Junta (album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedMay 8, 1989
StudioEuphoria Sound Studios in Revere, Massachusetts
Length86:40 (cassette and 2012 vinyl)
122:25 (1992 CD)
LabelSelf-release, Elektra, JEMP
Phish chronology
The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday
Lawn Boy
Professional ratings
Review scores

Junta (/ˈʊntə/ JUUN-tə) is the debut studio album by the American rock band Phish. The album was self-released by the band in May 1989 without the support from a record label, and received a wider release when Elektra Records reissued it on compact disc in 1992. Junta was preceded by two demo recordings – The White Tape (1986) and The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday (1987) – which circulated among the band's fanbase but did not receive an official release.


The album was independently recorded at Euphoria Sound Studio, now known as Sound & Vision Media, in Revere, MA by engineer Gordon Hookailo. Some of the recording was documented on video tape by studio owner Howard Cook. The album is named after Ben "Junta" Hunter, the band's first official manager, whose nickname is pronounced with a hard J and a short U.[3]

In addition to a few more traditionally structured songs, Junta contains symphonic-like epics and multi-part progressive rock suites.[4]


The recording was released on tape in 1988, and did not appear in stores officially until May 8, 1989. Phish held a release party concert for the Junta tape on May 9, 1989 at The Front club in their native Burlington, Vermont.[5] The album was re-released by Elektra Records on October 26, 1992. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on October 9, 1997, and was certified platinum on July 7, 2004. In February 2009, the album became available as a download.

"Union Federal", "Sanity", and "Icculus" did not appear on the original cassette release, but rather only on the Elektra version, which had extra space on the CD format.[6] "Union Federal" was taken from a jam session, while "Sanity" and "Icculus" were recorded live on July 25, 1988. There was a mix up in adding them to the Elektra version post-date, so the May 3, 1988 date inside the album notes is incorrect.[6] The 2009 digital download also contained these three extra tracks, while the 2012 re-releases did not contain the extra tracks, as these were not part of the original album's stereo master reels.

2012 vinyl reissue[edit]

On February 13, 2012, it was announced that Junta would be released on vinyl for the first time on April 21, 2012 as a limited edition 3-LP vinyl set, as part of Record Store Day. The set was limited to 5,000 individually numbered copies. The vinyl release was created from the original stereo master reels and includes a free MP3 download of the entire album, transferred from the new vinyl master. Two digital transfers were also made from the original stereo master reels, one recorded at 24 bit / 96 kHz, and a second digital transfer recorded at 24 bit / 192 kHz. On this new release "Contact" is restored to its full length as on the original cassette release .

Track listing[edit]

Disc one
1."Fee"Trey Anastasio5:23
2."You Enjoy Myself"Anastasio9:47
4."Golgi Apparatus"
6."Dinner and a Movie"
7."The Divided Sky"Anastasio11:50
8."David Bowie"Anastasio10:59
Disc two
  • Anastasio
  • Pollak
2."Fluff's Travels"
a. "Fluff's Travels"
b. "The Chase"
c. "Who Do? We Do!"
d. "Clod"
e. "Bundle of Joy"
f. "Arrival"
3."Contact"Mike Gordon6:42
4."Union Federal"25:31
5."Sanity" (live on July 25, 1988)
  • Anastasio
  • Pollak
6."Icculus" (live on July 25, 1988)
  • Anastasio
  • Marshall
Total length:122:25


  • Tracks 4-6 on disc two are bonus tracks exclusive to CD editions of the album.
  • Certain pressings of the album contain an extended version of "Contact".



Trey Anastasio - guitars, lead vocals, producer
Page McConnell - keyboards, vocals, producer
Mike Gordon - bass guitar, vocals, producer, lead vocals on "Contact"
Jon Fishman - drums, vocals, trombone, producer


Gordon Hookailo - engineer
Bob Ludwig - mastering
Michael F. Mills - design
Jim Pollock - artwork


  1. ^ a b Hermes, Will (2000-08-04). "Some Will Carp". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2022-01-12.
  2. ^ Steven McDonald (2010-08-13). "Junta – Phish | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  3. ^ Phish.net: Interview: Ben "Junta" Hunter Online. Accessed: March 05, 2012.
  4. ^ Phish.net: Junta Online. Accessed: August 10, 2011.</
  5. ^ "May 09, 1989 Setlist - Phish.net". phish.net. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Phish.net". Retrieved 13 March 2013.

External links[edit]