Sailing the Seas of Cheese

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Sailing the Seas of Cheese
Studio album by Primus
Released May 14, 1991
Recorded January 1991 at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California
Genre Alternative metal,[1] funk metal,[2] progressive rock,[3] experimental rock
Length 45:43
Label Interscope
Producer Primus
Primus chronology
Frizzle Fry
(1990)
Sailing the Seas of Cheese
(1991)
Miscellaneous Debris
(1992)
Singles from Sailing the Seas of Cheese
  1. "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver"
    Released: 1991
  2. "Tommy the Cat"
    Released: 1991
  3. "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers"
    Released: 1992

Sailing the Seas of Cheese is the second studio album and major-label debut by Primus, released on May 14, 1991. It spawned three singles: "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver", "Tommy the Cat", and "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers". "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" appeared in the video games ATV Offroad Fury, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater [4][5] and Rock Band 3,[6] while "American Life" appears in Tony Hawk's Project 8.[7]

Album information[edit]

The album contains several samples from other media:[citation needed]

  • "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" contains a sample from the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 in which the character Chop Top exclaims "Dog will hunt!"
  • "Los Bastardos" contains samples from the BBC television series The Young Ones including Vyvyan shouting, "Shut up, you bastards!" as well as Rick saying, "You just called me a bastard, didn't you?" and "Mike, you bastard!"

The lyrics "sail the seas of cheese" later appeared in the song "DMV" which appeared on their next album Pork Soda.

Artwork[edit]

Release history[edit]

Sailing the Seas of Cheese reached Gold status March 1993. It was certified platinum in December 2001.[8]

2009[edit]

Plain Recordings releases a 180 gram version of the LP.

2013 Reissue[edit]

A deluxe edition of the album was released on May 21, 2013. It is available in two six-panel Digipak configurations, each featuring the album’s new stereo mix on CD and the new 5.1 surround mix on Blu-ray or DVD, plus three exclusive, previously unreleased bonus tracks.”[9] Claypool stated, “Musically, it holds up incredibly well. Sonically, it holds up fairly well. There’s some old-style reverbs that are a little bit syrupy. With modern technology, we can fix some of that stuff. But we don’t want to mess with it too much, because it is what it is. We want to fatten it up a little bit.”[9]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Les Claypool, all music composed by Primus, guitar melodies on "Tommy the Cat" and "Sgt. Baker" by Todd Huth.

No. Title Length
1. "Seas of Cheese"   0:42
2. "Here Come the Bastards"   2:55
3. "Sgt. Baker"   4:16
4. "American Life"   4:32
5. "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver"   3:11
6. "Eleven"   4:19
7. "Is It Luck?"   3:27
8. "Grandad's Little Ditty"   0:37
9. "Tommy the Cat"   4:15
10. "Sathington Waltz"   1:42
11. "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers"   5:20
12. "Fish On (Fisherman's Chronicles, Chapter II)"   7:45
13. "Los Bastardos"   2:39

Bonus Tracks of 2013 Deluxe Version[edit]

No. Title Length
14. "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers (Live at Bass Hall, Austin, TX, 11/07/2012)"   7:54
15. "American Life (Live at Bass Hall, Austin, TX, 11/07/2012)"   11:37
16. "Here Come the Bastards (Bassnectar Remix)"   5:18

Personnel[edit]

Primus
Production
  • Chris Bellman – mastering
  • Mike Bordin – two-skinned foreskin drum
  • Adam Gates – additional fisherman
  • Lance Link – additional fisherman
  • Primus – producer
  • Ron Rigler – engineering
  • Trouz – whistle
  • Tom Whalley – A&R director
  • Tom Waits – voice of Tommy the Cat
  • Matt Winegar – accordion
Visual Art
  • Paul Haggard – jacket design, photography
  • Mark Kohr – cheese coordinator, scenery
  • Michael Lavine – band photo
  • Mitch Romanowski – ship (sculpture)
  • Snap – airbrushing
Bastardos

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[10]
Entertainment Weekly B+[11]

Reviewing the album for Allmusic, Steve Huey contends that "Sailing the Seas of Cheese completely redefined the possibilities of the electric bass in rock music for those who'd never heard the group before." He describes the album as "mostly riff-driven, fleshing out their heavy metal roots with prog rock tricks from Rush and Frank Zappa, as well as the novelty side of Zappa's sense of humor." He notes that "the willful goofiness may alienate some listeners, but... it never detracts from the band's frequently stunning musicianship" and concludes that this album is "the tightest, most song-oriented representation of their jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind style."[10] Simon Reynolds reviews the album for Entertainment Weekly by describing Primus as "too self-consciously goofy for their own good, but their rubber-boned thrash-funk can be cartoonish fun."[11]

Live performance[edit]

The album was performed live in its entirety in 2003 and 2004 on their Tour De Fromage, on December 30, 2010 and once more during a two night show at Royal Albert Hall in April 2012. [12]

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1991 Heatseekers 2
1991 The Billboard 200 116

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1991 "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" Modern Rock Tracks 23
1991 "Tommy The Cat" Mainstream Rock Tracks 39

References[edit]

  1. ^ Primus - Sailing The Seas Of Cheese, 2013 deluxe edition liner notes.
  2. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/sailing-the-seas-of-cheese-mw0000264295
  3. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/sailing-the-seas-of-cheese-mw0000264295
  4. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2000-03-17). "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater". IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  5. ^ Scary, Larry (2000-03-29). "Tony Hawk {{sic}} Pro Skater". GamePro Media. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  6. ^ http://www.rockband.com/songs/jerrywasaracecar
  7. ^ "Tony Hawk's Project 8 Drops 56 Tracks". IGN Entertainment, Inc. 2006-10-17. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  8. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  9. ^ a b Business Wire. "Primus’ ‘Sailing The Seas Of Cheese’ Newly Mixed and Expanded for New Deluxe Edition, to Be Released May 21 by Universal Music Enterprises". Business Wire. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  10. ^ a b Allmusic review
  11. ^ a b Reynolds, Simon (1991-05-24). "New Hybrid Sounds". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  12. ^ "Interview with Les Claypool of Primus: Odd Man Out | The Aquarian Weekly". Theaquarian.com. 2010-10-08. Retrieved 2013-03-01.