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|Studio album by Soul Coughing|
|Released||September 29, 1998|
|Genre||Alternative rock, alternative hip hop, experimental rock, drum and bass, post-rock|
|Label||Slash/Warner Bros. Records
|Producer||Tchad Blake, Pat Dillett, Optical|
|Soul Coughing chronology|
El Oso (a literal translation of the Spanish for 'The Bear'), released in 1998 (see 1998 in music) is the third and final album by the New York City band Soul Coughing. The disc is marked by a deep drum and bass influence. Before starting work on the album, the band toured with Full Cycle DJs Krust and Die (in fact, their band with Roni Size, Reprazent, won the Mercury Prize in 1997 and thus put the kibosh on a notion to have them produce)—and by a scattershot approach to production: Tchad Blake (Soul C's Ruby Vroom, Latin Playboys, Sheryl Crow), Pat Dillett (They Might Be Giants, Doveman, Mary J. Blige), and British drum and bass DJ Optical (Goldie, Grooverider, Ed Rush).
Artist Jim Woodring (Frank) drew the cartoon "monkey-bear" on the disc's cover.
The chorus of the song "$300" is a sample of a Chris Rock joke; singer Mike Doughty heard the joke which is backmasked on Rock's Roll with the New. Curious, Doughty recorded it into his ASR-10 sampler with the intention of simply reversing it and seeing what the joke was, and wrote the song around what he found there. The song was used in the House episode "The Softer Side" in 2009.
Some consider El Oso to be a marked deviation from their previous albums, Ruby Vroom and Irresistible Bliss, particularly in its departure from jazz and continuation of the melodicism of Bliss in an overall darker mood.
The disc yielded Soul Coughing's biggest hit single, "Circles". Tchad Blake, who produced the tune, hated it, and told them it would be a mistake to release it. Cartoon Network gave it a music video in which a Flintstones cartoon was synched to the track as part of the Cartoon Network Groovies. A Cartoon Network video for the song "Rolling", was also produced which was synced with a Betty Boop cartoon.
- "Rolling" – 3:36
- "Misinformed" – 3:25
- "Circles" – 3:07
- "Blame" – 5:01
- "St. Louise Is Listening" – 4:29
- "Maybe I'll Come Down" – 4:32
- "Houston" – 4:04
- "$300" – 3:08
- "Fully Retractable" – 3:26
- "Monster Man" – 4:16
- "Pensacola" (Doughty/Ava Chin) – 4:16
- "I Miss the Girl" – 4:03
- "So Far I Have Not Found the Science" – 2:53
- "The Incumbent" (Doughty/Mark De Gil Antoni) – 6:46
- "212" (Japanese release bonus track)
- "Rare Star Ball" (Japanese release bonus track)
- "Circles" (#3 Modern Rock Tracks)
- "St. Louise Is Listening"
- Mike Doughty (billed as "M. Doughty") – vocals, guitar
- Yuval Gabay – drums
- Mark de Gli Antoni – keyboards, sampler, editing
- Sebastian Steinberg – double bass