The first fourteen tracks are live recordings of songs from previously released studio albums (starting with Cowboys from Hell); the last two songs ("Where You Come from" and "I Can't Hide") are new studio recordings.
"We recorded the new material during a break in our tour. We recorded them in 12 days. It was a great feeling to get back in the studio again. Especially when we knew the songs were going to go on an album that is so important for us and our fans."
The track "Dom/Hollow" is an amalgamation of parts of "Domination" (originally from Cowboys from Hell) and "Hollow" (originally from Vulgar Display of Power). The band played "Domination" leading into "Hollow" virtually every time they played either song live.
The track "Hostile" is simply a live version of "Fucking Hostile" (from Vulgar Display of Power) with a shortened title.
During the song "Becoming," the band would end the song with the outro of "Throes of Rejection," from their album Far Beyond Driven. Likewise, the band ended "I'm Broken" with the outro of "By Demons Be Driven" from the album Vulgar Display of Power.
Vinnie Paul commented on the album:
"We felt like after 7 years of playing live, that we wanted to put out a record with all our best tunes. Songs that have our own TLC instead of all that foolishness that happens when a band puts out a greatest hits album or some overdubbed live album."
The album cover is a reference to the Wild Turkey bottle label "101 Proof" referring to alcohol content and "No 5" referring to the brand (Like Jack Daniels Old No 7 brand) and the fact that the band considered this is their fifth "official" release (starting with Cowboys from Hell and not counting their four earlier independent albums).
Release and reception:
Official Live: 101 Proof reached #15 on the Billboard Top 200 charts with the album receiving solid reviews, and stayed on the chart up to 12 weeks.
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