"Unsung" is a single by the American alternative metal band Helmet from their 1992 album, Meantime. A music video was produced for "Unsung" and found significant airplay on MTV in the early 1990s. "Unsung" is recorded in Drop D tuning on both guitars and bass, and begins with a bass intro. Its stop-and-go dynamics and catchy rhythm made it somewhat of a flagship of the growing 1990s alternative metal scene. In 1991, a full year before the release of Meantime, Amphetamine Reptile records issued the "Unsung" 7" record (scale 41), featuring an earlier recording of the song.

"Unsung"
Helmet unsung.png
Single by Helmet
from the album Meantime
Released1991[1]
FormatCD
GenreAlternative metal[2][3][4]
Length3:57
LabelInterscope
Songwriter(s)Page Hamilton
Producer(s)Steve Albini, Andy Wallace, Helmet
Helmet singles chronology
"Repetition"
(1991)
"Unsung"
(1991)
"Give It"
(1992)

Release and receptionEdit

"Unsung" was Helmet's first single to be released, and was also the lead single to their second album Meantime. The song helped Helmet attain breakthrough success and is their most commercially successful song to date. "Unsung" reached # 29 on the US Alternative Songs chart and #32 on the US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Unsung was also well received by music critics. Steve Huey from Allmusic reviewed the song positively by stating in his review "Boasting a stuttering, grinding main riff and the wall-of-noise guitar work of Page Hamilton and Peter Mengede, 'Unsung' was the second video pulled from Helmet's second full-length album, Meantime, and quickly became the band's signature song and an MTV favorite during late 1992. All told, it was probably the single best moment for a band that often emphasized sound over songwriting. 'Unsung' was Helmet at their most focused, alternating between memorable verse and chorus melodies and concluding with a monolithic guitar workout featuring noisy, oddly harmonized chords repeatedly drilled into the listener's skull."[5]

Track listingEdit

1991 Amphetamine Reptile Records 7" vinylEdit

Side A
No.TitleLength
1."Unsung"3:54
Side B
No.TitleLength
1."Your Head"3:17

1992 Interscope Records 7" vinylEdit

Side A
No.TitleLength
1."Unsung"3:56
Side B
No.TitleLength
1."FBLA" (Live)2:24

Promo singleEdit

No.TitleLength
1."Unsung"3:56

CD singleEdit

No.TitleLength
1."Unsung"3:56
2."Better"3:10
3."FBLA" (Live)2:24
4."FBLA II" (Live)3:20

12" VinylEdit

Side A
No.TitleLength
1."Unsung"3:56
2."Better"3:10
Side B
No.TitleLength
1."Bad Mood" (Live)2:10
2."Distracted" (Live)3:07

In popular cultureEdit

AccoladesEdit

Year Publication Country Accolade Rank
2004 Kerrang! United Kingdom "666 Songs You Must Own (Alternative Rock)" * [6]
"*" denotes an unordered list.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Helmet (2) - Unsung". Discogs. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  2. ^ S. Port, Ian (November 28, 2012). "Bass Instincts: How Bassnectar Came to Rule American Dance Music". SF Weekly. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  3. ^ Ramirez, AJ (August 3, 2011). "The 10 Best Alternative Metal Singles of the 1990s". PopMatters. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  4. ^ Terich, Jeff; Blyweiss, Adam (October 3, 2012). "10 Essential Alternative Metal Singles". Treblezine. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  5. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/song/unsung-mt0038789216
  6. ^ "Kerrang! - 666 Songs You Must Own (Alternative Rock)". Kerrang!. Retrieved 2010-01-18.