El Oso

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El Oso
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 29, 1998
LabelSlash/Warner Bros. Records
ProducerSoul Coughing, Tchad Blake, Pat Dillett, Optical
Soul Coughing chronology
Irresistible Bliss
El Oso
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Consumer GuideA–[2]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[3]
NME4/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[6]

El Oso (Spanish for The Bear), released in 1998 (see 1998 in music), is the third and final studio album by the New York City band Soul Coughing. Before starting work on the album, the band toured with |Full Cycle DJs Krust and Die supporting (their band, Roni Size' Reprazent, won the Mercury Prize in 1997 and thus the duo were in denial to produce the album). As such, the disc is marked by a deep drum and bass influence and by a scattershot approach to production: Tchad Blake (the band's own Ruby Vroom, Latin Playboys, Sheryl Crow), Pat Dillett (They Might Be Giants, Doveman, Mary J. Blige), and British drum and bass DJ Optical (Goldie, Grooverider, Ed Rush).

Artist Jim Woodring (Frank) drew the cartoon "monkey-bear" on the disc's cover.

The chorus of the song "$300" is a sample of a Chris Rock joke; singer Mike Doughty heard the joke which is backmasked on Rock's Roll with the New. Curious, Doughty recorded it into his ASR-10 sampler with the intention of simply reversing it and seeing what the joke was, and wrote the song around what he found there. The song was used in the House episode "The Softer Side" in 2009.

The disc contained their biggest hit single, "Circles". Tchad Blake, who produced the tune, hated it, and told them it would be a mistake to release it[according to whom?]. Cartoon Network gave it a music video in which a Flintstones cartoon was synched to the song as part of their Groovies interstitial.[8] The music video featured Fred, Barney and other Hanna-Barbera characters walking in front of the same repeating background. The video for the song "Rolling" was also produced, which was synced with a scene from a Betty Boop cartoon. The song was used in the 2004 remake of Walking Tall.

El Oso made #1 on KTUH's charts on the week of January 25, 1999.[9]

Track listing[edit]

All music by Soul Coughing. All lyrics written by Mike Doughty unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Rolling" – 3:36
  2. "Misinformed" – 3:25
  3. "Circles" – 3:07
  4. "Blame" – 5:01
  5. "St. Louise Is Listening" – 4:29
  6. "Maybe I'll Come Down" – 4:32
  7. "Houston" – 4:04
  8. "$300" – 3:08
  9. "Fully Retractable" – 3:26
  10. "Monster Man" – 4:16
  11. "Pensacola" (Doughty/Ava Chin) – 4:16
  12. "I Miss the Girl" – 4:03
  13. "So Far I Have Not Found the Science" – 2:53
  14. "The Incumbent" (Doughty/Mark De Gil Antoni) – 6:46
  15. "212" (Japanese release bonus track)
  16. "Rare Star Ball" (Japanese release bonus track)


Soul Coughing[edit]

Other personnel[edit]


  1. ^ a b El Oso at AllMusic
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000-10-15). "Soul Coughing". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 9780312245603.
  3. ^ Brunner, Rob (1998-10-02). "El Oso". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
  4. ^ "El Oso". NME. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  5. ^ DiCrescenzo, Brent. "Soul Coughing: El Oso". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 2005-12-31. Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  6. ^ Diehl, Matt (1998-11-12). "Soul Coughing: El Oso". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-12-01.
  7. ^ Eddy, Chuck (November 1998). "Cake: Prolonging the Magic/Soul Coughing: El Oso". Spin. SPIN Media LLC. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  8. ^ "Cartoon Network Groovies video for "Circles"". YouTube.
  9. ^ [1] Archived October 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]