Red House Painters (also known as Rollercoaster or Red House Painters I to distinguish it from the second eponymous album, known as Bridge or Red House Painters II) is the second album by the group Red House Painters, released on May 24, 1993 by 4AD.
The album follows Red House Painters' 1992 debut Down Colorful Hill, and the recording sessions spawned twenty-three songs culled from leader/producer Mark Kozelek's back-catalog, fourteen of which comprised the Rollercoaster album. Eight songs left over from the recording sessions would make up the band's second self-titled album. Kozelek's lyrics focus on themes of pain, desolation and loss, while musically the album runs from the folk-pop of "Grace Cathedral Park" to the shoegaze of "Mistress" to the stark "New Jersey" and onto the soundscapes of "Funhouse" and "Mother". Kozelek said of the recording sessions, "It was a nightmare, because the initial excitement of recording twenty-three songs became, 'one down, twenty-two to go'... And I was nervous that people were now paying attention, but Ivo [Watts-Russell, 4AD label owner] made helpful suggestions and never demanded anything. If we went over budget, we went over budget." Watts-Russell also suggested the album be a double album, and compiled the track listing himself.
Kozelek discussed his views of the album in the foreword of the 2002 and revised 2008 editions of his book of lyrics, Nights of Passed Over: "...I know the Rollercoaster album is many people's favorite. But for me, it is and will always be the most difficult to get through. I hadn't heard it in years, and though there are some beautiful things I had forgotten about -- a delicate piano in "Things Mean a Lot", the way the band brings life to "Brown Eyes" midway through, and the chorus of "Strawberry Hill", which was sung by a group of strangers we gathered from outside the Divisadero Street studio where we were recording -- what I remembered most, even when I look at the album's cover, is nine months of worry."
Although no commercial singles were ever released from the album, a promotional-only CD was issued for "Mistress" in the US in May 1993. The single features a different mix of "Mistress" as well as the piano version, along with the album version of "Grace Cathedral Park." While the sleeve lists "Strawberry Hill" as the album version, it is in fact an edit, which removes roughly 50 seconds of guitar noise in the beginning of the song.