“Fall to Pieces” is the title of a power ballad written and performed by Velvet Revolver that appears on their debut album Contraband in 2004. It was the band’s third single and was very successful, peaking at #67 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
Contraband is the debut studio album by American hard rock band Velvet Revolver, released on June 8, 2004 by RCA Records. A commercial success, Contraband debuted at number one on the American Billboard 200 chart and was certified double platinum by the RIAA.
Velvet Revolver formed when Guns N’ Roses musicians Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass) and Matt Sorum (drums) combined to play at a benefit concert for fellow musician Randy Castillo in 2002. They decided to form a band and recruited guitarist Dave Kushner who had previously played with Suicidal Tendencies, Wasted Youth, and Dave Navarro. The quartet then set about recruiting a lead singer with the recruitment process filmed by VH1. Several lead singers auditioned including Josh Todd of Buckcherry, Kelly Shaefer of Neurotica and Travis Meeks of Days of the New. Scott Weiland had become friends with McKagan and had played on the same bill as Kushner when Stone Temple Pilots were known as Mighty Joe Young and Kushner was in the Electric Love Hogs. Weiland heard the material and offered his services as the lead singer and the band clicked. Slash suggested the name Revolver for the project while Weiland suggested Black Velvet Revolver which was shortened to Velvet Revolver.
Velvet Revolver recorded its first track “Set Me Free” for The Hulk soundtrack in 2003, along with a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Money” for The Italian Job. The band played their first live gig at the El Rey in Los Angeles in July 2003. It recorded Contraband in the latter part of 2003 with recording complicated by Weiland’s court appearances for drug charges and his subsequent sentencing to undertake rehabilitation.
In February 2005, RCA Records released a “Tour Edition” of the album in Europe, which included a bonus disc containing three songs: “Surrender” (originally by Cheap Trick), “No More, No More” (originally by Aerosmith), and an acoustic version of “Fall to Pieces”.
The United States release of the disc uses the MediaMax CD-3 system for copy protection, while Macrovision CDS-200 is used for the European release.
The album cover features a silhouette of American actress Rena Riffel.
The song “Big Machine” was an inspiration in record executive Scott Borchetta choosing the name of his label Big Machine Records.
Slash recorded “Sucker Train Blues” with a Fender Telecaster 1956 and a Fender Stratocaster 1965.
The song’s lyrics are about then lead singer Scott Weiland’s battle with heroin and its toll on his relationship with his wife, model Mary Forsberg.
The song was #1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for 11 consecutive weeks and #2 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart for a single week. It also hit #67 on the Billboard Hot 100. The band performed the song during their performance at Live 8; its performance is the only one of the three songs they played there that appears on the concert DVD.
The song is played with 1/2 step down-tuned guitars like most of Velvet Revolver’s catalogue. Similar to Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses (Slash, McKagan and Sorum’s previous band), the song is in the key of D flat Mixolydian, and is based off an arpeggiated riff around the Dsus4 chord. Weiland wrote the lyrics; Slash, McKagan, Kushner, and Sorum composed the music.
The song’s music video strongly follows the meaning of the song, showing Weiland struggling to maintain his relationship with his wife (who appears in the video as herself). The video shows a graphic depiction of Scott going through an overdose, but being “rescued” by Duff McKagan.