Tim Tan Huynh

Bush – Sixteen Stone

26 Jun 2015 — Almost 19 years ago, I got Sixteen Stone. It's the first album I've ever owned and I can still see and hear it, in more ways than one.
Bush - Sixteen Stone
The cover for the 1994 debut album features an odd-looking display that shows binary code.

In the eighth-grade, I took part in a local quiz show that pitted teams of middle-schoolers against each other. My team only appeared once, but we won and I got a voucher for a free record at a nearby music store. I got the voucher some time in the dead of winter; I went to the store on the day that the voucher was set expire, June 30.

I picked Sixteen Stone because I liked the “Machinehead” and “Glycerine” music videos that were in heavy rotation at the time. I remember the young woman at the counter reading my voucher letter and not being sure is she would honor it. She let me have the disc for free though, and that evening I played it the basement from start to finish, at least twice.

I played it a lot thereafter, mostly on my then-new Windows 95 PC. Even now, I can see myself playing Alien Carnage with “Alien” set to repeat. I can still hear the beginning of “Bomb” as it automatically plays at the end-of-level screens in my pirated copy of Quake. That PC is long gone, but the sits on my shelf. Bush has several albums, including one released last year, but they are nowhere near the height of their popularity from the Sixteen Stone era.

Besides, or because of, my first-album anniversary, I’m writing about it now mainly because Ubisoft has released a pack of Bush songs for Rocksmith 2014. I was browsing the DLC list, looking for T.Rex songs after watching Dallas Buyers Club, and once I saw the Bush pack released last month, I had to get it. I’ve plugged in my dusty electric guitar and have tried all four songs, three of which are from Sixteen Stone (“Swallowed” is from their second album).

Instead of posting footage of my pitiful attempts at playing these songs, here are the official music videos.

Rocksmith 2014 ships with another song from Sixteen Stone.

The most popular Bush songs are probably “Machinehead,” “Glycerine,” and “Swallowed.” I especially like the latter two, even though I’ve listened to them countless times. Still, I’m disappointed that “Alien” isn’t available.