|Studio album by|
|Released||September 27, 1994|
|Recorded||April – June 1994|
|Genre||Alternative rock, alternative hip hop, experimental|
|Label||Slash/Warner Bros. Records|
|Soul Coughing chronology|
|Christgau's Consumer Guide||A|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Ruby Vroom is the debut studio album by American rock band Soul Coughing, released in 1994. The album's sound is a mixture of sample-based tunes (loops of Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" on "Bus to Beelzebub", Toots and the Maytals, Howlin' Wolf, The Andrews Sisters, and The Roches on "Down to This", and a loop of sampler player Mark De Gli Antoni's orchestral horns on "Screenwriter's Blues", among others). It also features guitar-based tunes like "Janine", "Moon Sammy", and "Supra Genius" and jazzy, upright-bass-fueled songs that often slyly quoted other material—the theme from Courageous Cat on "Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago", Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso" on "Casiotone Nation", and Bobby McFerrin's cover of Joan Armatrading's "Opportunity" on "Uh, Zoom Zip".
Ruby was named after a mispronunciation of the name of Ruby Froom, daughter of record producer Mitchell Froom—a frequent collaborator of Ruby Vroom producer Tchad Blake—and singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega.
The album was recorded at Sunset Sound Factory in Hollywood, Blake and Froom's usual haunt—a storage room near the studio's lounge was filled with vintage keyboards and road cases filled with toys—whistles, baby rattles, children's toy xylophones. Many of these ended up in the songs, such as a train whistle played by Doughty on "Uh, Zoom Zip". This was in keeping with Tchad Blake's spirit of maverick experimentation, which included sticking a binaural head-shaped microphone in front of Yuval Gabay's drumkit, sticking a mic in a car muffler, called "the Bone" and sticking that in the drum booth as well, and having Doughty improvise wild, yelling ad-libs on "Casiotone Nation", singing into a cheap amplification system called an Ahuja that Blake bought in India. The speaker was essentially a huge bullhorn atop a stick.
The album's lone guest is Rachel Benbow Murdy, band founder Mike Doughty's ex-girlfriend, who supplies a vocal on "Janine". Doughty had Murdy go out to a payphone in Sheridan Square in New York and improvise a long, meandering song into their answering machine. Recorded a year before the Ruby sessions, Doughty and bass player Sebastian Steinberg recorded the tune at the avant-garde jazz club The Knitting Factory during the daytime, when the club was closed, with club soundperson James McLean. McLean put a mic on the answering machine, which Doughty had brought to the session.
- "Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago" – 3:48
- "Sugar Free Jazz" – 3:55
- "Casiotone Nation" – 3:50
- "Blue Eyed Devil" – 4:12
- "Bus to Beelzebub" – 4:33
- "True Dreams of Wichita" – 5:00
- "Screenwriter's Blues" – 5:08
- "Moon Sammy" – 4:09
- "Supra Genius" – 3:59
- "City of Motors" – 4:38
- "Uh, Zoom Zip" – 3:56
- "Down to This" – 3:49
- "Mr. Bitterness" – 5:32
- "Janine" – 4:58
B-Sides & Outtakes
- "Buddha Rhubarb Butter"
- "A Murder of Lawyers"
- "The Brooklynites"
- "I'm Living On Baby Food"
- "Them from Rachel's Sitcom"
- Mike Doughty (billed as "M. Doughty") – vocals, guitar
- Sebastian Steinberg – bass, upright bass, backing vocals, sampler
- Mark de Gli Antoni – keyboards, programming
- Yuval Gabay – drums, programming
- Westergaard, Sean. "Ruby Vroom – Soul Coughing". AllMusic. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
- Christgau, Robert (2000). "Soul Coughing: Ruby Vroom". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 0-312-24560-2.
- Larkin, Colin (2009). "Soul Coughing". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-972636-1.
- Mirkin, Steven (September 16, 1994). "Ruby Vroom". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
- Romney, Jonathan (October 14, 1994). "Soul Coughing: Ruby Vroom (Slash/London)". The Guardian.
- Azerrad, Michael (December 15, 1994). "Soul Coughing: Ruby Vroom". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
- Sarig, Roni (2004). "Soul Coughing". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 760. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
- Olson, Catherine Applefeld (April 6, 1996). "Soul Coughing Set Promises 'Irrresistable Bliss'". Billboard. 18 (14).
- Brown, Mark (1996-11-19). "Babies Become Newest Rock 'N' Roll Fad". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2018-04-19.