Prolonging the Magic

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Prolonging the Magic
Prolonging the Magic Cake album.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 6, 1998
GenreAlternative rock, experimental rock, alternative country
ProducerJohn McCrea
Cake chronology
Fashion Nugget
Prolonging the Magic
Comfort Eagle
Singles from Prolonging the Magic
  1. "Never There"
    Released: September 27, 1998
  2. "Let Me Go"
    Released: June 16, 1999
  3. "You Turn The Screws"
    Released: 1999
  4. "Sheep Go to Heaven"
    Released: 2000

Prolonging the Magic is the third studio album by American alternative rock band Cake. It was released on October 6, 1998 on Capricorn Records. The sole successful single was the lead "Never There". It was recorded after the departure of guitarist Greg Brown and features a rotating lineup of musicians to replace him. One of them, Xan McCurdy, became his full-time replacement. On its opening week, Prolonging the Magic sold about 44,000 copies, debuting at No. 33 on the Billboard 200 chart.[1] On 28 September 1999 the album was certified platinum by the RIAA for shipments of one million copies.[2]

The album was given a parental advisory sticker not because of profanity, but for Satanic-themed lyrics. Some copies do not feature a sticker, with the only difference being that the song "Satan Is My Motor" has been retitled "Motor".

The song 'Hem of Your Garment' was featured in the film Me, Myself & Irene.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by John McCrea, except where noted.

1."Satan Is My Motor"McCrea, Gabriel Nelson, Tyler Pope3:12
2."Mexico" 3:26
3."Never There" 2:44
4."Guitar" 3:40
5."You Turn the Screws" 4:13
6."Walk on By" 3:48
7."Sheep Go to Heaven" 4:44
8."When You Sleep" 3:58
9."Hem of Your Garment" 3:43
10."Alpha Beta Parking Lot"Vincent DiFiore, McCrea3:30
11."Let Me Go"Jim Campilongo, McCrea3:29
12."Cool Blue Reason" 3:27
13."Where Would I Be?"McCrea, Nelson, Joe Snook3:52
Japan bonus tracks
14."Satan Is My Motor" (Karaoke Version)3:14
15."Never There" (Karaoke Version)2:46
16."Sheep Go to Heaven" (Karaoke Version)4:49
17."When You Sleep" (Karaoke Version)3:59

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[3]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(neither)[5]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[4]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[8]

Allmusic wrote, "Supposedly their attempt to make a smugness- and irony-free album, Cake's third release does hold back the barbs a bit more than usual. And the strain shows. In these guys' hands, love songs without smirks and pop tunes straight up come out forced."


  • John McCrea – vocals, guitar, piano, organ, Moog, producing, arranging and design
  • Vince DiFiore - trumpet, background vocals and arranging
  • Gabe Nelson - bass, mandolin, guitar, piano and arranging
  • Todd Roper - drums, percussion, background vocals and arranging
Additional musicians
  • Xan McCurdy – electric guitar on track 9
  • Rusty Miller – electric guitar on track 3
  • Tyler Pope – arranging and electric guitar on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10
  • Chuck Prophet - arranging and electric guitar on tracks 4, 7 and 12
  • Jim Campilongo - arranging and electric guitar on tracks 4, 6 and 11
  • Ben Morss - arranging and piano on track 5
  • David Palmer - keyboards on track 9
  • Greg Vincent - pedal steel guitar on tracks 2, 6 and 9
  • Mark Needham - additional percussion, engineering, and mixing
  • Richard Lyman - musical saw on track 4
Additional personnel
  • Joe Johnston - engineering
  • Jay Bowman - engineering
  • Gabriel Shepard - engineering
  • Justin Phelps - engineering
  • Scott Reams - engineering
  • Rafael Serrano - engineering
  • Kirt Shearer - engineering and mixing
  • Craig Long - engineering and mixing
  • Greg Brown - arranging
  • Keara Fallon - design
  • Don C. Tyler - mastering


Album - Billboard (United States)

Year Chart Position
1998 The Billboard 200 33

Singles - Billboard (United States)

Year Single Chart Position
1998 "Never There" Adult Top 40 29
Modern Rock Tracks 1
The Billboard Hot 100 78
1999 "Let Me Go" Modern Rock Tracks 28
"Never There" Mainstream Rock Tracks 40
"Sheep Go to Heaven" Modern Rock Tracks 16


  1. ^ Paul Grein (19 January 2011). "Week Ending Jan. 16, 2011: Albums: Even Lower". Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Searchable Database". Archived from the original on 13 December 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  3. ^ Michael Gallucci. "Prolonging the Magic". Allmusic. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  4. ^ Matt Diehl (9 October 1998). "Prolonging the Magic Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000-10-15). "Cake". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 9780312245603.
  6. ^ Harris, Keith (2004). "Cake". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9780743201698.
  7. ^ Mirov, Nick. "Cake: Prolonging the Magic". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 2000-08-16. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  8. ^ Tom Moon (29 October 1998). "Cake: Prolonging The Magic : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 12 November 2007. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  9. ^ Eddy, Chuck (November 1998). "Cake: Prolonging the Magic/Soul Coughing: El Oso". Spin. SPIN Media LLC. p. 18.

External links[edit]