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The Week Ahead

For Bizkit, it's a stale end or a fresh start

September 29, 2003|Geoff Boucher

Are the gravy days over for Limp Bizkit?

Few bands have inspired such grand animosity and such commercial success as the curious crew headed by Fred Durst, who became not only the poster boy for the bombastic sound of rap-rock but also the central figure in more than a few soap operas (Fred versus Christina, Fred vs. Wes, Fred vs. Metallica, Fred vs. Creed, Fred vs. Britney, Fred vs. rock critics ... ). The biggest showdown now for Durst and Bizkit is against their own past -- with three years having gone by since their last studio album and star guitar player Wes Borland out of the band, can Bizkit match its past two major albums, which sold a combined 13.9 million copies in the U.S.?

This Wednesday the new Limp Bizkit release, "Results May Vary," will make its debut on a sales chart where there is fierce competition for the top spots. The new OutKast album is a lock for No. 1, but can Bizkit get in the mix for No. 2 with the solo debut from Dave Matthews and an R. Kelly greatest-hits package, among other key releases?

"The first couple of days of sale have been very strong for Limp Bizkit and their fan core seems to be intact despite their absence," said Bob Bell, a buyer for the Wherehouse music chain. "There has been a certain degree of skepticism about the record and mixed reviews of the summer tour dates."

Mixed reviews indeed -- such as fans booing and throwing bottles at the band in Chicago and other stops of the Summer Sanitarium tour headlined by Metallica.

Bell says strong opinions of Durst and Bizkit keep them in the public eye and, more importantly, in the awareness of radio programmers.

The first single, the in-your-face "Eat You Alive," is being followed up by a version of "Behind Blue Eyes," the Who classic interpreted for the soundtrack to "Gothika," an upcoming film starring Halle Berry. The music video has Durst and Berry locked in passionate kisses. Perhaps a new feud is brewing -- Fred vs. Berry's husband, R&B star Eric Benet.

-- Geoff Boucher

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