Rembrandt Pussyhorse

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Rembrandt Pussyhorse
Studio album by Butthole Surfers
Released April 18, 1986 (US)
1986 (Europe)
Recorded 1984-1985
Genre Avant-garde, hardcore, psychedelia
Length 32:48
Label Touch and Go (US)
Red Rhino Europe (EUR)
Producer Butthole Surfers
Butthole Surfers chronology
Cream Corn from the Socket of Davis
(1985)
Rembrandt Pussyhorse
(1986)
Blind Eye Sees All
(1986)
Back cover
Alternative cover
European cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau B−[3]

Rembrandt Pussyhorse is the second full-length studio album by American experimental punk band Butthole Surfers, released in April 1986. All songs were written and produced by Butthole Surfers, except "American Woman", which was written by Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Jim Kale, and Garry Peterson of The Guess Who, and "Perry", which borrows the tune from the theme music to the old Perry Mason TV show starring Raymond Burr.

The album was originally released on Touch and Go, and was reissued on Latino Buggerveil in 1999. Both Touch and Go & Latino Buggerveil's CD versions of the album include 1985's Cream Corn from the Socket of Davis EP.

Music[edit]

Rembrandt Pussyhorse is one of the most experimental releases in Butthole Surfers' considerably experimental catalog. Making heavy use of in-studio tape editing and sound modulation, the album adds piano, organ, and violin, amongst other sounds, to Butthole Surfers' then-usual battery of electric guitar, bass, and dual drummers. According to guitarist Paul Leary and lead vocalist Gibby Haynes, Butthole Surfers were a four-piece for most of these sessions, with Leary playing the majority of the basslines.

However, not all of the new instrumentation was performed by the band. The piano on "Creep in the Cellar", written by Haynes, and the organ on "Perry" were played by the recording studio's owner, who offered free studio time in exchange for being included on the album.

Also of note is the violin heard on "Creep in the Cellar." This was the result of Butthole Surfers purchasing a used 16-track tape, on which a country & western band had previously recorded. Upon playing their mix of "Creep in the Cellar," the band discovered they had inadvertently kept one of the country band's channels, which contained a backwards violin track. Liking the way it worked with the song, they opted to keep it. They were also too tired to care about editing it out.

Finally, the growls on "Mark Says Alright" are from a pit bull that the band owned at the time, named Mark Farner, after the musician Mark Farner of the band, Grand Funk Railroad.[4]

Background[edit]

Drummer King Coffey said that Rembrandt Pussyhorse was originally intended as an EP, but eventually evolved into a full-length album. Recording took place over a number of months and in a handful of studios (primarily one in San Antonio, Texas), so as to fit into the band's then-grueling touring schedule. Most of the songs were recorded on 16-track equipment.[5]

The album was finished prior to 1985's Cream Corn from the Socket of Davis and, according to Coffey, was primarily recorded in 1984, approximately four months after the sessions for Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac. Like its predecessor, this album was also originally intended for release on Alternative Tentacles, though with a different mix, song selection, and title (Rembrandt Pussy Horse). However, after delaying for nearly a year, the label refused to release it. Though it eventually surfaced on Touch and Go, its release was further delayed when the band opted to record the songs "Sea Ferring" and "Mark Says Alright" to replace "To Parter" and "Tornadoes," rather than recycle them after their inclusion on the Cream Corn... EP.[6][7] Outtakes from those sessions can be found on 2002's Humpty Dumpty LSD.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Butthole Surfers, except where noted.

Side 1[edit]

  1. "Creep in the Cellar" – 2:05
  2. "Sea Ferring" – 4:00
  3. "American Woman" (Bachman, Cummings, Kale, Peterson) – 5:33
  4. "Waiting for Jimmy to Kick" – 2:21
  5. "Strangers Die Everyday" – 3:08

Side 2[edit]

  1. "Perry" – 3:32
  2. "Whirling Hall of Knives" – 4:44
  3. "Mark Says Alright" – 4:08
  4. "In the Cellar" – 3:18

US CD reissue bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "Moving to Florida" – 4:32
  2. "Comb" – 4:57
  3. "To Parter" – 4:20
  4. "Tornadoes" – 2:36

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
position
UK Indie Chart[8] 9

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "allmusic ((( Rembrandt Pussyhorse > Review )))". Allmusic. Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ Brackett, Nathan. "Butthole Surfers". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 123, cited March 17, 2010
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Butthole Surfers". robertchristgau.com, Retrieved on March 17, 2010.
  4. ^ Seymour Glass, “Butthole Surfers: Hangin’ Ten on the Fudge Pipeline,” BravEar Zine #4, Spring 1986, archived at Butthole Surfers fan website, Negro Observer
  5. ^ Ken Lieck, "Reissuing the Butthole Surfers," The Austin Chronicle Newspaper Vol. 18 Issue 52
  6. ^ Mark Paytress, “The Butthole Surfers: Mark Paytress Unravels the Career of the Cult American Band,” Record Collector No. 114, February 1989, archived at Butthole Surfers fan website, Negro Observer
  7. ^ Interview, Forced Exposure #11, Interview conducted April 18, 1986, archived at Butthole Surfers fan website, Negro Observer
  8. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Retrieved September 5, 2014.