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The Great Milenko
The Great Milenko
Studio album by Insane Clown Posse
Released August 12, 1997
Recorded 19961997
Genre Horrorcore, Midwest hip hop
Length 67:31
Label Hollywood/Psychopathic
162 071

Island/Psychopathic
524 442
Producer(s) Mike E. Clark
ICP
Insane Clown Posse chronology
Riddle Box
(1995)
The Great Milenko
(1997)
The Amazing Jeckel Brothers
(1999)



The Great Milenko is the fourth studio album released by American hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse. Released in 1997, it is the fourth entry in the group's Joker's Cards series.

The album was recorded and initially released by the Disney-owned record label Hollywood Records.[1] The group altered the content of its lyrics at the label's request. The album was deleted by Hollywood hours after its release, in response to criticism from the Southern Baptist Church of decisions that the church believed did not reflect Disney's family-friendly image, although Disney claimed that the album was released due to an oversight by its review board.[2]

After the termination of the Hollywood Records contract, Insane Clown Posse signed a new contract with Island Records, which agreed to release the album as it was originally intended.[3] "The Great Milenko" was eventually certified platinum.[4]

BackgroundEdit

In 1995, Insane Clown Posse attempted to obtain a contract with a major record label, signing with Jive Records sub-label Battery, which released its third studio album, Riddle Box, but showed little interest in promoting the album.[5] Manager Alex Abbiss negotiated a contract with the Walt Disney Company-owned label Hollywood Records, which reportedly paid US$1 million to purchase the Insane Clown Posse contract from Battery/Jive Records.[1]

Recording and productionEdit

The group started recording The Great Milenko in 1996. Disney requested that the tracks "The Neden Game," "Under the Moon," and "Boogie Woogie Wu" be removed because of lyrics referencing abuse of women, rape and murder, and the slaughter of children, respectively. Disney also asked that the lyrics of other tracks be changed, threatening to not release the album otherwise.[6][3] Bruce and Utsler complied with Disney's requests and planned to go on a national tour with House of Krazees and Myzery as its opening acts.[6]

Musical styleEdit

The Great Milenko featured more rock influences than previous Insane Clown Posse albums, including an introduction performed by Alice Cooper and guitar tracks performed by Steve Jones (on "Piggie Pie"), and Slash (on "Halls of Illusions").[7] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic wrote, in his review of The Amazing Jeckel Brothers that, "The Great Milenko [...] was targeted at white-boy, adolescent metalheads -- really, how could any album that contained guest spots from Alice Cooper, Slash, Steve Jones and Legs Diamond be anything else?"[8]

Lyrical themesEdit

Template:Cquote According to the group's mythology, The Great Milenko is a Necromancer and Illusionist who tries to trick individuals into greed and other such sins. He takes out the worst in an individual and creates powerful illusions in an attempt to cause them to become hedonistic and greedy. An honorable individual must fight his magic in order to make it to Shangri-La (as revealed in the track "Pass Me By").[7]

Promotion and releaseEdit

"We spent all that time recording the album, and it was out for half a day, then yanked out of stores. Our tour was cancelled, our in-store tour was cancelled, everything we had was cancelled."
—Joseph Bruce[6]

Initially, Hollywood Records shipped 100,000 of The Great Milenko to various record stores.[9] During a music-store autograph signing, Insane Clown Posse was notified that Hollywood Records had deleted the album within hours of its release,[6] despite having sold 18,000 copies and reaching #63 on the Billboard 200.[9][10] The group was also informed that its in-store signings and nationwide tour had been canceled, commercials for the album and the music video for "Halls of Illusions" (which had reached #1 on The Box video request channel) were pulled from television, and that the group was dropped from the label.[6] It was later revealed that Disney was being criticized by the Southern Baptist Church at the time because of Disney's promotion of Gay Days at Disneyland, in addition to producing and distributing the gay-themed television sitcom Ellen. The church claimed Disney was turning its back on family values.[2] Although Abbiss told the press that Disney had stopped production of The Great Milenko to avoid further controversy, Disney claimed instead that the release of the album was an oversight by their review board, and that the album "did not fit the Disney image" because of its "inappropriate" lyrics,[11] which they claimed were offensive to women.[12] Although Hollywood Records had ordered record stores to return shipments of the now-deleted album, many record stores refused, including the Michigan-based Harmony House where 1,700 CDs were sold in 36 stores after the termination order.[12]

After the termination of the Hollywood Records contract, labels such as Interscope and Death Row Records wanted to sign the group,[2] but Island Records' Chris Blackwell came to the group's rescue and agreed to release The Great Milenko as it was originally intended.[3][13] As part of the deal, Island also agreed to rerelease the group's first two Joker's Card albums. Milenko was released in four colors: red, green, purple, and gold. Each color had a different secret message that would help reveal the title of the fifth Joker's Card, The Amazing Jeckel Brothers.[14] Music videos were filmed for "Halls of Illusions," "How Many Times," and "Piggy Pie." An unofficial music video for "Down with the Clown" was featured on the home-video release Juggalo Championshxt Wrestling Volume 1.[15] A music video for the Headhuntaz Remix of "Hokus Pokus" was produced after the release of the album. The video featured appearances by Twiztid and Myzery.[14] Blackwell left Island Records shortly after the group released Forgotten Freshness Volumes 1 & 2, and the merger of the MCA and PolyGram families that became Universal Music affected the way the label handled its next Joker's Card release.

Critical receptionEdit

 Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg[8]
Entertainment Weekly (C-)[9]
Martin Charles Strong Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg[16]
Rolling Stone Star fullStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg[17]

Reviews were generally unfavorable. Entertainment Weekly music critic David Browne gave the record a C-minus rating: "[With] its puerile humor and intentionally ugly metal-rap tunes, the album feels oddly dated."[9] Allmusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine called The Great Milenko "a better record than [its] predecessors, boasting a tougher sound and some actual hooks, without losing the juvenile vulgarity that pleased their following," but concluded that "although it is better than the rest of ICP's work, it's [...] the sort of record you wish they would take off the stereo at excruciating frat parties."[8]

In The Great Rock Discography, Martin Charles Strong gave the album five out of ten stars.[16] The album received two out of five stars in The New Rolling Stone Album Guide, in which Ben Sisario identified it as the album in which "the group came into its own".[17]

The Great Milenko has been certified platinum by the RIAA[4] with over 1.7 million copies sold in the United States.[18]

Track listingEdit

The Great Milenko
# TitleWriter(s)Performer(s) Length
1. "Intro"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
Alice Cooper 2:00
2. "Great Milenko"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP 1:56
3. "Hokus Pokus"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP 4:21
4. "Piggy Pie"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP, Steve Jones, and Legs Diamond 5:46
5. "How Many Times?"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP and Legs Diamond 6:21
6. "Southwest Voodoo"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP 4:00
7. "Halls of Illusions"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP, Slash, and Legs Diamond 4:21
8. "Under The Moon"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP 5:00
9. "What is a Juggalo?"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP 3:57
10. "House of Horrors"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP, Deb Agoli, and Legs Diamond 4:20
11. "Boogie Woogie Wu"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP 4:24
12. "The Neden Game"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP 4:05
13. "Hellalujah"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP and Legs Diamond 4:57
14. "Down With The Clown"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP 3:52
15. "Just Like That"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP 1:34
16. "Pass Me By"  Mike E. Clark
Insane Clown Posse
ICP and Legs Diamond 6:42
67:31

PersonnelEdit

Chart positionsEdit

Chart (1997) Peak Position
Billboard 200 63[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Insane Clowns Point The Finger At Disney". MTV. July 3, 1997. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1430332/19970703/i_c_p.jhtml. Retrieved on 2008-05-04. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Insane Clown Posse Album Recalled". MTV. June 27, 1997. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1430334/19970627/i_c_p.jhtml. Retrieved on 2008-05-04. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Insane Clowns Land on Island Records". MTV. July 17, 1997. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1430330/19970717/i_c_p.jhtml. Retrieved on 2008-05-04. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Certification for Insane Clown Posse". RIAA Gold and Platinum Certification Database. Retrieved on 2008-05-05.
  5. Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (2003). "Complete Discography". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 552. ISBN 09741846083. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (2003). "Banned by a Filthy Rat". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 306–314. ISBN 09741846083. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 (1997) "The Great Milenko Liner Notes". Release notes for The Great Milenko by Insane Clown Posse. Island/Psychopathic.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review of The Amazing Jeckel Brothers". Allmusic. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Browne, David (July 25, 1997). "Review of The Great Milenko". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  10. "Insane Clown Posse Angry At Disney's Decision". MTV. July 4, 1997. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1430331/19970704/i_c_p.jhtml. Retrieved on 2008-05-04. 
  11. "Disney Silences Insane Clown Posse". MTV. June 27, 1997. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1430335/19970627/i_c_p.jhtml. Retrieved on 2008-05-04. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Insane Clown Posse Mulling Over Options". MTV. June 30, 1997. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1430333/19970630/i_c_p.jhtml. Retrieved on 2008-05-04. 
  13. Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (2003). "Disney's Hoe Tactics". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 330–335. ISBN 09741846083. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (2003). "Complete Discography". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 556–557. ISBN 09741846083. 
  15. Juggalo Championshxt Wrestling Volume 1. [DVD]. Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Video. ISBN 756504220092. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Strong, Martin Charles (2004). "Insane Clown Posse". The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Canongate. p. 733. ISBN 1841956155. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Brackett, Nathan, ed (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. pp. 405–6. ISBN 0743201698. 
  18. "Album Numbers for Insane Clown Posse". Reuters. Retrieved on 2010-10-23.
  19. "Insane Clown Posse Artist Chart History: Albums". Billboard. Retrieved on 2008-08-19.


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