Soul Coughing

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Soul Coughing
Soul Coughing.jpg
Soul Coughing publicity photo, 1998.
Background information
Origin New York City
Genres Alternative rock, alternative hip hop, electronica
Years active 1992–2000
Labels Slash/Warner Bros./Tommy Boy
Members Mike Doughty
Mark Degli Antoni
Sebastian Steinberg
Yuval Gabay

Soul Coughing was an American alternative rock group, comprising vocalist/guitarist Mike Doughty, keyboardist Mark de Gli Antoni, bassist Sebastian Steinberg and drummer Yuval Gabay, Soul Coughing developed a devout fanbase and have garnered largely positive response from critics. Steve Huey in AllMusic describes the band as "one of the most unusual cult bands of the 1990s...driven by frontman Mike Doughty's stream-of-consciousness poetry, Soul Coughing's sound was a willfully idiosyncratic mix of improvisational jazz grooves, oddball samples, hip-hop, electronics, and noisy experimentalism (described by Doughty as 'deep slacker jazz')."[1] The inventive sampling and keyboard artistry of Mark Degli Antoni undergirded the band's distinct sound.

Recording career[edit]

Soul Coughing's members were all regulars at The Knitting Factory, a New York City nightclub and performance venue that was part of the experimental downtown scene of the 1980s and '90s. Doughty was a doorman known for his improvised comedic quasi-raps, while the others appeared at the Knitting Factory in various bands. Doughty, De Gli Antoni and Steinberg all performed in versions of John Zorn's composition Cobra, appearing on John Zorn's Cobra: Live at the Knitting Factory (recorded 1992, released 1995).

Within a year of their formation, the band was signed to Slash Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Records. They released three albums: Ruby Vroom (1994), Irresistible Bliss (1996), and El Oso (1998), the last showing a marked drum and bass influence. They enjoyed minor hit singles with songs like "Down to This", "Circles", "Super Bon Bon", and "Screenwriter's Blues." In 1996, the band contributed to the AIDS benefit album Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip produced by the Red Hot Organization. They also had songs featured in the movies The X-Files ("Unmarked Helicopters"), Batman and Robin ("The Bug"), Tommy Boy (Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago) and Spawn ("A Plane Scraped Its Belly on a Sooty Yellow Moon" featuring drum and bass artist Roni Size). Their song "Super Bon Bon" was included on the soundtrack for the 2K Sports video game The Bigs 2 released in 2009 and on the soundtrack for the PlayStation game Gran Turismo 2 released in 1999. The Boomerang network made a mock music video for the song "Circles" which poked fun at the revolving cartoon backgrounds.

Soul Coughing broke up in early 2000, after years of feuding over songwriting credits and publishing. Following their breakup the band released Lust in Phaze (2002), a greatest hits compilation including a few B-sides.

Rhino Records has reissued their three studio albums to 180 gram black vinyl on August 24, 2015 in the US and September 4 in the UK. This marks the first time Ruby Vroom has ever been pressed to vinyl. [2]


Year Album details Chart peaks Certifications
1994 Ruby Vroom Gold (as of 2013)
1996 Irresistible Bliss
  • Released: July 9, 1996
  • Reissue: August 24, 2015
  • Label: Slash/Warner Bros.
  • Formats: CD, CS, LP
136 Gold (as of 2012)
1998 El Oso
  • Released: September 29, 1998
  • Reissue: August 24, 2015
  • Label: Slash/Warner Bros.
  • Formats: CD, CS, LP
49 200 Gold (as of 2000)
2002 Lust in Phaze
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Live albums[edit]

Year Title
2004 Tokyo, Japan 03.02.97
  • Released: 2004
  • Label: KUFALA Recordings
  • Recorded: February 2–3, 1997
2005 New York, NY 16.08.99
  • Released: January 4, 2005
  • Label: KUFALA Recordings
  • Recorded: August 16, 1999
Berlin/Amsterdam 1997
  • Released: January 4, 2005
  • Label: KUFALA Recordings
  • Recorded: 1997
Rennes, France 03.12.94
  • Released: January 4, 2005
  • Label: KUFALA Recordings
  • Recorded: December 3, 1994
Live Rarities
  • Released: January 4, 2005
  • Label: KUFALA Recordings
  • Recorded: 1993, 1994, 1997


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
Hot 100
1994 "Down to This" Ruby Vroom
1995 "Sugar Free Jazz"
"Screenwriter's Blues"
1996 "Soundtrack to Mary" 37 Irresistible Bliss
"Super Bon Bon" 27
1997 "Soft Serve"
1998 "Circles" 8 38 124 El Oso
"St. Louise Is Listening"
1999 "Rolling"
"−" denotes singles that did not chart.


External links[edit]