Tales from the Punchbowl

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Tales from the Punchbowl
Primus Tales From the Punchbowl.jpg
Studio album by Primus
Released June 6, 1995[1]
Recorded November 1994 to March 1995
at Rancho Relaxo, Sebastopol, California
Genre Progressive rock[2][3]
Length 54:05
Label Interscope, Prawn Song
Producer Primus
Primus chronology
Pork Soda
(1993)Pork Soda1993
Tales from the Punchbowl
Brown Album
(1997)Brown Album1997
Singles from Tales from the Punchbowl
  1. "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver"
    Released: 1995
  2. "Mrs. Blaileen"
    Released: 1995
  3. "Southbound Pachyderm"
    Released: 1995

Tales from the Punchbowl is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Primus, released on June 6, 1995.[1] It was the band's last album with Tim Alexander before he rejoined Primus seven years later, and again in September 2013.[4] It was certified Gold on July 20, 1995.[5]

Enhanced CD reissue[edit]

In 1996 the album was re-released as an Enhanced CD for Macintosh and Windows. As printed on the back inlay for this version, "Combining high end production values, 3-D graphics, spectacular effects and loads of insanely cool stuff, the 'Tales From The Punchbowl' Enhanced CD, played on a CD-ROM drive, sends the viewer through a surreal virtual experience that features the complete album in CD sound quality (which you can hear on a stereo CD player as well)." Players must "navigate from the helm of Captain Shiner's ferryboat through an enchanted liquid atmosphere to many strange and mysterious islands. Many experiences are to be had, all in a rose-colored waterworld filled with visuals reminiscent of Dalí and Bosch." Printed on the actual CD is a ship helm instead of the large image of Captain Shiner's face that appeared on the original, more common pressing.

The vinyl cover shows a picture of the band members dressed up as penguins standing on an iceberg. The same picture comes with the CD version, on the first page of the booklet at the front.

Reception and awards[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[3]
Chicago Tribune3/4 stars[6]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(2-star Honorable Mention)[7]
Entertainment WeeklyB[8]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars[10]

In his review for Allmusic, Daniel Gioffre describes the album as "unabashed prog rock... which even the thick dollops of irony that the band seeks to impart to its compositions are unable to mask completely." He also says that "the high-energy angular rhythms that Primus is known and loved for are as present as ever; they are just pulled off with greater zest and looser precision (if there is such a thing) than they have in the past", concluding that "Tales From the Punchbowl is one of Primus' finer discs."[3] Robert Christgau describes the album simply as "modern teen horrors simplified–and funkified."[12] Chuck Eddy of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B and said, "Hearing Les Claypool thwap oppressive bass lines while rapping like a congested auctioneer isn't nearly as entertaining as watching this trio fish for bass on MTV."[8]

Tales from the Punchbowl was nearly as successful as Pork Soda, and peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200, making it Primus' second-highest chart position.[13] It is also the band's last studio album to be certified gold by the RIAA.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Les Claypool; all music composed by Primus.

1."Professor Nutbutter's House of Treats"7:12
2."Mrs. Blaileen"3:19
3."Wynona's Big Brown Beaver"4:24
4."Southbound Pachyderm"6:21
5."Space Farm"1:45
6."Year of the Parrot"5:45
7."Hellbound 17½ (Theme From)"2:59
8."Glass Sandwich"4:05
9."Del Davis Tree Farm"3:23
10."De Anza Jig"2:26
11."On the Tweek Again"4:41
12."Over the Electric Grapevine"6:24
13."Captain Shiner"1:15
Total length:54:05


Chart history[edit]

Chart Peak
Billboard 200[14] 8
Singles[citation needed]
Single Chart Position
"Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" Modern Rock Tracks 12
Mainstream Rock Tracks 23
"Southbound Pachyderm" Modern Rock Tracks 28


  1. ^ a b "New stuff added to The Cheesy Homepage". ram.org. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  2. ^ Morse, Steve. "Primus' `Punchbowl' of many tastes". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  3. ^ a b c "Tales from the Punchbowl - Primus". Allmusic.
  4. ^ Greg Prato. "Q&A: Les Claypool on Primus' Future and His TV Show With Dean Ween". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "RIAA - Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  6. ^ Hollingsworth, Chauncey (1995-06-15). "Primus Tales From the Punchbowl (Interscope)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000-10-15). "Primus". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 9780312245603.
  8. ^ a b Eddy, Chuck (1995-06-09). "Tales From the Punchbowl Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  9. ^ Masuo, Sandy (1995-06-10). "Album Reviews". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  10. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 654. ISBN 9780743201698.
  11. ^ Gehr, Richard (July 1995). "Primus: Tales from the Punchbowl". Spin. SPIN Media LLC. pp. 72–3.
  12. ^ "CG: Primus". Robert Christgau.
  13. ^ "Primus - Chart history". Billboard.com. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "Primus Billboard 200 Chart History". Billboard.