Release date: June 2010
Recovery is the seventh studio album by American rapper Eminem, released June 18, 2010 by Aftermath Entertainment and Shady Records. Production for the album took place during 2009 to 2010 at several recording studios and was handled by various record producers, including Alex da Kid, Just Blaze, Boi-1da, Jim Jonsin, DJ Khalil, and Dr. Dre. Originally recorded as a sequel to Eminem's previous album Relapse (2009), Recovery features more introspective and emotional content than its predecessor.
The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 741,000 copies in its first week in the United States. This made Eminem the first artist in Soundscan history to have four albums debut with sales of over 700,000. It became Eminem's sixth consecutive number-one album in the US and topped the chart for seven weeks. It also achieved international commercial success, charting at number one in several other countries, and produced three singles that achieved chart success, including the Billboard hit "No Love" and international hits "Not Afraid" and "Love the Way You Lie". Despite some criticism towards its consistency, Recovery received positive reviews from most music critics. As of November 7, 2010, the album had sold over 2.9 million copies in the US.
Writing and recording
In a press release, Eminem explained that he and Dr. Dre had recorded a considerable amount of music and thus, "Putting out Relapse 2 will let everyone get all of the best stuff." According to Angela Yee's Shade 45 interview with Eminem on April 23, 2009, Relapse 2 was to be a continuation of Relapse. During the interview Eminem also confirmed "It's extremely close to being finished, it just depends on how many songs I want to put on it."
He called into Shade 45 and said he was in the studio finishing up the album. Recording sessions for the album took place during 2009 to 2010 at several recording studios, including Allure Sound in Oak Park, MI, 54 Sound and Effigy Studios in Ferndale, Michigan, Black Chiney Studios in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, Boi-1da Studio in Ajax, Ontario, Canada, Playhouse in Parkland, Florida, Avex Honolulu Studio in Honolulu, Hawaii, Encore Studios in Burbank, California, Sun Studios in Temple Bar, London, and Shake 'Em Down Studios in Queens, New York.
Eminem explained the album was more "emotionally driven" than Relapse, which was, as he explains "just rap records". When premiering the debut single, Eminem also let listeners know that there were not any skits on the album, so the album would contain more songs than his previous studio albums. He described a song titled "Insult to Injury", in which Eminem performs in his normal voice, as somewhat of a sequel to "Underground," the final track from the previous album, Relapse. Another song on the album, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", features his rap group D12; Bizarre of D12 said the new song shows the group's strength despite the death of founder Proof. "We're still family, but everybody's got their own situations going on," he added. "No matter what y'all do, you can't hold D12 down. We've been through a lot of shit, but we're still gonna come back and recover."
As for guests on the album, Eminem had confirmed back when the album was still entitled Relapse 2, he worked with both Dr. Dre and 50 Cent on the album. D12, Royce da 5'9", Lloyd Banks and Cashis had been speculated as possible features on the album. However, none of these artists are actually featured. Recovery only featured guest appearances by rapper Lil Wayne and solo singers Kobe, Pink and Rihanna. In interview with Skyrock FM Eminem said he decided to include Pink on "Won't Back Down" after recording his parts first because he "felt like she would smash this record". On the bonus track "Session One", Eminem features supergroup Slaughterhouse, signed with Shady Records.
When speaking to MTV, affiliate DJ Whoo Kid stated he heard some songs from the album. He commented the song, "The Warning," a diss record to Mariah Carey, was not as intense as the entire album would be, saying the album is 'maniacal'. Eminem appeared on Shade 45 with DJ Whoo Kid where he stated that a track with 50 Cent, in which the two rap together on verses, existed. He also confirmed both Just Blaze and Mr. Porter as producers on the album. Bizarre of D12 stated that the group recorded a song for the album tentatively titled "Hit Me With Your Best Shot".
On April 13, 2010, Eminem tweeted "There is no Relapse 2" to his followers. When he tweeted this, people started to believe that he was not releasing an album at all, but it meant simply that the album would be changed to Recovery. He confirmed this by tweeting "Recovery" with a link to his website. Eminem said "I had originally planned for Relapse 2 to come out last year. But as I kept recording and working with new producers, the idea of a sequel to Relapse started to make less and less sense to me, and I wanted to make a completely new album. The music on Recovery came out very different from Relapse, and I think it deserves its own title." He later released a freestyle titled "Despicable" over "Over" by Drake and "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley" by Lloyd Banks featuring Juelz Santana as promo for the first single, "Not Afraid", which debuted on Shade 45 on April 29. In a recent interview Eminem said "I must have gone through 200-300 beats, for the album and chose 100 of them and recorded it."
The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 741,000 copies. It became Eminem's sixth album to debut at number one in the United States. In its second week of release it remained at number-one and sold 313,000 copies. It also entered at number one on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Rap Albums chart. As of November 7, 2010, the album had sold 2.94 million copies in the US. In its ninth week of release the album remained at number one for its seventh non-consecutive week and sold 116,000 copies. In its first nine weeks of release the album sold over 100,000 copies every week. It was also number-one on the Billboard 200 chart for seven of its first nine weeks of release.
The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 140,000 copies in its first week in the United Kingdom. In Canada, the album sold 85,000 copies in its first week and debuted at number one on Canada's Albums Chart. The album spent six consecutive weeks at number one, and retook the top spot after one week at number 2. As of August 18, 2010, the album has sold 277,000 copies in Canada. In Japan, Oricon recorded a debut of number six with 20,678 units sold. It also went gold in its first week in New Zealand and Australia, debuting at number one in both countries. The album has since sold over 140,000 copies in Australia, certifying it double platinum there.