From The Evanescence Reference
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Demo album by Evanescence
Released November 4, 2000
Recorded Sound Asleep Studios[note 1]
Length 46:27
Label Bigwig Enterprises (distributor)
Producer Brad Caviness (executive producer)
Evanescence chronology
Sound Asleep
Singles from Origin
  1. "Whisper"
    Released: 2000
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This article is about the album. For the song, see Origin (song).

General information

Origin is a demo album released on November 4, 2000, in Little Rock, Arkansas, distributed and manufactured by Bigwig Enterprises. Amy Lee and Ben Moody said it was not an album, but a collection of demos that they "dressed up" to send to record labels when they were looking to get signed.[1][2] Amy and Ben had written the demos on it in the '90s and originally included some of them (like "Imaginary" and "Whisper") on their EPs Evanescence (1998) and Sound Asleep (1999). Origin contained demos of songs later released on Fallen: "My Immortal", "Imaginary" and "Whisper".[3][4]

Although different versions of Origin have been reproduced online, there’s only one true track listing and IFPI codes.[5] It was manufactured in Nashville and only a total of 2500 copies were made and sold by the local indie label Bigwig Enterprises.[2] Bigwig's website falsely marketed Origin as the band's "debut album."[6] It sold Origin at the price of $15.[7] It could be reserved both online via PayPal.com or via mail. It was shipped to the USA, and after some time also to Canada (for $16) and Europe (for $17).[8]

When Evanescence was getting the demos mastered in Memphis, the producer Pete Matthews, who was recording another band's music, heard the demos and offered to show the CD to his friend at Wind-up Records, the label which Evanescence eventually signed with in 2001.[9]

In February 2001, Evanescence was released from the agreement with Bigwig, which was obligated to stop selling Origin; however, the website continued to sell copies of it until February 2003 (a day or two before the Daredevil Soundtrack was released), when it was removed from their catalog.[10][6]

The original release contained a hidden track, which is located before the first track. To hear it, one must the first track to roughly -0:24. The hidden track is an outtake of the Anywhere bridge, with Amy Lee and David Hodges singing and a quote from the movie My Boyfriend's Back: "There's a lot of prejudice against the undead."

The cover photo was photographed by Rocky Gray, and the package was designed by Adrian James. The band was photographed by Ben Moody, Sr., an architectural historian, which explains the interest in statues, sculptures and monuments in cemeteries.

The end of the album was originally supposed to include the song "Listen to the Rain", written by Amy Lee, between the songs "Eternal" and "Demise". "Demise" was merged into "Eternal".

Background and recordings

Amy and Ben recorded most of the demos at his apartment and her family's attic with an 8-track recorder,[2][11] Amy's vocals were recorded in Ben's closet, which doubled as a vocal booth.[12] The demo of "My Immortal" on Origin was recorded late at night at the radio station where Amy's father worked.[13][14]

"Imaginary" and "Where Will You Go" are from Amy and Ben's 1998 EP Evanescence. "My Immortal" was written by Amy and Ben in 1996[15][16] and was to be included in this EP but it didn't make the cut. "Whisper" is from Amy and Ben's 1999 EP Sound Asleep. In an interview, Amy mentioned that "Even in Death" is a song from 1996.[17][18] "Lies" was written by Amy and Ben and they had performed it live in January 1999, a year prior to its release on Origin.[19][20]

In 2003, Amy said of their early recordings:

Vin1.jpg We didn't have the means to make it sound like we wanted. In our heads, we wanted strings and choirs and all this dramatic, cinematic stuff that we couldn't have because we were just two kids in a basement. [...] some of the songs on Fallen we wrote at 15 and 16, so that vision's been there since the first year when we started being really creative about what we wanted."[21] Vin2.jpg

She said that their early years "was nothing more than a lot of song-writing and home recording. [...] we were still finding ourselves- learning how to write. I've always felt that our music has grown and improved tremendously since then and want to keep doing better and better than before, instead of looking back. To be honest, it's hard to listen to the really old stuff without laughing at myself a little. But of course those songs will always be special to me, and remind me of a time in my life that was both wonderful and terrible. [...] Besides the songs from Origin that were re-recorded and put on Fallen, we did play "Even in Death" live quite a bit, which was always fun, and I've always liked the idea of one day putting out a b-sides and rarities cd."[22]

Ben said in 2003:

Vin1.jpg "What we had in our head was Fallen, although it was a long time ago and we didn't have the technology, so a lot of our early recordings were just shit. We did them in our home and they sounded like shit ... The [old demo] songs are not available. A lot of that stuff is on Fallen and the EPs were really just a means... like I'd burn off on my computer CDs we could sell ourselves at our shows so we could go out and buy pizza. They really weren't official releases. I don't remember how many we put out."[1] Vin2.jpg

He said in another interview that Origin was their demos that they compiled as an album "to make it more appealing to the record companies, but it was never an official release." He said they "also did a lot of songs and demos after that. It was just a stepping stone for us."[2]

In a 2003 interview with Metal Edge, he said:

Vin1.jpg Some of the songs on [Fallen] are six years old. They've been reworked over the years, but "Whisper", "Imaginary", "My Immortal", those are songs that have been around since Amy and I first started writing music together.[3] Vin2.jpg

David Hodges, who was hired by Ben in December 1999, claimed Origin was written and recorded when he joined.[23]


Bigwig said "Whisper" was Origin's lead single, which played on radio.[24] "Lies" aired on the radio in the summer of 2000, before Origin was released[25].

"Even in Death" was released later in a compilation called "The 7Ball Gas Collection - Volume 25".

Track Listing

No. Title Length
0. "Anywhere" (Hidden outtake) 0:25
1. "Origin"   0:35
2. "Whisper"   3:56
3. "Imaginary"   3:29
4. "My Immortal"   4:26
5. "Where Will You Go"   3:46
6. "Field of Innocence"   5:13
7. "Even in Death"   4:09
8. "Anywhere"   5:17
9. "Lies"   3:49
10. "Away from Me"   3:30
11. "Eternal"   7:22
Total length:






  • Adrian James - package design
  • Rocky Gray - cover photo
  • Ben Moody, Sr. - band photography
  • Amy Bennett - photography


Origin angel.gif
Working version[27] (September/October 2000) and definitive version (November 2000).

The following images are original concept art produced by MonstorGraphix and Adrian James. The disc is a scan, but only because original vector-based artwork doesn't begin to resemble the actual disc. These are as accurate as images of this disc can get, and are gently watermarked to discourage bootlegging.

The insert is a tri-folded demi gloss, light-medium weight paper with one side of color images and the reverse side of grayscale. The tray insert is single-sided. The piece of plastic that the disc sits in is opaque.

In the front of the front insert can be noticed a latin text from the Bible, Romans 6:4:[note 2] consepulti enim sumus cum illo per baptismum in mortem ut quomodo surrexit Christus a mortuis per gloriam Patris ita et nos in novitate vitae ambulemus ('Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life').

The Ultimate Collection version

Official releases

Original release

In the official label's website Origin was available for purchase at the price of 15$.[7] The album could be ordered both online via PayPal.com or via mail. Shipping were available for USA, and after some time also for Canada (at the price of 16$) and even for Europe (at the price of 17$).[8] Now, real and fake copies are bought on eBay for upwards of $300.[28] The band encouraged fans to download the album from the internet.[4][15]

These are screenprints of the pages related to Origin and to Evanescence on bigwigenterprises.com (all the images have been found through the WayBack Machine):

Re-release on The Ultimate Collection

Origin was re-released as a vinyl as part of The Ultimate Collection box set in 2016. This is what Amy said about the inclusion of the demo album on the box set:

Vin1.jpg It's something I've always cringed about because ever since we made a real studio album and honed in our sound and became Evanescence and made Fallen, I'm like, 'OK, everything before this we were just practicing'. But many fans love Origin and talk about Origin and wish Origin would be released. I've been against it for 13 years, but for the first time I guess I have enough separation from it to look at it and feel like, 'Y'know what? I see why that's cool. As a fan, I want to listen to that too.' So having that whole change of heart was really huge.[29] Vin2.jpg

She told Kerrang! in December 2016:

Vin1.jpg There's the album before Fallen, Origin, which I don't really want to call an album - it's like our demo music that got us signed. I've tried to bury it since Fallen because it's the very first beginnings of us as teenagers trying to figure out who we were, how to write songs and what our band was supposed to sound like.[30] Vin2.jpg

Bootlegs and Fake Re-releases

Fake 2003 Re-Release

Exquisite-kfind.png See also: Fake
Fake Release

In 2003, a "re-release" of Origin came out supposedly under the label 'Epic', although it was, in fact, a fake CD. It contained most of the tracks from the real Origin; however, different versions were used with some tracks. In the case of "Whisper" and "My Immortal", the Fallen versions were used. The audio portion of the CD was very poorly produced, and in most cases, the songs were either corrupted or of low quality (as if downloaded as an MP3 and then burned on the CD). This bootleg has very elaborate and professional looking artwork, with a silk screened, factory pressed CD and a fold out booklet with a small biography (which mostly rambles on about the 'Christian band' controversy). The CD contained 'Bonus Tracks' such as "Missing" (which is very corrupted and of extremely low quality), the Nirvana cover 'Heart-Shaped Box', and a [rather bad] trance remix of "Bring Me To Life". The CD itself has a red silkscreen with black bird design with the word "sorry" on it. The jewel case has a gothic red design with a speckled face on the back along with the track listing. The inside tray artwork has an image of the band (the one from the booklet in Fallen). The cover has a skull design that is similar to the actual album released by the band. The most noticeable difference is the Evanescence Logo, which is pointy and unlike any design officially released by the band. On the back artwork, the fine print/credits are actually copied from the back of Fallen.

This fake re-release was the first one of many more to come, originating from countries such as Russia, Hong Kong and the United States.

Modern Bootlegs

Authentic ("All rights") and Fake ("All right")

Recently, bootlegs are now becoming harder and harder to distinguish from the real thing. The authentic artwork, distinctive CD numbers and tracklisting—right down to the hidden outtake track — are all present and in (apparently) extremely good quality. There is some speculation that someone from Bigwig Enterprises is producing these items because of their immaculate authenticity, but this cannot be verified. Either way, these bootlegs are saturating the online auction market and making it nearly impossible to acquire a real copy of the album. They usually sell for around $40-$60 on eBay.

Despite the several different releases found in database websites like Discogs and Rate Your Music, there were only TWO true pressings of the authentic Origin. The first batch was delivered (October 2000) a few days before its release date and the second batch was ordered in January 2001. All copies were sealed by the manufacturer.[5]

The first one is composed of 1000 copies of the CD with the code CRT BWE0002 N1222M in mirrored form on the inner foil ring. The second batch is composed of 1500 copies of the CD with the code CRT BWE0002 X0A21C also in mirrored form on the inner foil ring. Each batch has its own set of 2 IFPI codes, which can be used, ultimately, as an actual proof of its authenticity (or not) in case one is trying to verify it. All other Origin releases available which don't own all these features should be considered bootlegs.

Rumours of pre-releases, promotional releases and UK releases have once been spread but they were proven to be misleading.

Identifying True Copies

Authentic printing vs. inferior bootleg

Having a reasonably limited first pressing, Origin is highly sought-after by collectors and fans of the band. However, the longer it has been since its release date, the harder it has become to come across an authentic CD from the true first pressing.

Apart from the same old pieces of advice anyone could receive (doubt groundbreaking bargains and sellers without reputation or decent and proper feedback), when faced with an online opportunity to buy an Origin CD, the buyer should always keep an eye on some specifics which might help determine the authenticity of the item:

  • The artwork on the CD itself: fake CDs have distressed and bold logos while authentic ones have finer lines with blurred edges. Also, CD artwork is often off center and doesn't align on bootlegs;
  • The font used on the CD's name: some bootleg versions don't have the proper Trebuchet font or proper spacing between the letters;
  • Rocky Gray and David Hodges names: they are often spelled incorrectly on the inserts of bootleg versions;
  • Writings on the insert: on authentic Origin CDs, they are thinly outlined by black;
  • "Hidden track" and Anywhere: an Anywhere outtake sung weirdly by David Hodges can be accessed by manually rewinding the CD back to -24 seconds. Besides that, in track 8, the real Anywhere contains a 40-second sample of Where Will You Go. Fake Origins were often manufactured without the hidden track and/or containing a shorter version of Anywhere (track 8), without the sample of Where Will You Go;
  • Inner codes: bear in mind the first and second batches codes were printed on the inner foil ring of the CD without any other codes and were all mirrored;
  • The shades of the cover and inserts: please refer to the top of the page to get a glimpse of what a true Origin should look like. Fakes and bootlegs often have a wrong overall contrast with brownish/orange hue or perhaps a crimson tint instead of the typical fiery-stained red;
  • The copyright symbols (© & ℗) on the back insert: in true Origin CDs, they are not really the copyright symbols but a "C" and a "P" surrounded by semi-circles just like the "E" from pre-Fallen Evanescence logo;
  • IFPI/SID codes: IFPI codes are almost impossible to be duplicated. They serve to identify the plant in which the master of the CD was manufactured and where it was later replicated (produced in large-scale). Authentic Origin copies have TWO different SID codes (one on the plastic inner ring and another one on the foil inner ring). In order to discourage bootlegging, these codes are not widely disseminated. However, as they are the best chance one has to identify false copies from original ones, in case they are needed, get in touch with moderators of Evanescence forums (like EvThreads, for example); they will probably be able to get you in contact with a reputable member who has a proven authentic copy of Origin and might be able to divulge such information.

Also, beware of "signed items". Autographs don't legitimate anything, regardless of having or not "Certificates of Authenticity" or pictures showing when they were taken. The band is probably used to signing Origin copies when they go on tour offered by fans, regardless of being true or bootleg CDs.

Having the hidden track doesn't mean much as well as there was a full batch of convincing bootlegs manufactured at some point without SID/IFPI codes but containing the hidden track as well as the inner foil ring code.

Finally, having the right codes on the inner foil ring doesn't mean the copy is legitimate as the right font should be observed. Both IFPI/SID codes and the batch codes were laser printed using the mirrored form of Linotype's Facsimile™ font, which is quite bitmapped/computerized and has its very characteristic "duck" 2 characters.

Summarizing, a careful analysis is always advisable, mainly when buying from a seller online. Always ask for high-quality pictures (preferably scans) of the CD, enquire the seller about the IFPI/SID codes (as well as the batch code), hidden track and how the seller managed to get his hands on the CD. Moreover, carefully check the inserts and CD artwork for every little detail.


You can download a Perfect Rip of the album here:

—note that using the cue sheet to burn a copy of the disc will create a silent gap where the hidden track belongs, but will not actually have the hidden track.
  • or download the mp3s Here


  1. Recorded at Ben's apartment and Amy's house's attic, but Origin liner notes credit "Sound Asleep Studios".
  2. As stated and translated in the album's booklet.


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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Dark splendour". Deo2. August 10, 2003. https://web.archive.org/web/20040706044623/http://www.deo2.com/rock/?id=2280.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gargano, Paul (2003). "Evanescence: Brought to Life". Metal Edge: 18. https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10155259823590739&set=a.10155259759920739‎.
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  5. 5.0 5.1 "This is information pertaining to the Origin and its IFPI codes. This information comes from email correspondence between AeternusAmatorius and a source who was close to the band during the 1995 to 2001 eras.". December 20, 2012. https://evanescencereference.info/wiki/index.php?title=File:OriginInfo.jpeg.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Evanescence - Debut CD - Origin - Out of Print". Bigwigenterprises.com. Archived from the original on February 6, 2003. http://web.archive.org/web/20030206090306/http://bigwigenterprises.com/. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  7. 7.0 7.1 bigwigenterprises.com - April 20, 2001
  8. 8.0 8.1 bigwigenterprises.com - June 5, 2002
  9. ArkLaTexMusic.com - Evanescence (March 2003)
  10. Email from Bradley S. Caviness to DhammaSeeker, Mar 29, 2007 11:39 AM (GMT-6)
  11. "Evanescence - Live performance and Interview - Much Music Canada (2003)". YouTube. December 14, 2003. https://youtu.be/47wJaHvfADg?t=2271.
  12. Lowe, Steve (2003). "Evanescence". Blender: 40.
  13. Wiederhorn, John (November 5, 2003). "Are There Clues To Evanescence's Problems In Their New Video". MTV News. Archived from the original on November 07, 2012. http://web.archive.org/web/20121107143646/http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1480210/evanescence-release-my-immortal-clip.jhtml.
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  15. 15.0 15.1 Interview with DC101 radio on February 24, 2003
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