Grant Lee Buffalo

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Grant Lee Buffalo
Grant Lee Buffalo.jpg
Grant Lee Buffalo, 1996
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
GenresAlternative rock, Americana
Years active1991–1998, 2011–2012
LabelsSlash, Chrysalis
Past membersGrant-Lee Phillips
Paul Kimble
Joey Peters
Shiva Burlesque
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
Years active1987–1990
LabelsFundamental Records
Ripple Effect
Past membersGrant-Lee Phillips
Paul Kimble
Joey Peters

Grant Lee Buffalo was an American rock band based in Los Angeles, California, United States, consisting of Grant-Lee Phillips (vocals and guitar), Paul Kimble (bass) and Joey Peters (drums). All three were previously members of another Los Angeles band, Shiva Burlesque.[1]

Shiva Burlesque[edit]

Grant-Lee Phillips, Paul Kimble and Joey Peters started as a rock music formation called Shiva Burlesque.[2] The band was active in the late 1980s. It released two studio albums, the self-titled Shiva Burlesque in 1987 on Fundamental Records. The follow up album, the band's second and last album was Mercury Blues and was released in 1990 on Ripple Effect record label. Shiva Burlesque was reformed in 1991 as Grant Lee Buffalo.[2]


Grant Lee Buffalo released four albums: Fuzzy (1993), Mighty Joe Moon (1994), Copperopolis (1996) and Jubilee (1998).[1] They toured with major bands including R.E.M., Pearl Jam, the Smashing Pumpkins, and The Cranberries. In the United States, the band's 1998 single, "Truly, Truly", received extensive airplay.[1]

Paul Kimble departed the band in 1997,[3] but Grant Lee Buffalo's next album Jubilee met with more success than the prior releases thanks to "Truly, Truly." But, as Phillips describes, a number of changes led to the dissolution of the band's time at their label and their time together.

"The celebrational spirit of Jubilee actually brought a renewed optimism to me personally. The album was well received and understandably the expectations at the label were high, probably too high. Although the highly refined Jubilee had brought the band considerable success at radio with "Truly, Truly," a shift within the industry was well underway. The label's constant nagging about "Call-out Response" was both a new term and a bewildering concept to our ears. The basic strategy: a radio station arranges to call up a listerner who is asked to consume about 30 songs over the phone, perhaps 20 seconds of each. From this remote encounter, the listener will then proceed to judge the material. Insufficient call-out response was a big reason that Jubilee hardly got a shot at Warners. Grant Lee Buffalo tunes are often like an old car or an old amp that needs a few seconds to get warmed up, but when it does... look out! Meanwhile, a new crop of young record buyers, the largest since the Baby Boomer era, were now being targeted to the exclusion of Gen-Xers, like myself, still waiting for the Pixies to reform.[4]

In 2001, a compilation of singles, album tracks and rarities called Storm Hymnal was released.

Grant Lee Buffalo's sound is comparable to Neil Young and an electrified version of Americana songwriter John Stewart.[1] Phillips writes that their first album "would galvanize the sound of Grant Lee Buffalo, i.e., the acoustic feedback howl of overdriven 12-string guitars, melodic distorto-bass, tribal drum bombast, the old world churn of pump organs and parlor pianos."[5]

Lyrically, they reference American history as well as contemporary events.[2] For instance, “Lone Star Song” from Mighty Joe Moon references the Waco siege and “Crackdown” from Copperopolis references the murder of Yoshihiro Hattori as well as the Oklahoma City bombing. In May 2011 the band returned on a limited tour, making stops in Los Angeles, Dublin, London, Brussels, Copenhagen and Oslo.[6] On August 8, 2011 the band performed at Dranouter festival in Belgium, and on August 9 in Copenhagen. The band also played at the German Haldern Pop Festival in August 2012.

In October 2017, Chrysalis Records acquired Grant Lee Buffalo’s back catalog from Slash Records. Chrysalis/Blue Raincoat CEO Jeremy Lascelles had previously signed the band to the label’s publisher in the 1990s.[7]

Solo careers[edit]

Lead singer Phillips has had his own solo career as well. He explains:

As for Grant Lee Buffalo, I sensed they were beginning to wonder if we'd ever get through finishing school. Before that could happen, band and label parted as did Peters and myself. The scenery was changing and I was looking for new explorations. I'm sure we all were. Perhaps we always will be." [4]

He was signed to the Boston-based indie label Rounder Records and launched a solo career, issuing Ladies' Love Oracle online in 2000. The recording was later more widely released. His first full-length album, Mobilize, was released in 2001. Phillips has released eight albums between 2000 and 2012.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
UK[8] AUS[9] BEL[10] NOR[11] NZ[12] SWE[13] U.S.


1993 Fuzzy 74
1994 Mighty Joe Moon
  • Released: 20 September 1994
  • Label: Slash / London / Reprise / Liberation
  • Format: CD, LP, cassette, digital download
24 48 8 23 38 16[15]
1996 Copperopolis
  • Released: 4 June 1996
  • Label: Slash / London / Reprise
  • Format: CD, cassette, digital download
34 43 9 28 27 16
1998 Jubilee
  • Released: 9 June 1998
  • Label: Slash / London / Polydor
  • Format: CD, cassette, digital download

Singles and EPs[edit]

Year Single / EP Peak chart positions
UK NL U.S. Modern Rock Album
1991-1993 Fuzzy
  • Fuzzy Australian Single (1993)
  • Fuzzy CD-4 (1993)
1. Fuzzy / 2. Stars and Stripes / 3. Dixie Drug Store (alternate album take) / 4. I Will Take Him
1993 America Snoring Single
1. America Snoring / 2. Wish You Well / 3. The Hook (Live) / 4. Burning Love (Live)
1993 Buffalondon live EP
1. The Shining Hour (live) / 2. For The Turnstiles (live) / 3. Grace (live) / 4. America Snoring (live)
1993 Blue Plate Special
1. Dixie Drug Store / 2. America Snoring / 3. Jupiter and Teardrop (Live - Park West, Chicago) / 4. Wish You Well (Live) / 5. Burning Love (Live)
1993-1994 Jupiter and Teardrop
1. Jupiter and Teardrop (singles mix) / 2. Wish You Well (alternate album take) / 3. Soft Wolf Tread (alternate album take) / 4. The Shining Hour (alternate album take)
1994 Let go of my hand / We're coming down
1994 Lone Star Song
1994 Mockingbirds

1. Mockingbirds / 2. Orpheus / 3. Let Go of My Hand / 4. Fuzzy / 5. Dixie Drug Store

86 14
1994 MJM - Four Track Sampler
1995 Honey Don't Think single
1. Honey Don't Think / 2. It's the Life (Live) / 3. Mockingbirds (Live) / 4. Wish You Well (Live) / 5. Honey Don't Think (Live) / 6. Last Days of Tecumseh (Live)
1. Honey Don't Think / 2. It's the Life (Live) / 3. Grace (Live)
1996 Homespun single
1. Homespun (single edit) / 2. Comes to Blows / 3. Armchair / 4. Crashing at Corona
1998 Truly, Truly (Yours Truly)

1. Truly, Truly (album version) / 2. My My My (album version) / 3. Were You There / 4. Mockingbirds (original 4-track demo)


Compilations and live albums[edit]

Year Album Description Track list
2001 Storm Hymnal: Gems from the Vault of Grant Lee Buffalo
  • Released: 23 October 2001
  • Label: Slash / London
  • Format: CD, digital download
The best of and B-sides/rarities Disc I: Takes

1. Fuzzy (4:56) 2. The Shining Hour (3:52) 3. Jupiter And Teardrop (5:57) 4. Stars N' Stripes (4:41) 5. Lone Star Song (4:34) 6. Mockingbirds (4:41) 7. Honey Don't Think (2:43) 8. Happiness (3:00) 9. Bethlehem Steel (6:04) 10. Arousing Thunder (5:42) 11. Homespun (5:35) 12. Two & Two (3:45) 13. Truly, Truly (3:58) 14. Testimony (4:00) 15. My, My, My (4:06) 16. The Shallow End (4:14)

Disc II: Double Takes

1. We're Coming Down (4:12) 2. The Shining Hour /Alternate Acoustic Version/ (3:24) 3. Wish You Well /Alternate Acoustic Version/ (3:43) 4. Soft Wolf Tread /Alternate Acoustic Version/ (2:36) 5. I Will Take Him (4:26) 6. Let Go Of My Hand (4:09) 7. Orpheus (4:53) 8. Goodnight John Dee (3:15) 9. Halloween (4:15) 10. Gold Chain Drag (2:16) 11. Crashing At Corona (4:20) 12. Mr. Know-It-All (2:55) 13. Were You There (6:46) 14. Where Do We Go From Here (3:49)

2013 Live At the Royal Festival Hall
  • Released: 9 April 2013
  • Magnetic Field Recordings
  • Format: Digital download
Live at the Royal Festival Hall in London on May 18, 2011 1. Shining Hour (5:03) 2. Wish You Well (3:32) 3. Jupiter and Teardrop (5:49) 4. Demon Called Deception (3:22) 5. Lady Godiva and Me (5:03) 6. Soft Wolf Tread (3:03) 7. Stars 'N Stripes (4:52) 8. Bethlehem Steel (5:34) 9. Honey Don't Think (2:51) 10. Happiness (2:53) 11. Sing Along (4:09) 12. Drag (3:25) 13. It's the Life (3:44) 14. America Snoring (4:01) 15. Fuzzy (6:16) 16. The Hook (5:37) 17. Homespun (5:01)

Music videos[edit]

Year Song / Video Album Director
1993 Fuzzy Fuzzy Carlos Grasso[16]
1993 America Snoring Fuzzy
1994 Lone Star Song Mighty Joe Moon Carlos Grasso[16]
1994 Mockingbirds Mighty Joe Moon Anton Corbijn[16]
1994 Honey Don't Think Mighty Joe Moon Carlos Grasso[17]
1994 El Dorado Motorhome (Mighty Joe Moon Promo) Mighty Joe Moon Carlos Grasso[16]
1996 Homespun Copperopolis Carlos Grasso[16]
1998 Testimony Jubilee Jason Smith[18]
1999 Circuit DVD Music Magazine #1 (Jubilee Promo) Jubilee Jodi Wille[19]


OST release date /

Episode air date

Song Composer Film / TV series
22 March 1994 Fuzzy Grant-Lee Phillips With Honors (OST)
13 June 1995 Mockingbirds Grant-Lee Phillips Mad Love (OST)
26 September 1995 In My Room Brian Wilson, Gary Usher (The Beach Boys) Friends (OST)
3 November 1998 The Whole Shebang

Bitter's End (performed by Paul Kimble and Andy Mackay)

Living Proof*

Lo' and Behold*

Make Your Own Little Heaven*

Grant-Lee Phillips

Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music)

Grant-Lee Phillips

Grant-Lee Phillips

Grant-Lee Phillips

Velvet Goldmine (OST)
2 February 1999 Testimony Grant-Lee Phillips I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (OST)
9 April 2001 Jupiter and Teardrop Grant-Lee Phillips Trigger Happy TV (OST to Series 2)
19 April 2005 Happiness Grant-Lee Phillips House TV Series (Babies & Bathwater episode)

(*) - Soundtrack demos only, not on the OST.


  1. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 396. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  2. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 540–1. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  3. ^ "History | Part 4: The Search for Copperopolis". Grant Lee Buffalo. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  4. ^ a b "History | Part 5: The Midnight Jubilee". Grant Lee Buffalo. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  5. ^ "History | Part 2: The Fuzzy Era". Grant Lee Buffalo. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  6. ^ "Grant Lee Buffalo Special Reunion Tour and Limited Dates". Josef Peters. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  7. ^ "Chrysalis acquires Parlophone catalogues under divestment deal". Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  8. ^ "GRANT LEE BUFFALO | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  9. ^ Hung, Steffen. " - Australian charts portal". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  10. ^ " - ULTRATOP BELGIAN CHARTS". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  11. ^ Hung, Steffen. " - Norwegian charts portal". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  12. ^ Hung, Steffen. " - New Zealand charts portal". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  13. ^ Hung, Steffen. " - Swedish Charts Portal". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  14. ^ "Heatseekers Albums: Up and Coming Musicians Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  15. ^ "Copperopolis is where the Grant Lee Buffalo roam". AXS. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  16. ^ a b c d e "Grant Lee Buffalo | History | Part 3: The Ballad of Mighty Joe Moon". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  17. ^ "Grant Lee Buffalo "Honey Don't Think" Music Video ► Music Video Database". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  18. ^ "Music Videos – Jason Smith". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  19. ^ "Grant Lee Buffalo - CIRCUIT music magazine". 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2017-02-13.

External links[edit]