Album – Generic Flipper

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Album – Generic Flipper
Genericflipper.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 30, 1982
RecordedOct 31, 1980-Aug 1981
GenreNoise rock, punk rock, post-punk
Length40:15
LabelSubterranean Records
Def American (1993 reissue)
SPV Recordings (1993 German release)
Water Records (2008 reissue)
Domino Records (2009 UK & European release)
ProducerFlipper and Chris
Flipper chronology
Album – Generic Flipper
(1982)
Gone Fishin'
(1984)

Album – Generic Flipper is the debut studio album by San Francisco-based punk rock band Flipper, released March 30, 1982 by Subterranean Records. It is also referred to as Album, Album: Generic, Generic Flipper and just Generic. Generic Flipper was issued on CD for the first time by American Recordings (formerly Def American) in 1992 and later deleted. In 2008, the rights reverted to Flipper, and the album was reissued on December 9, 2008 by Water Records. Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, who joined Flipper in 2006, contributed liner notes to the new reissue.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[2]
Q4/5 stars[3]
Record Collector4/5 stars[4]
Select4/5[5]
Spin Alternative Record Guide10/10[6]
The Village VoiceA[7]

Robert Christgau praised the album, describing the music as "crude ("Everybody start at the same time, ready"), unremitting ("Sex Bomb" has seven words and lasts close to eight minutes), and immensely charitable and good-humored (Iggy with Jerry's soul, I'm not kidding)." He described the lyrics as "existential resignation at its most enthusiastic."[7] "If great rock & roll is supposed to be about breaking the rules," wrote Mark Deming of Allmusic, "then Flipper's still-astonishing debut, Album -- Generic Flipper, confirms their status as one of the great rock bands of their day." He described the "brilliant" "Sex Bomb" as "the closest thing '80s punk ever created to the beer-fueled genius of the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie," and a song with a great beat that you just can't dance to." He also noted that despite their "sincere" misanthropy and cynicism, "on "Life" they dared to express a tres-unhip benevolence, declaring "Life is the only thing worth living for."" He concludes by writing that the band "plays noise rock with none of the pretension that later bands brought to the form, proving that music doesn't have to be fast to be punk (a lesson that gave the Melvins a reason to live), and creating a funny, harrowing, and surprisingly engaging masterwork that profoundly influenced dozens of later bands without sounding any less individual two decades later."[1] Noel Gardner's review for NME described the band as one "who made a punishing virtue out of being sloppy, offbeat and imprecise. Flipper existed at the epicentre of the Californian punk scene in the early ’80s, but as their hardcore peers sped up, they slowed down. A simple concept that helped to create a remarkable, incomparable signature sound, one which trickled down into the musical visions of, most famously, Black Flag and Nirvana." He calls the album their "their definitive statement [...] Lyrically a bipolar flip between ugly negativity and lightbulb-moment optimism (“Life is the only thing worth living for!”), musically, Generic turns almost unrelated layers of free expression into a blackened mass of enduring power."[8]

Accolades[edit]

It was ranked 12th in Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop poll.[9]

In November 2007, Blender magazine ranked it No. 86 on their list of the 100 greatest "indie rock" albums of all time.[10] In 1995, Spin ranked it 79th on their list "100 Alternative Albums".[11] In March 2004, Mojo included it on their list "Lost Albums You Must Own".[12] Rolling Stone ranked it 26th on their list "40 Greatest Punk Albums of All Time" in 2016.[13] In 2018, Pitchfork included it at no. 193 on "The 200 Best Albums of the 1980s".[14]

Covers[edit]

Melvins covered "Way of the World" on their collection Singles 1–12. Unto Ashes covered "Way of the World" on their 2005 album Grave Blessings.[15] R.E.M. covered "Sex Bomb" on their 1994 fan club Christmas single.

Influence[edit]

Kurt Cobain listed it in his top 50 albums of all time.[16][17]. Mike Keneally namechecked the album in his song "Beautiful", which appeared on the 2006 Mike Keneally Band album Guitar Therapy Live.

Track listing[edit]

Side 1[edit]

  1. "Ever" (Loose)  – 2:56
  2. "Life Is Cheap" (Loose)  – 3:55
  3. "Shed No Tears" (Shatter)  – 4:26
  4. "(I Saw You) Shine" (Shatter)  – 8:31

Side 2[edit]

  1. "Way of the World" (Shatter)  – 4:23
  2. "Life" (Shatter)  – 4:44
  3. "Nothing" (Loose)  – 2:18
  4. "Living for the Depression" (Ant/Loose)  – 1:23
  5. "Sex Bomb" (Shatter)  – 7:48

Personnel[edit]

  • Will Shatter – bass (1, 2, 5, 7, 8), lead vocals (3, 4, 6, 9), backup vocals (8)
  • Bruce Loose – bass (3, 4, 6, 9), lead vocals (1, 2, 5, 7, 8), backup vocals (6), special effects and bass feedback (7)
  • Ted Falconi – guitars
  • Steve DePace – drums, synare (4, 9), tympani and extra percussion (7)
  • Flipper – hand clapping (1), percussion (7)

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Bobby – saxophone (9)
  • Ward – saxophone (9)
  • Curtis – percussion (7)
  • Die Ant – percussion (7)
  • Johnnie – percussion (7)
  • "others" – percussion (7)

Production[edit]

  • Chris: Producer
  • Flipper: Producer

Charts[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
position
UK Indie Chart[18] 27

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "Generic – Flipper". AllMusic. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  3. ^ "Flipper: Generic Flipper". Q (85): 120. October 1993.
  4. ^ "Flipper: Generic Flipper". Record Collector: 92. Sonically, Generic stands up as a bleak-rock marvel thick with the dirt of the era... Its impact on Kurt Cobain is there in every nihilist twang of tracks such as 'Shed No Tears' and 'The Way of the World.'
  5. ^ Perry, Andrew (October 1993). "Flipper: Generic Flipper". Select (40): 96.
  6. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  7. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (May 4, 1982). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  8. ^ Deming, Mark. "Album Review: Flipper - 'Album: Generic Flipper'". NME. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (22 February 1983). "The 1982 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  10. ^ "The 100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever" — #90 to #81 Archived 2008-06-02 at the Wayback Machine. Blender. 9 November 2007. Retrieved on 19 December 2008.
  11. ^ "100 Alternative Albums". Rocklist.net. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Lost Albums You Must Own". Rocklist.net. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  13. ^ "40 Greatest Punk Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  14. ^ "The 200 Best Albums of the 1980s". Pitchfork. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  15. ^ Grave Blessings 5/10 2008 Archived 2008-02-29 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Top 50 by Nirvana [MIXTAPE]". Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  17. ^ Cross; Gaar; Gendron; Martens; Yarm (2013). Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-7603-4521-4.
  18. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2014.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)