Chocolate and Cheese

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Chocolate and Cheese
Ween-ChocolateandCheese.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 27, 1994[1]
Recorded1994
Genre
Length55:00
LabelElektra
ProducerAndrew Weiss
Ween chronology
Pure Guava
(1992)
Chocolate and Cheese
(1994)
12 Golden Country Greats
(1996)
Singles from Chocolate and Cheese
  1. "I Can't Put My Finger on It"
    Released: 1994
  2. "Freedom of '76"
    Released: 1994
  3. "Voodoo Lady"
    Released: 1994

Chocolate and Cheese is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Ween, originally released by Elektra Records in 1994. It was the first Ween album to be recorded in a professional studio, in contrast to the crude four-track home recordings of their first three albums. However, most of the instruments were still played by Dean and Gene Ween, including their drum machine.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Chicago Sun-Times3/4 stars[2]
Entertainment WeeklyB[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[4]
Select4/5[5]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[6]

In July 2014, Guitar World placed Chocolate and Cheese at #45 in their "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994" list.[7] The entire album was played live as part of the groups setlist at the Desert Daze festival in California on October 12, 2019.[8]

Background[edit]

The album is dedicated to comedian John Candy, who died while Ween was putting the album together. "A Tear for Eddie" was dedicated to the funk/psychedelic guitar pioneer Eddie Hazel, who died December 23, 1992. In a 2011 interview, Gene Ween credited a Spanish lesson on Sesame Street with inspiring "Buenas Tardes Amigo"[9]. The album's title is phonetically similar to the British saying "chalk and cheese".

Album cover[edit]

Ween originally wanted the cover to have a "gay sailor theme" but the studio thought it was politically incorrect, opting instead for a woman's body on the cover. The band say that they never got to meet the cover model, Ashley Savage. Additionally, the cover pays homage to The Commodores' 1982 album All the Great Hits, which features a boxer with a championship belt around his waist that has the band's name on it, but on the album cover, it has "WEEN" decorated on the belt. The cover was shot by John Kuczala.

Related releases[edit]

"I Can't Put My Finger on It" is an EP released by Elektra Records in 1994, and including the tracks "I Can't Put My Finger on It", "A Tear for Eddie", "Now I'm Freaking Out" and "Bakersfield".

"Voodoo Lady EP" was released by Flying Nun Records (as a 7") and White Records (as a CD) in 1994, and included the tracks "Buenas Tardes Amigo", "There's a Pig" (CD version only), and "Vallejo" (CD version only). The EP's title track can be heard in the films Road Trip and Dude, Where's My Car?, as well as the original version of "In The Bathroom," a skit from the sketch comedy show The State, while the album track "Buenas Tardes Amigo" was featured in the German films Lammbock and Herr Lehmann.

"Freedom of '76" is an EP released by Flying Nun Records in 1995, and included two versions of the title track plus "Now I'm Freaking Out" and "Pollo Asado". CKY guitarist (and dedicated Ween fan) Chad Ginsburg appeared in the "Freedom of '76" promo video as an extra shouting at Gene and Dean after they stole the Liberty Bell. According to Chad, he was screaming, "You stole my song!", referring to the similarities of his song (Rudy + Blitz "Loaf") and Ween's "Spinal Meningitis".

Original Vinyl Pressings : On top of the elektra records release ( Elektra 61639-2 US 1994), it was pressed distributed by Grand Royal records in the USA in 1994 with a 2 LP non-gatefold version (Chocolate And Cheese (2xLP) Grand Royal GR 010 US 1994) and also overseas in New Zealand with two editions, on Flying Nun records also in 1994, one with a bonus 7" single(Chocolate And Cheese (2xLP) Flying Nun Records FN314 UK 1994 Chocolate And Cheese (2xLP + 7") Flying Nun Records FNSP314)

Note that there is a catalog number for the vinyl issue by Elektra records, but there is no confirmation it was pressed on vinyl at this time, possibly only in promo edition.

Cover versions
  • "Roses Are Free" is a welcomed cover for fans of the band Phish, offering their version onstage 48 times between 12-11-1997 and 7-12-2019. Official releases of their version appear on Phish's live concert albums Hampton Comes Alive (1999) and Live Phish 04.03.98 (2005). The 2000 documentary Bittersweet Motel features the band learning the track backstage at the Rochester War Memorial in Rochester, NY and then transitions into their first onstage interpretation. In an interview from 2015, Melchiondo observed that Ween began playing "Roses Are Free" regularly in concert after Phish began covering it, and credited Phish for boosting the song's popularity.[10]Phish's guitarist, Trey Anastasio, commented to the crowd after their 8-7-2015 cover, suggesting that Mickey and Aaron should play together again, which was followed by Ween's first comeback show at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, CO on 2-12-2016 where the song was played among 32 others.[11]
  • Ash recorded a version of "What Deaner Was Talkin' About", released as a B-side on their 1997 single "A Life Less Ordinary". This track also features on their limited edition live album, Live at the Wireless.
  • Amos Lee performed "Buenas Tardes Amigo" on an iTunes exclusive live album entitled "iTunes Live From SoHo".
  • Jon Auer (The Posies, Big Star) covered "Baby Bitch" on his solo EP "6 1/2."

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Ween except as noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Take Me Away" 3:01
2."Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)" 2:53
3."Freedom of '76"Ween/Ed Wilson2:51
4."I Can't Put My Finger on It" 2:48
5."A Tear for Eddie" 4:50
6."Roses Are Free" 4:35
7."Baby Bitch" 3:04
8."Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony?" 2:55
9."Drifter in the Dark" 2:32
10."Voodoo Lady" 3:48
11."Joppa Road" 3:03
12."Candi" 4:03
13."Buenas Tardes Amigo" 7:07
14."The HIV Song" 2:10
15."What Deaner Was Talkin' About" 2:00
16."Don't Shit Where You Eat" 3:20
Total length:55:00

Personnel[edit]

The band
Additional personnel
  • Mean Ween - bass
  • Greg Frey - engineer
  • Howie Weinberg - mastering
  • Andrew Weiss - producer, engineer, mixing
  • Kirk Miller - live sound
  • Ashley Savage - model
  • Danny Clinch - photography
  • John Kuczala - photography
  • Reiner Design Consultants - design
  • Patricia Frey- drums
  • Scott Lowe - programming
  • Stephan Said - Spanish guitar

Chart performance[edit]

Album[edit]

Singles[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Chocolate and Cheese – Ween". AllMusic. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  2. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (October 16, 1994). "Ween, 'Chocolate and Cheese' (Elektra)". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on November 18, 2018. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  3. ^ Ehrlich, Dimitri (October 14, 1994). "Chocolate and Cheese". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  4. ^ Sarig, Roni (2004). "Ween". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 864–65. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  5. ^ Rees, Paul (February 1995). "Ween: Chocolate and Cheese". Select (56): 86.
  6. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  7. ^ "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994". GuitarWorld.com. July 14, 2014. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  8. ^ https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/ween/2019/moreno-beach-perris-ca-39da9ef.html
  9. ^ "Ween's Chocolate and Cheese". Google Books. 2011.
  10. ^ "Dean Ween Discusses Phish 'Roses Are Free' Cover". JamBase. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  11. ^ http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/ween/2016/1st-bank-center-broomfield-co-13f30d85.html

External links[edit]