Origin was released on November 4th, 2000, in Little Rock, Arkansas. There are a lot of different versions, but there’s only one true track listing. Only 2500 copies of the original were ever produced. Bigwig Enterprises stopped selling Origin in early February 2003 (a day or two before the Daredevil Soundtrack album was released) and removed it from their catalog.
Amy Lee doesn't consider it as an album, but rather a collection of demos that they "dressed up" to send to different major labels. The album contains early versions of songs later found on Fallen: "My Immortal", "Imaginary", "Whisper".
We packaged it together and it looks like an album because we were wanting to look professional for record labels.
Contrary to popular belief, the album was not intended as a "shopping" album for record labels (i.e. talent scouting). Evanescence shopped to labels some Origin songs remade with the help from the band Dust for Life, after the producer Pete Matthews had decided to invest his time in promoting Evanescence project.
The front cover was photographed by Rocky Gray, and the artwork was designed by Adrian James.
The original release contained a hidden track, which is located before the first track. In order to hear it, you have to rewind (while hearing what you are rewinding) the first song and reach -0:24. It is an outtake of the end of the bridge of "Anywhere", featuring 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 album was originally supposed to include the song "Listen To the Rain" that was to fade in at the end of "Eternal". Pre-releases of the album included this song, but the finished product didn't. "Demise" was suppose to become its own track, but ended up replacing "Listen To the Rain".
"Catherine" and "Spanish" were also supposed to be on Origin, but didn't get recorded.
Origin was released as a vinyl for The Ultimate Collection boxset in 2016, marking its first commercial release. This is what Amy had to say about the inclusion of the album on the boxset:
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.