The Mollusk

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The Mollusk
Studio album by Ween
Released June 24, 1997
Recorded 1995–1996
Genre Alternative rock, experimental rock
Length 43:54
Label Elektra
Producer Andrew Weiss
Ween chronology
12 Golden Country Greats
(1996)
The Mollusk
(1997)
Paintin' the Town Brown: Ween Live 1990-1998
(1999)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[2]
Pitchfork Media (9.7/10)[3]

The Mollusk is the sixth full-length album by American experimental rock band Ween, released by Elektra Records on June 24, 1997. It is a multigenre concept album with a dark nautical theme, with most songs incorporating psychedelic elements while also featuring a heavy progressive rock influence. According to Dean Ween, "I will say that the only record that I ever felt really confident about was The Mollusk. That's my favorite record we've ever done." [4]

Electric Six covered the song "Buckingham Green" on their cover-album Mimicry and Memories (2015).[5]

Background[edit]

Starting with the release of their 1994 album Chocolate and Cheese, Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo—known by their stage names Gene and Dean Ween, respectively—began to significantly enhance their approach to studio recording. While their earlier albums were almost entirely recorded by Freeman and Melchiondo themselves at their home using a 4-track recorder, Chocolate and Cheese marked the first time the band produced an album in a professional recording studio. It also notably began their transition from a duo to a more traditional band with the addition of drummer Claude Coleman, allowing Freeman and Melchiondo to experiment with a wider range of musical styles than they could with the drum machine used on previous releases.[6]

Though Ween's 1996 album 12 Golden Country Greats was their first record to feature a full-fledged band on each track, these songs were recorded with various Nashville session musicians and was viewed by the band as more of spin-off album in the vein of The Beach Boys' Christmas Album than a true follow-up to Chocolate and Cheese.[7] The Mollusk was the debut album for keyboardist Glenn McClelland, and with bassist Dave Dreiwitz joining shorty before the album’s release, the band finally evolved into the final five-man incarnation that would remain unchanged until Ween’s break-up in 2012.[8]

Recording[edit]

After recording 1994's Chocolate and Cheese, Gene and Dean Ween decided they wanted to return to their early method recording albums at home.[9] In 1995, the band relocated their recording equipment to a rented beach house on the shore of Holgate, New Jersey.[10] The band's recording equipment and some of the material were nearly lost when a water pipe burst in the house while the house was unoccupied. At this point, the band put the album on hold and made plans to record 1996's 12 Golden Country Greats in Nashville. After recording 12 Golden Country Greats in 1995 and releasing and touring behind the album the band completed the remaining tracking of The Mollusk at various inland locations. The album was finished in 1996, and released on June 24, 1997.[9]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight"   1:56
2. "The Mollusk"   2:37
3. "Polka Dot Tail"   3:20
4. "I'll Be Your Jonny on the Spot"   2:01
5. "Mutilated Lips"   3:49
6. "The Blarney Stone"   3:14
7. "It's Gonna Be (Alright)"   3:19
8. "The Golden Eel"   4:04
9. "Cold Blows the Wind"   4:28
10. "Pink Eye (On My Leg)"   3:13
11. "Waving My Dick in the Wind"   2:12
12. "Buckingham Green"   3:19
13. "Ocean Man"   2:07
14. "She Wanted to Leave / (Reprise)"   4:26
  • "I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight" is a re-working of a 1953 Christmas song, "Are My Ears on Straight?" recorded by then 10-year-old Gayla Peevey.
  • "She Wanted to Leave / (Reprise)" contains the main song, "She Wanted to Leave", as well as an instrumental reprise of "I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight".

Personnel[edit]

  • Dean Ween - Guitar, Vocals, Engineer
  • Gene Ween - Vocals, Engineer
  • Dave Dreiwitz - Bass
  • Glenn McClelland - Keyboard
  • Kirk Miller - Sound Effects
  • Claude Coleman, Jr. - Engineer
  • Juan Garcia - Assistant Engineer
  • Bill McNamera - Assistant Engineer
  • Steve Nebesney - Assistant Engineer
  • Mick Preston - Assistant Engineer
  • Ralph Smith - Assistant Engineer
  • Jim Woolsey - Assistant Engineer
  • Andrew Weiss - Producer, Engineer, Mixing
  • Peter Curzon - Artwork
  • Tom Nichols - Photography
  • Rupert Truman - Photography
  • Sam Brooks - Cover Design
  • Finlay Cowan - Cover Design
  • Storm Thorgerson - Cover Design
  • Matt Kohut
  • Jason Reddy
  • Mean Ween
  • Bill Fowler - Guitar

Charts[edit]

  • 1997 The Mollusk Billboard 200 No. 159
  • 1997 The Mollusk Heatseekers No. 5

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Rolling Stone review
  3. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  4. ^ "Dean Ween picks his favourite Ween disc, gives the back story on La Cucaracha". Straight.com. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  5. ^ "Final track listing for Mimicry and Memories". Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Shteamer, Hank (31 March 2011). Ween's Chocolate and Cheese (33 1/3). Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 0826431178. 
  7. ^ Aaron, Freeman; Melchiondo, Mickey (1996). Interview with Ween. Interview with Brad Hastings. 101X. KROX Radio. Austin, Texas. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  8. ^ Melchiondo, Mickey. "Ask Deaner". askdeaner.com. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Dean Ween Mollusk Interview With Earshot Magazine". Philadelphia City Paper. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  10. ^ "Shore Chat with Captain Mickey aka Dean Ween". Going to the shore. Retrieved 2012-03-02.