The Big Sell-Out

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The Big Sell-Out
The Big Sell-Out.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 1992 (1992-03)
RecordedSummer 1991
StudioNoise New York
(New York City, NY)
LabelShimmy Disc
Bongwater chronology
The Power of Pussy
The Big Sell-Out
The Peel Session
Professional ratings
Review scores

The Big Sell-Out is the fourth studio album by the experimental college rock/art-rock band Bongwater. It was recorded in 1991 and released in 1992. In 1998, the album was remastered by Alan Douches and Kramer for its inclusion in Box of Bongwater set.[2]

The album is widely considered to be a representation of the growing rift between Magnuson and Kramer. The cover boasts of containing the singles "Celebrity Compass", "Schmoozedance", and "Free Love Messes Up My Life". "Celebrity Compass" was originally introduced during a performance of "You Don't Love Me Yet" by Roky Erikson on an episode of the variety show Night Music, which also featured Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

Maintaining their tradition of neo-psychedelia, "Ye Olde Backlash" contains a melody somewhat reminiscent of "For Your Love" by The Yardbirds. The band's habit of name-dropping also continues as Magnuson mentions a casual meeting with Lenny Kravitz in the song "What's Big in England Now?"

The title track ends with a sound file of the self-promotional audio tape by "J&H Productions", the talent agency of an unknown man living in Cincinnati, Ohio sent to the entertainment industry, claiming to represent "star after star after star". "Holding Hands" is actually a gruesome tale of young lovers trying to escape Nazi-occupation of some undetermined Eastern European country. The album ends with a cover of the Fred Neil song "Everybody's Talkin'" where Ann narrates, assisting one of her relatives in suicide prevention.

Track listing[edit]

1."Ye Olde Backlash"Kramer, Ann Magnuson2:41
2."The Real Thing"Kramer, Ann Magnuson3:09
3."Free Love Messes Up My Life"Randolph A. Hudson III, Kramer, Ann Magnuson2:17
4."You're Like Me Now"Randolph A. Hudson III, Kramer, Ann Magnuson4:31
5."I Wanna Talk About It Now"Kramer3:42
6."What's Big in England Now?"Kramer, Ann Magnuson1:44
7."Schmoozedance"Kramer, Ann Magnuson3:53
8."Celebrity Compass"Randolph A. Hudson III, Kramer, Ann Magnuson3:26
9."When Johnnie Dies"Kramer, Ann Magnuson3:49
10."The Big Sell-Out"Kramer3:49
11."Over the Credit Line"Kramer, Ann Magnuson3:09
12."Flop Sweats"Kramer, Ann Magnuson4:08
13."Holding Hands"Kramer, Ann Magnuson1:40
14."Flute of Shame"Kramer, Ann Magnuson1:54
15."On the Cusp of 1970"Kramer, Ann Magnuson2:57
16."Her Litigious Nature"Kramer, Ann Magnuson2:57
17."Love Song"Ann Magnuson, Kurt Weill3:50
18."Everybody's Talking"Ann Magnuson, Fred Neil3:16


Adapted from the liner notes of The Power of Pussy.[3]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States 1992 Shimmy Disc CD, LP shimmy 050
Netherlands SDE 9239


  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Bongwater: The Big Sell-Out > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  2. ^ Gehr, Richard; Pattyn, Jay (2007). "Bongwater". Trouser Press. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  3. ^ The Power of Pussy (booklet). Bongwater. New York City, New York: Shimmy Disc. 1990.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)

External links[edit]