Philosophy of the World

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Philosophy of The World
Shaggs philosophy of the world.jpg
Studio album by The Shaggs
Released 1969
Recorded March 9, 1969
Genre Rock, pop, outsider
Length 31:39
Label Third Word Records (1969); Red Rooster Records/Rounder Records (1980-1988); RCA Victor (1999)
Producer Austin Wiggin, Terry Adams, Charlie Dreyer[1] (uncredited)
The Shaggs chronology
Philosophy of the World
Shaggs' Own Thing
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars Link
Lester Bangs (Positive) Link
Mojo (Positive) Link

Philosophy of The World is the first album by The Shaggs, released in 1969 by Third Word Records and rereleased in 1980 by Red Rooster Records/Rounder Records after the band NRBQ found it at a Massachusetts radio station in 1978. A CD version containing Shaggs' Own Thing was released in 1988 by Rounder, and another CD, this time without the latter record, was released by RCA Victor in 1999.

Recording of the album was financed by Austin Wiggin, father of the bandmembers.[2]

Track listing[edit]

  • All songs written and arranged by: Dorothy Wiggin.
  1. "Philosophy of the World" – 2:56
  2. "That Little Sports Car" – 2:06
  3. "Who Are Parents?" – 2:58
  4. "My Pal Foot Foot" – 2:31
  5. "My Companion" – 2:04
  6. "I'm So Happy When You're Near" – 2:12
  7. "Things I Wonder" – 2:12
  8. "Sweet Thing" – 2:57
  9. "It's Halloween" – 2:22
  10. "Why Do I Feel?" – 3:57
  11. "What Should I Do?" – 2:18
  12. "We Have a Savior" – 3:06


"Philosophy of the World is the sickest, most stunningly awful wonderful record I've heard in ages: the perfect mental purgative for doldrums of any kind," wrote Debra Rae Cohen for Rolling Stone in a review of the 1980 reissue. "Like a lobotomized Trapp Family Singers, the Shaggs warble earnest greeting-card lyrics (...) in happy, hapless quasi-unison along ostensible lines of melody while strumming their tinny guitars like someone worrying a zipper. The drummer pounds gamely to the call of a different muse, as if she had to guess which song they were playing - and missed every time."[3] "Without exaggeration," Chris Connelly wrote in a later Rolling Stone article, "it may stand as the worst album ever recorded."[4] In an article for The New Yorker, the album was described as "hauntingly bad".[5]

Blender Magazine placed it 100th on the list of the "100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever" in 2007. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain listed Philosophy of the World as his No. 5 favorite album of all time.[6][7][8] The record has also been cited as highly influential by Frank Zappa, Kimya Dawson of The Moldy Peaches, and Deerhoof.[1]


  • Dorothy (aka Dot) Wiggin: lead guitar, vocals
  • Betty Wiggin Porter: rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Helen Wiggin: drums
  • Rachel Wiggin: bass guitar on "That Little Sports Car"


  • Produced by: Austin Wiggin, Terry Adams and Charlie Dreyer
  • Recorded and engineered by: Bob Olive and Austin Wiggin


  1. ^ a b Venus Zine article: "Venus Zine Classic: The Shaggs".
  2. ^ Chusid 37.
  3. ^ Cohen, Debra Rae (October 30, 1980). "Philosophy of the World". Rolling Stone (Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.) (329): 56. 
  4. ^ Connelly, Chris (December 11, 1980). "Is Rock Ready for the Shaggs?". Rolling Stone (Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.) (332): 19. 
  5. ^ Meet The Shaggs
  6. ^ "Kurt Cobain Top 50 - 05 - The Shaggs - Philosophy Of The World video". NME. 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  7. ^ "Top 50 by Nirvana [MIXTAPE]". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Cross, Gaar, Gendron, Martens, Yarm (2013). Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-7603-4521-4. 


Chusid, Irwin. Songs in the Key of Z.