Rotting Piñata

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Rotting Piñata
Sponge-Rotting Piñata.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 2, 1994
Recorded1993-1994 at The Loft, Saline, Michigan
34:06 (Live at Rock am Ring)
LabelThe WORK Group
ProducerSponge and Tim Patalan
Sponge chronology
Rotting Piñata
Wax Ecstatic
Singles from Rotting Piñata
  1. "Neenah Menasha"
    Released: 1994
  2. "Plowed"
    Released: 1994
  3. "Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)"
    Released: 1995
  4. "Rainin'"
    Released: 1995

Rotting Piñata is the debut studio album by American rock band Sponge, released in 1994 on Work Records. Hit singles from this album, such as "Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)" and "Plowed," helped launch the band's career and pushed the album to Gold.

Title meaning[edit]

The name of the album came from a conversation the band had regarding shock punk singer GG Allin. Allin claimed he would commit suicide while on tour and wanted his corpse to be shown at the remainder of the shows on the schedule. Furthermore, he wanted the fans to be able to throw objects at his deceased body. The band joked that if he did, the corpse would be like a "rotting piñata."

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]

Rotting Piñata received mostly positive reviews. Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave it three stars out of five and said that "Sponge's sense of alternative rock goes back as far as Pearl Jam, or maybe only Stone Temple Pilots, judging from the hit single 'Plowed.' For an STP ripoff band, they're very adept -- the chords cluster together, vocalist Vinnie sings directly from his gut, and the whole thing barrels ahead, ignoring whatever's in its way."[1]

Rotting Piñata is one of Sponge's most successful albums to date and their only album to be certified gold by the RIAA. Although released in August 1994, the album did not enter the Billboard 200 until May 1995, following the success of its first single "Plowed". Rotting Piñata peaked at number 58 and remained on the chart for 40 weeks.[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Sponge (Dombroski, J. Mazzola, Michael Cross, Tim Cross) and produced by Sponge and Tim Patalan.

2."Rotting Piñata"4:00
4."Neenah Menasha"6:03
10."Rainin'" ("Candy Corn" is a hidden track in the gap between tracks 10 and 11. When listening to the CD on a computer, it appears as part of track 10 and begins at the 7:03 mark.)12:57

A special edition included a bonus CD featuring Sponge live at Rock am Ring Nürburgring on June 2, 1995.

All songs written by Sponge except where noted.

Live at Rock am Ring
1."Neenah Menasha" 4:42
2."Rotting Piñata" 4:15
3."I Hate Myself" (Introduced as "I Hate Myself When I'm With You" Written by, Dombroski, M. Cross, J Mazzola, T. Cross) 5:43
4."Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)" 3:41
5."Rainin'" 5:29
6."Plowed" 3:26
7."Fields" 4:02
8."Big Girl" (Introduced as "I'm a Big Girl")27 Mauve, Sponge2:48

Band members[edit]

  • Vinnie Dombrowski - vocals
  • Michael Cross - guitar, backing vocals
  • Tim Cross - bass
  • Joe Mazzola - guitar, backing vocals
  • Jimmy Paluzzi - drums, backing vocals

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Andy Patalan - production assistant
  • Tim Palmer - mixing
  • Mark O'Donoughue & Brandon Harris - mixing assistants
  • Tim Patalan - mixing on "Rotting Piñata", "Neenah Menasha", "Miles" and "Molly"
  • Stuart Griffen - Talent agent
  • Pablo Mathiason - A&R
  • Howie Weinberg - mastering
  • David Coleman - art direction
  • Michael Halsband - photography



Year Title US Billboard 200 US Heatseekers
1995 Rotting Piñata 58 4


Year Title US Hot 100 US Modern Rock US Mainstream Rock
1995 Plowed - 5 9
Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain) 55 3 11
Rainin' - 34 18
1996 Neenah Menasha - - -


  • Neenah and Menasha are two cities in Wisconsin
  • The vocals for "Molly" were re-recorded for the single release, retitled "Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)" The song was inspired by a story a bandmember had heard about a 16-year-old girl who'd fallen in love with her teacher and attempted suicide after he rejected her advances.
  • Track number five, "Miles", includes the last two lines of Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" ("And Miles to go before I sleep... And Miles to go before I sleep...")