.[66] Wall of Sound and Loudwire also singled out the track as one of the best of the band's career, with the former concluding that with the album on a whole, the band had "not so much reinvented the wheel, as they have refined everything about this band that makes them so special in the first place."[67][68] AllMusic noted that all four band members sounded like they were performing at the peak of their career so far.[56] Clash felt the album was a good entry point for new fans if they had patience for the album's long song lengths, which they praised, but conceded were not in line with musical trends.[57] Rob Halford[69] and Mike Portnoy[70] called it one of their favorite albums of 2019. The band Post Animal called it one of their favorite albums of the decade.[71] "7empest" was later nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance, as was "Fear Inoculum" for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.[72] “7empest” would go on to win the award, while “Fear Inoculum” lost to Gary Clark Jr.[73] At the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, the album won Top Rock Album.[74]

The album was not praised by all critics. Pitchfork noted that "You get what is expected of an album over a decade in the making: a more mature, sometimes exciting collection that feels both overworked and undercooked ... It is hard to parse the difference between which choices here are wise and which are stale."[63]

Commercial

In the United States, Fear Inoculum debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart, selling 270,000 album-equivalent units, of which 248,000 were pure sales, earning Tool their third number-one album in the country. The album was marketed in two different formats: a digital download album, and a CD package that includes a HD screen with video footage, a speaker and a 36-page booklet. The CD package sold out at retail immediately, making Tool announce an additional set of CD/download combinations through their website.[75] In the UK, Fear Inoculum debuted at number four.[76]

Accolades

Year-end rankings

Publication Accolade Rank
AllMusic Best of 2019
[77]
BrooklynVegan Top 50 Albums of 2019
Consequence Top 50 Albums of 2019
Consequence Top 30 Metal + Hard Rock Albums of 2019
Contactmusic.com Top 10 Albums of 2019
Exclaim! 10 Best Metal and Hardcore Albums of 2019
Gigwise 51 Best Albums of 2019
Good Morning America 50 of the Best Albums of 2019
The Hindu 15 Rock 'n' Roll Albums of 2019
Impose Best Albums of 2019
[86]
Kerrang! The 50 Best Albums of 2019
Louder Sound Top 20 Rock Albums of 2019
Loudwire The 50 Best Metal Albums of 2019
[89]
Revolver 25 Best Albums of 2019
Sputnikmusic Top 50 Albums of 2019
Ultimate Classic Rock 10 Best Rock Albums of 2019
Ultimate Guitar 20 Best Albums of 2019

Decade-end rankings

Publication Accolade Rank
BrooklynVegan 141 Best Albums of the 2010s
Consequence Top 25 Metal Albums of the 2010s
Good Morning America 50 Notable Albums of the Past Decade
Guitar World 20 Best Guitar Albums of the Decade
Kerrang! The 75 Best Albums of the 2010s
Louder Sound The 50 Best Rock Albums of the 2010s
Loudwire The 66 Best Metal Albums of the Decade
Revolver 25 Best Albums of the 2010s
Ultimate Classic Rock Top 50 Classic Rock Albums of the '10s

Discover more about Reception related topics

AnyDecentMusic?

AnyDecentMusic?

AnyDecentMusic? is a website that collates album reviews from magazines, websites, and newspapers. Primarily focused on popular music – covering rock, pop, electronic, dance, folk, country, roots, hip-hop, R&B, and rap – albums are adjudged by aggregating a consensus from several sources; reviews are sourced from more than 50 websites, magazines and newspapers. These publications are largely based in the US and UK, but some are also from Canada, Ireland and Australia.

Metacritic

Metacritic

Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews of films, television shows, music albums, video games, and formerly books. For each product, the scores from each review are averaged. Metacritic was created by Jason Dietz, Marc Doyle, and Julie Doyle Roberts in 1999, and is owned by Fandom, Inc. as of 2023.

AllMusic

AllMusic

AllMusic is an American online music database. It catalogs more than three million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musicians and bands. Initiated in 1991, the database was first made available on the Internet in 1994. AllMusic is owned by RhythmOne.

Clash (magazine)

Clash (magazine)

Clash is a music and fashion magazine and website based in the United Kingdom. It is published four times a year by Music Republic Ltd, whose predecessor Clash Music Ltd went into liquidation.

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly is an American digital-only entertainment magazine based in New York City, published by Dotdash Meredith, that covers film, television, music, Broadway theatre, books, and popular culture. The magazine debuted on February 16, 1990, in New York City.

Financial Times

Financial Times

The Financial Times (FT) is a British daily business newspaper printed in broadsheet and published digitally that focuses on business and economic current affairs. Based in London, England, the paper is owned by a Japanese holding company, Nikkei, with core editorial offices across Britain, the United States and continental Europe. In July 2015, Pearson sold the publication to Nikkei for £844 million after owning it since 1957. In 2019, it reported one million paying subscriptions, three-quarters of which were digital subscriptions. The newspaper has a prominent focus on financial journalism and economic analysis over generalist reporting, drawing both criticism and acclaim. The daily sponsors an annual book award and publishes a "Person of the Year" feature.

Kerrang!

Kerrang!

Kerrang! is a British weekly magazine devoted to rock, punk and heavy metal music, currently published by Wasted Talent. It was first published on 6 June 1981 as a one-off supplement in the Sounds newspaper. Named after the onomatopoeic word that derives from the sound made when playing a power chord on a distorted electric guitar, Kerrang! was initially devoted to the new wave of British heavy metal and the rise of hard rock acts. In the early 2000s, it became the best-selling British music weekly.

NME

NME

New Musical Express (NME) is a British music, film, gaming, and culture website and brand. Founded as a newspaper in 1952, with the publication being referred to as a 'rock inkie', the NME would become a magazine that ended up as a free publication, before becoming an online brand which includes its website and radio stations.

Pitchfork (website)

Pitchfork (website)

Pitchfork is an American online music publication that was launched in 1995 by writer Ryan Schreiber as an independent music blog.

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on music, politics, and popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California, in 1967 by Jann Wenner, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its coverage of rock music and political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine broadened and shifted its focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. It has since returned to its traditional mix of content, including music, entertainment, and politics.

A Perfect Circle

A Perfect Circle

A Perfect Circle is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1999 by guitarist Billy Howerdel and Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan. A Perfect Circle has released four studio albums, the first three during the early 2000s: Mer de Noms, their debut album in 2000, and followed up by Thirteenth Step in 2003; then in 2004, Emotive—an album of radically re-worked cover songs. Shortly after Emotive's release, the band went on hiatus; Keenan returned to Tool and started up solo work under the band name Puscifer, while Howerdel released a solo album, Keep Telling Myself It's Alright, under the moniker Ashes Divide. Band activity was sporadic in the following years; the band reformed in 2010, and played live shows on and off between 2010 and 2013, but fell into inactivity after the release of their greatest hits album, Three Sixty, and a live album box set, A Perfect Circle Live: Featuring Stone and Echo in late 2013. The band reformed in 2017 to record a fourth album, Eat the Elephant, which was released on April 20, 2018.

Psychedelic rock

Psychedelic rock

Psychedelic rock is a rock music genre that is inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, which is centered on perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music incorporated new electronic sound effects and recording techniques, extended instrumental solos, and improvisation. Many psychedelic groups differ in style, and the label is often applied spuriously.

Track listing

All lyrics are written by Maynard James Keenan; all music is composed by Adam Jones, Danny Carey, and Justin Chancellor.

CD version
No.TitleLength
1."Fear Inoculum"10:21
2."Pneuma"11:53
3."Invincible"12:44
4."Descending"13:37
5."Culling Voices"10:05
6."Chocolate Chip Trip"4:47
7."7empest"15:44
Total length:79:10
Digital version
No.TitleLength
1."Fear Inoculum"10:20
2."Pneuma"11:53
3."Litanie contre la peur" (French for "litany against fear")2:14
4."Invincible"12:44
5."Legion Inoculant"3:09
6."Descending"13:37
7."Culling Voices"10:05
8."Chocolate Chip Trip"4:48
9."7empest"15:43
10."Mockingbeat"2:05
Total length:86:43
Vinyl version
No.TitleLength
1."Fear Inoculum"10:20
2."Pneuma"11:53
3."Invincible"12:44
4."Legion Inoculant"3:09
5."Descending"13:37
6."Culling Voices"10:05
7."Chocolate Chip Trip"4:48
8."7empest"15:43
9."Mockingbeat"2:05
Total length:84:29

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Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and winemaker. He is best known as the singer and primary lyricist of the rock bands Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer.

Adam Jones (musician)

Adam Jones (musician)

Adam Thomas Jones is an American musician and visual artist, best known as the guitarist for Tool. Jones has been rated the 75th-greatest guitarist of all time by the Rolling Stone and placed ninth in Guitar World's Top 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. With experience in special effects and set design in the Hollywood film industry, Jones is also the director of the majority of Tool's music videos.

Danny Carey

Danny Carey

Daniel Edwin Carey is an American musician and songwriter. He is the drummer for the American rock band Tool. He has also contributed to albums by artists such as Zaum, Green Jellö, Pigface, Skinny Puppy, Adrian Belew, Carole King, Collide, Meat Puppets, Lusk, and the Melvins.

Justin Chancellor

Justin Chancellor

Justin Gunnar Walter Chancellor is an English musician best known as the bass player for progressive metal band Tool since 1995. He was also the bassist of the band Peach. After settling in the US, along with his engagement in his musical projects, he and his wife Shelee Dykman Chancellor ran a store called Lobal Orning in Topanga, California, dedicated to music and literature "that shaped and changed" both of them. The store closed in 2008. He started M.T.Void music project with Piotr "Glaca" Mohammed from Sweet Noise.

Fear Inoculum (song)

Fear Inoculum (song)

"Fear Inoculum" is a song by American rock band Tool. The song was released as the title track and lead single from their fifth studio album Fear Inoculum. It was released on August 7, 2019, the first new Tool song since the release of their previous album 10,000 Days. Upon its debut on the Billboard Hot 100, "Fear Inoculum" became the longest song ever to chart on the Hot 100, overtaking David Bowie's "Blackstar".

Pneuma (song)

Pneuma (song)

"Pneuma" is a song by American rock band Tool, released as their second single in April 2020 off of their fifth studio album Fear Inoculum. It peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart.

7empest

7empest

"7empest" is a song by American rock band Tool. Clocking in at over 15 minutes in length, it is the final song on the band's fifth studio album, Fear Inoculum. The song peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart and was cited by critics as a standout track from the album. It later won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.

French language

French language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spoken in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Personnel

Credits and recording studios adapted from the album's liner notes.[103]

Discover more about Personnel related topics

Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and winemaker. He is best known as the singer and primary lyricist of the rock bands Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer.

Adam Jones (musician)

Adam Jones (musician)

Adam Thomas Jones is an American musician and visual artist, best known as the guitarist for Tool. Jones has been rated the 75th-greatest guitarist of all time by the Rolling Stone and placed ninth in Guitar World's Top 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. With experience in special effects and set design in the Hollywood film industry, Jones is also the director of the majority of Tool's music videos.

Justin Chancellor

Justin Chancellor

Justin Gunnar Walter Chancellor is an English musician best known as the bass player for progressive metal band Tool since 1995. He was also the bassist of the band Peach. After settling in the US, along with his engagement in his musical projects, he and his wife Shelee Dykman Chancellor ran a store called Lobal Orning in Topanga, California, dedicated to music and literature "that shaped and changed" both of them. The store closed in 2008. He started M.T.Void music project with Piotr "Glaca" Mohammed from Sweet Noise.

Danny Carey

Danny Carey

Daniel Edwin Carey is an American musician and songwriter. He is the drummer for the American rock band Tool. He has also contributed to albums by artists such as Zaum, Green Jellö, Pigface, Skinny Puppy, Adrian Belew, Carole King, Collide, Meat Puppets, Lusk, and the Melvins.

Synthesizer

Synthesizer

A synthesizer is an electronic musical instrument that generates audio signals. Synthesizers typically create sounds by generating waveforms through methods including subtractive synthesis, additive synthesis and frequency modulation synthesis. These sounds may be altered by components such as filters, which cut or boost frequencies; envelopes, which control articulation, or how notes begin and end; and low-frequency oscillators, which modulate parameters such as pitch, volume, or filter characteristics affecting timbre. Synthesizers are typically played with keyboards or controlled by sequencers, software or other instruments, and may be synchronized to other equipment via MIDI.

Lustmord

Lustmord

Brian Williams is a Welsh industrial musician, sound designer and film score composer. He is often credited for creating the dark ambient genre with albums recorded under the name Lustmord. His experimental work has been described as "not traditionally 'musical'" with "more clearly visual aspects".

Joe Barresi

Joe Barresi

Joe Barresi is an American record engineer and producer who has worked with Kyuss, The Melvins, Tool, Chevelle, Queens of the Stone Age, Coheed and Cambria, Tomahawk, L7, The Jesus Lizard, Parkway Drive, New Model Army, Bad Religion, Pennywise, Judas Priest, Soundgarden, Stam1na, Weezer, Avenged Sevenfold, Nine Inch Nails, and Slipknot.

Bob Ludwig

Bob Ludwig

Robert C. Ludwig is an American mastering engineer. He has mastered recordings on all the major recording formats for all the major record labels, and on projects by more than 1,300 artists including Led Zeppelin, Lou Reed, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Bryan Ferry, Paul McCartney, Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen and Daft Punk resulting in over 3,000 credits. He is the recipient of numerous Grammy and TEC Awards.

Alex Grey

Alex Grey

Alex Grey is an American visual artist, author, teacher, and Vajrayana practitioner known for creating spiritual and psychedelic paintings. He works in multiple forms including performance art, process art, installation art, sculpture, visionary art, and painting. He is also on the board of advisors for the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and is the Chair of Wisdom University's Sacred Art Department. He and his wife Allyson Grey are the co-founders of The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM), a non-profit organization in Wappingers Falls, New York.

Mackie Osborne

Mackie Osborne

Mackie Osborne is an American artist responsible for the design and illustrations of many music albums since the 1980s. She is a member of the band Fleabag and has contributed to many albums on packaging artwork, layout design and art direction.

Charts

Discover more about Charts related topics

ARIA Charts

ARIA Charts

The ARIA Charts are the main Australian music sales charts, issued weekly by the Australian Recording Industry Association. The charts are a record of the highest selling songs and albums in various genres in Australia. ARIA became the official Australian music chart in June 1988, succeeding the Kent Music Report, which had been Australia's national music sales charts since 1974.

Canadian Albums Chart

Canadian Albums Chart

The Canadian Albums Chart is the official album sales chart in Canada. It is compiled every Monday by U.S.-based music sales tracking company Nielsen SoundScan, and published every Tuesday by Billboard.

Billboard (magazine)

Billboard (magazine)

Billboard is an American music and entertainment magazine published weekly by Penske Media Corporation. The magazine provides music charts, news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style related to the music industry. Its music charts include the Hot 100, the 200, and the Global 200, tracking the most popular albums and songs in different genres of music. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is the organisation that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide. It is a non-profit members' organisation registered in Switzerland and founded in Italy in 1933 by Francesco Braga. It operates a secretariat based in London, with regional offices in Brussels, Hong Kong, Miami, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Nairobi.

Hitlisten

Hitlisten

Hitlisten, also known as Tracklisten, is a Danish top 40 record chart that is updated every Thursday midnight on the website hitlisten.nu. The weekly Danish singles chart Track Top-40 combines the 40 best-selling tracks from legal music downloads and the sales of music singles on either CD or vinyl. The data are collected by Nielsen Music Control, who also compile the chart on behalf of IFPI.

Dutch Album Top 100

Dutch Album Top 100

The Dutch Album Top 100 or Album Top 100 is a weekly hit list of music albums, compiled by Dutch Charts. List shows the 100 best-selling music albums of the moment in the Netherlands. The list has passed through various name changes and has expanded from a Top 10 to a Top 100.

GfK Entertainment charts

GfK Entertainment charts

The GfK Entertainment charts are the official music charts in Germany and are gathered and published by GfK Entertainment, a subsidiary of GfK, on behalf of Bundesverband Musikindustrie. GfK Entertainment is the provider of weekly Top 100 single and album charts, as well as various other chart formats for genres like compilations, jazz, classical music, schlager, hip hop, dance, comedy, and music videos. Following a lawsuit in March 2014 by Media Control AG, Media Control® GfK International had to change its name.

IFPI Greece

IFPI Greece

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry Greece, or simply IFPI Greece, is the Greek branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and is the official charts provider and recording sales certification body for Greece. The association compiles and publishes a Top 75 album sales chart. The chart is sponsored by Cyta Hellas.

Association of Hungarian Record Companies

Association of Hungarian Record Companies

Hungarian Recording Industry Association is the Hungarian music industry association, founded in 1992. MAHASZ issues the Hungarian Music Awards, awards music recording certification and maintains the music charts for Hungary.

Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana

Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana

The Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana (FIMI) is an umbrella organization that keeps track of virtually all aspects of the music recording industry in Italy. It was established in 1992, when major corporate labels left the previously existing Associazione dei Fonografici Italiani (AFI). During the following years, most of the remaining Italian record labels left AFI to join the new organisation. As of 2011, FIMI represents 2,500 companies operating in the music business.

Billboard Japan

Billboard Japan

Billboard Japan is a sister organization of the U.S.-based music magazine Billboard. It is operated by the Japanese Osaka-based company Hanshin Contents Link, holding an exclusive licence from Billboard's parent company to the Billboard brand name in Japan, and manages, among others, the website www.billboard-japan.com and several "Billboard Live"-branded music clubs located in the country.

AGATA (organization)

AGATA (organization)

Lithuanian Neighbouring Rights Association, known as AGATA, is a non-profit performance rights organization established in 1999 that deals with the licensing and rights of music publishers and performers in Lithuania. In 2011, it became the country's designated body for the collection of compensation for writers, performers, actors and producers. AGATA is an associated member of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Since September 2018, AGATA publishes weekly top 100 charts of the most popular albums and singles in Lithuania. The charts are based on sales and streams from Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, iTunes, Google Play and Shazam.

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[140] Gold 40,000double-dagger
New Zealand (RMNZ)[141] Gold 7,500double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[142] Gold 500,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Discover more about Certifications related topics

List of music recording certifications

List of music recording certifications

Music recording certifications are typically awarded by the worldwide music industry based on the total units sold, streamed, or shipped to retailers. These awards and their requirements are defined by the various certifying bodies representing the music industry in various countries and territories worldwide. The standard certification awards given consist of Gold, Platinum, and sometimes Diamond awards, in ascending order; the UK also has a Silver certification, ranking below Gold. In most cases, a "Multi-Platinum" or "Multi-Diamond" award is given for multiples of the Platinum or Diamond requirements.

Music Canada

Music Canada

Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that was founded 9 April 1963 to represent the interests of companies that record, manufacture, produce, and distribute music in Canada. It also offers benefits to some of Canada's leading independent record labels and distributors.

Recorded Music NZ

Recorded Music NZ

Recorded Music NZ is a non-profit trade association of record producers, distributors and recording artists who sell recorded music in New Zealand. Membership of Recorded Music NZ is open to any owner of recorded music rights operating in New Zealand, inclusive of major labels, independent labels and self-released artists. Recorded Music NZ has over 2000 rights-holders.

Recording Industry Association of America

Recording Industry Association of America

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization that represents the music recording industry in the United States. Its members consist of record labels and distributors that the RIAA says "create, manufacture, and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legally sold recorded music in the United States". RIAA is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Source: "Fear Inoculum", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear_Inoculum.

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See also
References
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