A Picture of Nectar

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A Picture of Nectar
A Picture of Nectar (Phish album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 18, 1992
RecordedJune–August 1991
StudioWhite Crow Studios, Burlington, VT
  • Phish
  • Kevin Halpin
Phish chronology
Lawn Boy
A Picture of Nectar
Singles from A Picture of Nectar
  1. "Chalk Dust Torture"
    Released: 1992
  2. "Cavern"
    Released: 1992

A Picture of Nectar is the third studio album by the American rock band Phish. The album was released on February 18, 1992 by Elektra Records and was the band's debut release for a major record label.

The album is dedicated to Nector Rorris, the proprietor of Nectar's[1] in Burlington, Vermont, where Phish played their first bar gig followed by a series of monthly three-night stands, saying that the experience "taught us how to play".[2]

There are two versions of the album's cover. The first printings of the CD were issued in longbox format, and the title of the album was not printed on the CD insert itself. Later printings came in shrink-wrap format and had the band's name and album title printed directly on the insert.[3]

The songs on A Picture of Nectar explore a variety of musical genres, including jazz, country, calypso, rock and roll and neo-psychedelia.[4] Tracks 2, 8, and 9 are instrumentals. The song "Manteca" is a cover of the song by jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie; in Phish's short version, the melody line is sung as a goofy nonsense phrase.[5] "Poor Heart" is written in bluegrass style.

All songs on the album have been performed live by the band, though the instrumental tracks have become relative rarities after the mid-1990s. The short instrumental, "Faht", written by drummer Jon Fishman, has only been performed live twelve times, the last in 1995.[6]

The album was certified gold by the RIAA on November 15, 2001.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars [8]

Allmusic staff writer Jim Smith gave the album four and a half stars out of five, noting the variety of musical genres explored on the album and calling it "a surprisingly tight record for a band that built its reputation on endless concert jams".[4]

In an April 2, 1992, review, Billboard magazine raved that A Picture of Nectar "...should be required on all college listening lists. The songs are all over the place from whacked-out rock to bluegrass to jazz. The constant is the high quality of musicianship and spirit that runs from track to track."[3]

Track listing[edit]

3."Cavern"Anastasio, Herman, Marshall4:24
4."Poor Heart"Gordon2:45
5."Stash"Anastasio, Marshall7:11
6."Manteca"Fuller, Gillespie, Pozo0:29
7."Guelah Papyrus"Anastasio, Marshall5:22
9."The Landlady"Anastasio2:56
10."Glide"Anastasio, Marshall4:13
11."Tweezer"Anastasio, Fishman, Gordon, McConnell8:42
12."The Mango Song"Anastasio6:24
13."Chalk Dust Torture"Anastasio, Marshall4:36
16."Tweezer Reprise"Anastasio, Fishman, Gordon, McConnell2:40
Total length:60:25




  • Gordon Stone – pedal steel, banjo
  • Michael Mills – art direction
  • Tom Walters – assistant engineer
  • Jon Altschiller – engineer
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • B.C. Kagan – photography
  • Joe Witkop – photography
  • Kevin Halpin – producer, engineer

In popular culture[edit]

The song "Llama" is included in the music video game Rock Band 3, where it is the second song in the main-game series (not including DLC) to have full Impossible rating for all band members (Painkiller from Rock Band 2 is the first). However, it is the first to have a full Impossible rating with keys included. "Stash" and "Tweezer" were also released as downloadable content for Rock Band 3 in 2011.

"Tweezer Reprise" was used in a Michael Phelps montage following his 19th Olympic medal in 2012. It was also used by the Atlanta Falcons football team as their entrance for Super Bowl 51 against the New England Patriots.

"Catapult" features a sample from "I Remember Now" by Queensrÿche off of the album Operation: Mindcrime.


Chart (1992)[9] Position
Top Heatseekers 30


  1. ^ "NECTAR'S".
  2. ^ Phish.com: A Picture of Nectar Online. Accessed: August 08, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Phish:net: A Picture of Nectar Online. Accessed: August 11, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Jim. "allmusic – A Picture of Nectar > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  5. ^ Phish.net: Manteca Song History Online. Accessed: August 11, 2011.
  6. ^ Phish.net: Faht Every Time Played Online. Accessed: August 11, 2011.
  7. ^ "RIAA searchable certification database". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 2013-03-31. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
  8. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/album/r53475
  9. ^ "allmusic – A Picture of Nectar > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved June 8, 2009.

External links[edit]