|Speak English or Die|
|Studio album by|
|Released||August 30, 1985|
2000 Platinum re-issue
|Producer||Alex Perialas and Scott Ian|
|Stormtroopers of Death chronology|
After Anthrax finished recording Spreading the Disease, there was still some studio time left, so members Scott Ian and Charlie Benante called some friends, practiced some songs, and recorded it all within a week.
Many point to this album - and particularly, the song "Milk" - as one of the first songs to feature a blast beat, courtesy of Benante. When asked in 2009 if he invented the blast beat, Benante replied, "If you mean that I decided to sit in my room and invent it, no it wasn't like that. The thing was something that had been around the NY hardcore scene for ages but hadn't been used for other things. The first time it really happened was on S.O.D's 'Milk' song, so I guess you could say I had a lot to do with it. Now a lot of bands are using it, and doing it really well."
The album had some controversy due to the lyrics, which are homophobic, xenophobic, and misogynistic. Dan Lilker stated, "The lyrics were never intended to be serious, just to piss people off."
In an interview with Songfacts in 2014, when asked "If Speak English or Die came out today, do you think that because of the political correctness of today, it would go over the same?", Lilker responded, "It probably would have had a harder time just because people seem to be more uptight now. Nevertheless, it was what it was, which is saying it is what it is, but back then. And I don't regret it. Maybe minor aspects went overboard with certain lyrical things, but then again, we didn't really mean them. Perhaps if people realize that, then it's just more funny."
Speak English or Die was well received and is considered one of the greatest and most influential crossover thrash albums of all time.Allmusic gave the album 4.5 stars out of 5 and said, "S.O.D.'s Speak English or Die was an important record in the fusion of hardcore punk with thrash and speed metal".
Speak English or Die has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.
The album was re-released by Megaforce in August 1995 and a platinum edition of the album was released in February 2000.
Al Jourgensen, frontman of industrial metal band Ministry, describes Speak English or Die as an influential album that inspired him to add thrash metal guitar riffs to the band's music starting with 1989's The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste. He adds that Speak English or Die is "one of the best records ever." In 2012, Ministry made a cover version of "United Forces" in their album Relapse.
Scott Ian once recalled that Eddie Vedder was a fan of the album as well, saying he "cornered me one night at a party for 25 minutes telling me this story about the first time he heard Speak English Or Die and how it affected his life."
There were also plans for a Speak English Or Die tribute album featuring multiple artists during the late '90s, but the release never materialized.
All tracks written by S.O.D.
|1.||"March of the S.O.D."||1:27|
|2.||"Sargent D and the S.O.D."||2:23|
|5.||"Speak English or Die"||2:24|
|8.||"Pi Alpha Nu"||1:09|
|10.||"What's that Noise|
• cameo appearance by producer Alex Perialas"
|13.||"Pre-Menstrual Princess Blues"||1:20|
|15.||"Fist Banging Mania"||2:04|
|16.||"No Turning Back"||0:52|
|17.||"Fuck the Middle East"||0:27|
|20.||"Ballad of Jimi Hendrix"||0:05|
|21.||"Diamonds and Rust (Extended Version)"||0:02|
Comparison with bootlegs from this era showed that the live tracks were recorded live at Club Citta in Kawasaki on 5 June 1999, except for United Forces part I & part II, that were recorded at Club Citta on 7 June 1999. S.O.D. also played on 8 June 1999 at Club Citta, completing a 3-night stint at the legendary venue.
The bonus track "Ram It Up" added in reissues was an outtake from the original album sessions that appeared already in 1985 in the Megaforce From the Megavault compilation. The song is a cover version taken from the Tod und Wahnsinn album (1983) of the German hardcore punk band, Inferno.