Human Clay

Human Clay is the second studio album by American rock band Creed, released on September 28, 1999, through Wind-up Records. Produced by John Kurzweg, it was the band's last album to feature Brian Marshall, who left the band in August 2000, until 2009's Full Circle.

Human Clay
Human Clay.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 28, 1999 (1999-09-28)
RecordedLate 1998–early 1999
ProducerJohn Kurzweg
Creed chronology
My Own Prison
Human Clay
Singles from Human Clay
  1. "Higher"
    Released: August 24, 1999
  2. "What If"
    Released: January 31, 2000
  3. "With Arms Wide Open"
    Released: April 24, 2000
  4. "Are You Ready?"
    Released: August 7, 2000
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[2]
Christgau's Consumer GuideC[3]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[4]
Entertainment WeeklyC–[5]
Los Angeles Times2/4 stars[6]
Rolling Stone2.5/5 stars[7]
Rock Hard (de)9/10[8]

The album earned mixed to positive reviews from critics and was a massive commercial success, peaking at number one on the US Billboard 200 and staying there for two weeks. The album spawned two singles that peaked in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100: "Higher", which peaked at number 7, and "With Arms Wide Open", their only number one single. The album sold over 11.5 million copies in the US alone and over 20 million worldwide, making it the best selling album of Creed's career and one of the best-selling albums in the United States.


Human Clay is the only Creed album to not have a title track. The album had three music videos created for it: "Higher" and "What If" in 1999, and "With Arms Wide Open" in 2000.

During the summer of 2000, bassist Brian Marshall began a spiral into alcoholism and addiction. While under the influence, Marshall threatened to beat up guitarist Mark Tremonti, began missing band obligations, and attacking Stapp both verbally and online. The band had a meeting with management to discuss Marshall's future. Stapp and Tremonti supported Marshall going to rehab and attempted to talk Marshall into going, but at that point, Marshall was too far gone to recognize he needed help. Brett Hestla of Virgos Merlot was initially contacted to "fill in" while Marshall went to rehab, but that never happened. Initially, the public thought Marshall was let go because he criticized Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder in a radio interview with KNDD in June 2000, claiming that Scott Stapp is a better songwriter, and criticized Pearl Jam's recent albums for "having songs without hooks."[9] Stapp later distanced the rest of the band from Marshall's comments and stated, "Yes, we get tired of the PJ question, but there is no excuse for the arrogance and stupidity [of Marshall]. I ask you all not to judge Creed as a band, because the statements made were not the band's feelings, they were Brian's. I'm sorry if Brian offended anyone, and he has already apologized for his comments."[10] Although it was reported Marshall left Creed "on friendly terms," he didn't. Tremonti and Stapp were concerned for Marshall and their collective friendships, but soon after the controversy, Marshall formed a new band called Grand Luxx with his old Mattox Creed bandmates. Marshall was temporarily replaced by touring bassist Brett Hestla.[11] Stapp stated Marshall's leaving was his choice and was unrelated to the Pearl Jam comments.[12] Mark Tremonti filled as the bassist on their third album, Weathered, while Brett Hestla became their touring bassist. Marshall later reunited with the band in 2009.

Title and artworkEdit

The title of the album comes from a lyric in "Say I" ("The dust has finally settled on the field of human clay"), a song which carries the same message. The cover artwork was designed by Mark Tremonti's brother Daniel, who had previously done the artwork and photography for My Own Prison. According to Mark Tremonti, the album cover represents a crossroad which every man finds himself at in his life and the man of clay represented "our actions, that what we are is up to us, that we lead our own path and make our own destiny."

Release and receptionEdit

Commercial performanceEdit

The album was the band's first to hit number one in the US, where it debuted with first week sales of 315,000, and stayed on top for two weeks.[13] Human Clay has been certified 11× Platinum and Diamond by the RIAA, and is the 54th best-selling album of all time in the United States (as of February 2007).[14] It ranks as the eighth best selling album in the U.S. since the advent of Nielsen SoundScan in 1991.[15] It has also been certified 6 times platinum in Canada, 5 times in Australia, 7 times in New Zealand, and 4 times in Switzerland among others, selling an estimated 20 million copies worldwide.[16] The album has spent a record 104 weeks on the Billboard chart survey.[17] As of October 2014, it has sold 11,690,000 copies in the United States alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[15]

Critical receptionEdit

The album received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album 4 stars out of 5, concluding that "it may not be the kind of thing that knocks out critics or grunge purists, but it does deliver for anyone looking for direct, grunge-flavored hard rock."[18]


The album's third single, "With Arms Wide Open", won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 2001.[19] Human Clay was ranked number 422 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time in 2005.[20] Human Clay was ranked number 5 on Billboard's 200 Albums of the Decade in 2009.[21] VH1 listed "Higher" as one of the greatest hard rock songs of all time in 2009. The music video for "With Arms Wide Open" was voted the 92nd best music video of all-time by VH1, who also ranked it number 4 on its "25 Greatest Power Ballads" list.[22]

Track listingEdit

All lyrics are written by Scott Stapp; all music is composed by Mark Tremonti.

1."Are You Ready?"4:45
2."What If"5:18
4."Say I"5:15
5."Wrong Way"4:19
6."Faceless Man"5:59
7."Never Die"4:51
8."With Arms Wide Open"4:38
10."Wash Away Those Years"6:04
11."Inside Us All"5:39
Total length:56:28
US edition[23]
12."With Arms Wide Open" (strings version) (hidden track)3:55
Total length:60:23
European edition[24]
12."Young Grow Old"4:43
Total length:61:11
Two-disc deluxe edition (With "Young Grow Old" on Disc 1)[25]
1."To Whom It May Concern"5:11
2."Roadhouse Blues" (live; featuring Robbie Krieger)5:51
3."What's This Life For" (acoustic)4:23
4."With Arms Wide Open" (acoustic)3:56
5."Is This the End?"6:15
Total length:86:48




Sales certifications for Human Clay
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[43] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[44] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[45] 6× Platinum 600,000^
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[46] Gold 25,000^
Germany (BVMI)[47] Gold 150,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[48] 5× Platinum 75,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[49] Platinum 50,000*
South Africa (RISA)[34] 3× Platinum 150,000*
Sweden (GLF)[50] Gold 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[51] 4× Platinum 200,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[52] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[54] 11× Platinum 11,690,000[53]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  • The song "Wrong Way" was featured on the soundtrack to the film End of Days in 1999.
  • The song "What If" was featured in both the movie and on the official soundtrack for Scream 3 in 2000, while the song "Is This the End?" was only included on the album.
  • The song "Higher" was featured in the films The Skulls in 2000, 22 Jump Street in 2014 and The Beach Bum in 2019, in trailers for the movie Titan A.E. in 2000, and as downloadable content for the video games Rocksmith 2014 in 2014 and Rock Band 2 in 2018.
  • The song "Young Grow Old" was featured on the album WWF Forceable Entry in 2002.
  • The song "To Whom It May Concern" was featured on the soundtrack to the film The Scorpion King in 2002.
  • The song "Are You Ready?" was featured on the albums NASCAR: Full Throttle in 2001 and Harley-Davidson: Ride in 2005.
  • The song "With Arms Wide Open" was featured in the movie Dark Waters in 2019; it was also included as downloadable content for the video games Rocksmith 2014 in 2014 and Rock Band 4 in 2020.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Cailey Lindberg (September 28, 2015). "Scott Stapp Talks Creed Reunion, Guitarist Mark Tremonti Not Ready". Music Times. Retrieved May 15, 2021. Stapp's out of control behavior eventually led to a Creed break-up 10 years after the band released Human Clay, which sold a record 11.7 million copies with its blend of post-grunge musical aesthetics and Christian beliefs.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (1999-09-28). "Human Clay Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000-10-15). "Creed". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 9780312245603.
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Omnibus Press. ISBN 9780857125958.
  5. ^ Morgan, Laura (1999-10-08). "Human Clay Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  6. ^ WEINGARTEN, MARC (1999-09-25). "Record Rack". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  7. ^ Powers, Ann (1999-10-28). "Creed: Human Clay : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-10-02. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
  8. ^ Schnädelbach, Buffo. "Rock Hard review". issue 149. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  9. ^ David Basham (June 19, 2000). "Creed Bassist Disses Pearl Jam In Radio Interview". CMT.
  10. ^ [1] Archived March 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Steve Huey. "Creed". Allmusic.
  12. ^ Joe D'Angelo (August 9, 2004). "Scott Stapp Breaks His Silence". MTV. Archived from the original on August 14, 2004.
  13. ^ Mancini, Robert (1999-10-13). "News - Articles - 1427609". Retrieved 2012-02-22.
  14. ^ "RIAA - Recording Industry Association of America". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
  15. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (2014-10-10). "Adele's '21' Surpasses 11 Million In U.S. Sales". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  16. ^ "Interview: Mark Tremonti on Creed's 2012 full albums tour". 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  17. ^ "Human Clay - Creed". 1999-10-16. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
  18. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Human Clay". AllMusic.
  19. ^ Creed's Scott Stapp on his 2001 Grammy win. 19 January 2014 – via YouTube.
  20. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 41. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ "Music Albums, Top 200 Albums & Music Album Charts". 2009-12-31. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
  22. ^ "Creed: "With Arms Wide Open" (25 Greatest Power Ballads)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
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  25. ^ "Human Clay (Bonus Disc)".
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  40. ^ "Creed Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  41. ^ ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Albums 2001. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  42. ^ "2009 ARIA End of Decade Albums Chart". ARIA. January 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  43. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  44. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Creed – Human Clay" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
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  47. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Creed; 'Human Clay')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
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  50. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2001" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-17. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  51. ^ Pruitt, Freya (28 December 2014). "Featured – Creed". TTW Online Magazine. Archived from the original on 16 December 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  52. ^ "British album certifications – Creed – Human Clay". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  53. ^ Caulfield, Keith (10 October 2014). "Adele's '21' Surpasses 11 Million In U.S. Sales". Billboard. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  54. ^ "American album certifications – Creed – Human Clay". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 28 March 2021.