Slayer Releases "Undisputed Attitude"
Undisputed Attitude is a cover album by American thrash metal band Slayer.
The album is a collection of punk covers of bands like Minor Threat, T.S.O.L., D.I. and Iggy Pop. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman used two of the four punk songs he had written in 1984 and 1985 as part of a side project called Pap Smear, while King and vocalist Tom Araya wrote an original song titled "Gemini". Released on May 28, 1996 through American Recordings, Undisputed Attitude peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200.
Undisputed Attitude was recorded at Capital Studios in Los Angeles, California with producer Dave Sardy, while Reign in Blood producer Rick Rubin helped executive production. Recorded in three to four weeks, the reason behind the album's creation was due to the interest of guitarist Kerry King, stating the songs were by bands that "made Slayer what it is", and to keep Slayer in the public eye. The album initially featured material from heavy metal artists that had influenced Slayer, including Judas Priest, UFO, and Deep Purple. However, after several rehearsals King believed "things didn't pan out" with heavy metal covers, so the band decided to cover punk songs.
Slayer considered covering 1960s psychedelic rock band The Doors as they were an influence to vocalist and bassist Tom Araya. When asked which track they considered recording, Araya responded, "Maybe 'When the Music's Over', 'Five to One', something like that." A cover of Black Flag's "Rise Above" was suggested by Rubin, although was shelved after the band was not sure how to arrange it musically.Guitarist Jeff Hanneman had written four unreleased songs in 1984–1985, while in the side project Pap Smear with Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and Suicidal Tendencies guitarist Rocky George. The band chose the best two, namely "Ddamm (Drunk Drivers Against Mad Mothers)" and "Can't Stand You". "Gemini" was written by King and Araya several months before entering the recording studio. King asserts it is the only Slayer song on the album.
Slayer's cover of Minor Threat's "Guilty of Being White" raised questions about a possible message of white supremacy. The controversy surrounding the cover involved the changing of the refrain "guilty of being white" to "guilty of being right", at the song's ending. This incensed Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye, who stated "that is so offensive to me". King said it was changed for "tongue-in-cheek" humor as he thought the racism at the time was "ridiculous".
Undisputed Attitude was released on May 28, 1996, and peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Paul Kott of Allmusic commented that "Undisputed Attitude, while not perfect, is a fitting tribute to the bands that inspired Slayer to break from the traditional metal mold." Sandy Masuo of Rolling Stone reasoned; "some punk purists will undoubtedly cry foul, but when the dust settles it's hard to argue with Slayer's metal." Entertainment Weekly's Chuck Eddy dubbed Slayer's cover interpretations "generic hardcore-punk", and observed that the group "seem to think that playing as fast and rigidly as possible makes for harder rock -- but it's just lazy shtick".