Polythene was the first full-length album by the Welsh rock band Feeder and was released 18 May 1997 on the Echo Label, and then re-issued on 28 October in the same year in an Enhanced CD version, featuring their UK top 40 breakthrough single "High" and its video. The original version of the album was deleted soon after and is relatively rare due to this reason.
After sizeable critical success, the album had minor commercial success charting at number 65 in the UK albums chart.
The album saw the group's early take on a more grunge-influenced sound, which was not seen on their other albums that followed. Many critics at the time called the band the UK's answer to the Smashing Pumpkins.
Although heavily received by many critics, the initial commercial response was slightly lukewarm with a chart entry position of number 65 in May 1997, this was not however due to the public's opinion, but a lack of radio play for any of their singles, none of which appeared in the UK's airplay top 100 until "High". Those who heard of the album, immediately warmed to it and from here built up a cult following, which won the band a main stage appearance at the Reading festival in August 1997. Their live shows in support of the album were well received by the press. Even though this is Feeder's lowest-charting album, it is however seen by many fans as one of their best albums, along with follow-up Yesterday Went Too Soon. It appeared at number 87 in an early 2005 Kerrang! magazine vote, ranking the top 100 British rock albums of all-time.
The band's second single off Polythene, "Cement" was given a 5/5 review rating by Kerrang! (KKKKK), and their "Single of the Week" accolade. The album itself was ranked 6th in the magazine's best albums of the year chart.Metal Hammer voted it the best album of 1997 in its end of year critic's poll, which saw the album also beat the multi-million selling Urban Hymns by The Verve. The album was one of only 12 released that year to appear at the top of an individual critics list.
The album was reissued on 20th October 1997 with Polythene Girl being replaced with a remix by Chris Sheldon, non album single "High" was added to the tracklisting as track 4 and Waterfall was removed and replaced by Change as track 10 between "Stereo World" and "Tangerine"