Label: Mo' Wax / A&M Records
Shadow's classic first album has been consistently voted one of the best records of the '90s, in magazines such as Spin, Q, Urb (whose readers voted it the best album ever made), Melody Maker, etc.
A "Deluxe Edition" was released in 2005. See below for some of the accolades the album has received over the years:
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.80) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone (1/23/97, pp.62-63) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...The DJ built songs out of layer upon layer of sampled instruments and other sound fragments, most of which he processed, looped and re-arranged far beyond recognition....funky rhythms that never sound like they've been cut and pasted together..."
Spin (p.134) - "[T]his remains a stone classic, channeling Afrika Bambaataa's genre-splicing,
DJ-booth mysticism into a fully realized studio epic..."
Spin (9/99, p.126) - Ranked #15 in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s."
Spin (1/97, p.81) - 9 (out of 10) - "...layers slinky break-beats with sampled sounds--anything from church bells to War Of The Worlds and, egad, Tears For Fears....a cosmic-chamber feel complete with choruses of fallen angels, plucked harps, Mellotron, and cello..."
Spin (p.102) - "One of the best hip-hop, yes hip-hop - records ever made."
Entertainment Weekly (11/29/96, p.92) - "...Unfolding like a surreal film soundtrack on which jazz, classical, and jungle fragments are artfully blended with turntable tricks and dialogue snippets, ENDTRODUCING... takes hip-hop into the next dimension." - Rating: A-
Q (12/99, p.90) - Included in Q Magazine's "90 Best Albums Of The 1990s."
Q (11/96, p.120) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...Shadow's brief is to develop a totally sample-based idiom, weaving a cinematically broad spectrum so deftly layered that the sampling-is-stealing argument falls flat..."
Uncut (p.121) - 4 stars out of 5 - "It's an elegy from a vinyl mausoleum, a sonic fiction assembled by a keen-eared archaeologist."
Alternative Press (4/97, p.70) - 5 (out of 5) - "...an undeniable hip-hop masterpiece....DJ Shadow remembers that sampling is an art form."
Magnet (p.88) - "An instrumental album entirely composed of samples and influenced by both prog rock and Public Enemy was, at the time, revolutionary....Still unmatched in its carefree invention."
Option (1-2/97, p.73) - "...Shadow makes records the way Robert Rauschenberg made his combines: from scraps, pop artifacts, the things other people throw away....While some of his tracks float serenely on a cloud of jazzy phrasing and ambient textures, Shadow always lands on his beat..."
Melody Maker (12/21-28/96, pp.66-67) - Ranked #2 on Melody Maker's list of 1996's "Albums Of The Year."
Melody Maker (9/14/96, p.49) - Bloody Essential - "...it flips hip hop inside out all over again like a reversible glove, and again, and again, and each time it's sudden and new. I am, I confess, totally confounded by it. I hear a lot of good records, but very few impossible ones....You need this record. You are incomplete without it."
Rap Pages (12/96, p.33) - "...Innovative arrangements and structures of sound are present here, reflecting a mind that is constantly summoning collage forms..."
Village Voice (2/25/97) - Ranked #4 in the Village Voice's 1996 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.
Mojo (Publisher) (p.65) - Ranked #18 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "[The album] returned hip hop's focus from the MC to the music."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.120) - 4 stars out of 5 - "A decade on, DJ Shadow's affirmatory essay on record collecting as a creative endeavour has lost none of its grandeur."
NME (Magazine) (12/21-28/96, pp.66-67) - Ranked #5 in NME's 1996 critics' poll.