Red House Painters (Rollercoaster)

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Red House Painters
Studio album by Red House Painters
Released May 24, 1993
(See release history)
Recorded Summer 1992 - Spring 1993
Genre Folk rock, sadcore, slowcore
Length 76:13
Language English
Label 4AD
Producer Mark Kozelek
Red House Painters chronology
Down Colorful Hill
Red House Painters
Red House Painters

Red House Painters (also known as Rollercoaster or Red House Painters I to distinguish it from the second eponymous album, known as Bridge or Red House Painters II) is the second album by the group Red House Painters, released in spring 1993 by 4AD. Eight songs left over from the recording sessions would make up the band's second self-titled album. Mark Kozelek's lyrics focus on themes of pain, desolation and loss, while musically the album runs from the folk-pop of "Grace Cathedral Park" to the shoegaze of "Mistress" to the stark "New Jersey" and onto the soundscapes of "Funhouse" and "Mother". The chorus of "Dragonflies" is based on a famous haiku by Chiyo-ni. Kozelek discussed his views of the album in the foreword of the 2002 and revised 2008 editions of his book of lyrics, Nights of Passed Over:

The album's artwork features a sepia-toned picture of the now-demolished roller coaster Thunderbolt at Coney Island. An original idea for the album's front cover artwork was a close-up, sepia-toned photo of a fish head.[1] The Rollercoaster album peaked at #63 upon its initial release on the UK Albums Chart in 1993.[2]

In September 2010 Pitchfork Media included "Katy Song" at number 162 on their Top 200 Tracks of the 90s.[3] The song was featured in the movie Totally F**ked Up.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Mark Kozelek, except where noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Grace Cathedral Park"     3:52
2. "Down Through"     2:38
3. "Katy Song"     8:25
4. "Mistress"     4:05
5. "Things Mean a Lot"     3:24
6. "Funhouse"     9:18
7. "Take Me Out"     4:48
8. "Rollercoaster"     4:17
9. "New Jersey"     3:58
10. "Dragonflies"   Kozelek, Robyn Riel-Nail 3:58
11. "Mistress" (Piano Version)   4:33
12. "Mother"     13:06
13. "Strawberry Hill"     7:35
14. "Brown Eyes"     1:48

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalogue #
United Kingdom May 24, 1993 4AD CD DAD 3008 CD
Double LP DAD 3008
July 6, 1998 CD (reissue) GAD 3008 CD
United States May 25, 1993 Warner Bros. Records CD 9 45256-2
November 2, 1999 4AD CD (reissue) GAD 3008 CD


  • Images by W.K.V.L.

"Mistress" single[edit]

Although no commercial singles were ever released from the album, a promotional-only CD was issued for "Mistress" in the US in May 1993. The single features a different mix of "Mistress" as well as the piano version, along with the album version of "Grace Cathedral Park." While the sleeve lists "Strawberry Hill" as the album version, it is in fact an edit, which removes roughly 50 seconds of guitar noise in the beginning of the song.

Warner Bros./4AD, PRO-CD-6108:

  1. "Mistress" (Remix) – 4:03
  2. "Grace Cathedral Park" – 3:51
  3. "Strawberry Hill" [Edit] – 6:44
  4. "Mistress" (Piano Version) – 4:31


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[5]
Spin favourable[6]

See also[edit]