Sex & Religion is the third studio album by American guitarist Steve Vai, released under the band name "Vai" on July 23, 1993, through Relativity Records. It is known as the first major appearance of Devin Townsend, who performed vocals for the album and went on to fame with Devin Townsend Project and Strapping Young Lad. Townsend also co-wrote the tracks "Pig" and "Just Cartilage", the latter of which was only released as a bonus track in Japan. Vai also co-wrote "In My Dreams with You" with Desmond Child and Roger Greenawalt.

Sex & Religion
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 27, 1993 (1993-07-27)[1]
StudioMothership (Hollywood Hills)
ProducerSteve Vai
Steve Vai chronology
Passion and Warfare
Sex & Religion
Alien Love Secrets
Devin Townsend chronology
Sex & Religion
Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing
Singles from Sex & Religion
  1. "In My Dreams with You"
    Released: 1993[2]
  2. "Down Deep into the Pain"
    Released: 1993[3]

Sex & Religion reached No. 48 on the U.S. Billboard 200,[2] No. 17 in the UK albums chart and also charted within the top 60 in four other countries.[4] "In My Dreams with You" was released as a single, reaching No. 36 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart.[2]

The album's cover art appears to be a reference to the famous artistic depictions of Saint Sebastian.

Background and conflict Edit

For Sex & Religion, Vai wished to put together a band of "monster musicians" which included himself, Townsend, drummer and fellow Frank Zappa alumnus Terry Bozzio, and bassist T. M. Stevens. It was originally intended for each musician to contribute ideas and play a large role in the creative process, but Vai ended up micro-managing the whole project, which caused much conflict during the making of the album. As Vai explains, there was heavy expectation to make another album in the style of Passion and Warfare (1990), but he instead made the decision to go in a radically different direction, therefore confounding many fans and critics.[5] The band split up after the album was finished, and Vai subsequently toured only with Townsend and several session drummers and bassists (including Abe Laboriel Jr., Toss Panos, and Scott Thunes).

Critical reception Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [1]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine at AllMusic gave Sex & Religion two stars out of five, calling it "the most predictable and conventional—not to mention boring—[album] of Vai's usually remarkable career" and criticizing the band as being "pedestrian".[1]

Track listing Edit

All tracks are written by Steve Vai, except where noted

1."An Earth Dweller's Return"1:04
2."Here & Now"4:47
3."In My Dreams With You" (Vai, Desmond Child, Roger Greenawalt)5:01
4."Still My Bleeding Heart"6:00
5."Sex & Religion"4:24
6."Dirty Black Hole"4:27
7."Touching Tongues"5:33
8."State of Grace"1:41
10."Pig" (Vai, Devin Townsend)3:36
11."The Road to Mt. Calvary"2:35
12."Down Deep into the Pain"8:01
13."Rescue Me or Bury Me"8:25
Total length:60:25
Japanese edition bonus track
14."Just Cartilage" (Vai, Townsend)4:19

Personnel Edit

Charts Edit

Weekly charts Edit

Chart performance for Sex & Religion
Chart (1993) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[6] 67
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[7] 26
European Albums (IFPI)[8] 22
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[9] 14
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[10] 53
Icelandic Albums (Tonlist)[11] 10
Spanish Albums (AFYVE)[12] 34
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 41
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[14] 26
UK Albums (OCC)[15] 17
US Billboard 200[16] 48

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Sex & Religion - Steve Vai". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  2. ^ a b c "Sex & Religion - Steve Vai | Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  3. ^ "Vai, Steve Vai – Down Deep into the Pain (1993, CD)". Discogs.
  4. ^ "Steve Vai - Sex & Religion (album)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  5. ^ "Sex & Religion (1993)". Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  6. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mount Martha, Melbourne, Victoria: Moonlight Publishing. p. 292.
  7. ^ " – Steve Vai – Sex & Religion" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  8. ^ "European Top 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. 28 August 1993. p. 22.
  9. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  10. ^ " – Steve Vai – Sex & Religion" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  11. ^ "Dagblaðið Vísir — Tónlist Topp 40" (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir. 26 August 1993: 20. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (3rd ed.). Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  13. ^ " – Steve Vai – Sex & Religion". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  14. ^ " – Steve Vai – Sex & Religion". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  15. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  16. ^ "The Billboard 200 for Week Ending August 14, 1993" (PDF). Billboard. 14 August 1993. p. 80.

External links Edit