Educated Horses is the third studio album by American musician Rob Zombie, released on March 28, 2006, by Geffen. A streaming “listening party” was held on MP3.com starting March 22, 2006, which caused advance copies to spread throughout P2P software programs. It is the first album to feature guitarist John 5 and drummer Tommy Clufetos, and the last to feature bassist Blasko.
In response to questions about what the album’s title means, Rob Zombie said:
“It was a weird kind of phrase, like, that I remembered as something as a kid. You know, my parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, the whole family, were involved in carnival business and, like, circus business, so as a kid, we would get dragged to these things, and we’d have to spend all this time there. And that was just one of the attractions I remember, what they would call the trained animals, you know, educated horses.”
Educated Horses can be described as Zombie’s most experimental album to date. Writing for Rob Zombie for the first time, John 5 experimented with a number of acoustics, which can be heard on tracks such as “Sawdust in the Blood” and “Death of It All”. Yet the album still contains his signature horror tastes. “17 Year Locust” and “The Scorpion Sleeps” were both written about creepy-crawlies.
The album debuted at number five on the U.S. Billboard 200, Zombie’s highest chart position since Hellbilly Deluxe, selling about 120,000 copies in its first week. It also debuted at number one on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart. In its second week it dropped to number fourteen, selling a further 46,720 copies.
The song “The Lords of Salem” was nominated for the Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance of 2008.
Christian Hoard of Rolling Stone magazine had this to say:
A handful of cuts are too long on sludgy instrumental grooves, but whether Zombie is out-Trent Reznoring Trent Reznor on the sitar-laden grindfest “17 Year Locust” or spitting fire amid the apocalyptic blues riffs of “The Devil’s Rejects,” he sounds like a gifted schlockmeister that Strokes fans can enjoy. Or at least tolerate.