The Grand Pecking Order

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The Grand Pecking Order
Oysterhead - The Grand Pecking Order.jpg
Studio album by Oysterhead
Released October 2, 2001 (U.S.)
Recorded The Barn, April 2001
Genre Alternative rock, experimental rock, hard rock, avant-garde
Length 51:46
Label Elektra
Producer Oysterhead

The Grand Pecking Order is the only album by American rock band Oysterhead, released on October 2, 2001. The album was recorded in guitarist Trey Anastasio's Barn recording studio. Oysterhead was intended to be a single performance, but the project spawned this album and a mini-tour in support of the album.

Many of the songs from that first performance are on the album, including "Little Faces" (a reworked version of "I Am Oysterhead"), "Mr. Oysterhead," "Rubberneck Lions," "Pseudo Suicide," and "Owner of the World." The song "Oz is Ever Floating" refers to the album's recording engineer, Oz Fritz, and his beliefs in psychoanalyst Dr. John C. Lilly. The song "Birthday Boys" is about the temporally-proximate birthdays of Claypool (September 29) and Anastasio (September 30) while in Las Vegas in 2000.[1] The song "Radon Balloon" would appear as a reworked instrumental version on Anastasio's self-titled album as "Ray Dawn Balloon." The song "Wield the Spade" was based on a speech by Romania's final communist leader, Nicolae Ceauşescu.[2]

Eventually, the release of this album was supported by a brief tour of North America.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
Pitchfork Media (6/10)[4]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[5]

Allmusic gave the album praise, remarking "It would be a difficult task to even find three musicians with voices as uniquely dissimilar as those of Trey Anastasio, Les Claypool, and Stewart Copeland, much less attempt to effectively fuse them together within the same band -- and yet, this is precisely what Oysterhead manages to pull off on their debut album." They clarified that "the characteristic trademarks of each member are still firmly in place -- Anastasio's fluid guitar passages, Claypool's monstrous low-end bass tone, and Copeland's deft hi-hat and cymbal work -- but unlike many albums by previous supergroups[...] the musicians seem to be carefully listening and playing off of one another at all times -- and enjoying themselves doing so."[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs, unless otherwise noted, are music: Trey Anastasio, Les Claypool, and Stewart Copeland; lyrics: Anastasio and Claypool.

No. Title Lyrics Music Lead vocals Length
1. "Little Faces"     Claypool and Anastasio 4:57
2. "Oz is Ever Floating"     Anastasio 2:49
3. "Mr. Oysterhead" Claypool   Claypool 4:51
4. "Shadow of a Man" Claypool Claypool Claypool 3:44
5. "Radon Balloon" Anastasio Anastasio Anastasio 3:21
6. "Army's on Ecstasy" Claypool   Claypool 4:31
7. "Rubberneck Lions"     Claypool and Anastasio 5:17
8. "Polka Dot Rose" Claypool   Claypool 3:10
9. "Birthday Boys"   Anastasio Anastasio 3:06
10. "Wield the Spade" Copeland and MacDonald   Claypool (with spoken word by Copeland) 5:48
11. "Pseudo Suicide"     Claypool and Anastasio 4:54
12. "The Grand Pecking Order" Claypool Anastasio and Claypool Claypool 2:35
13. "Owner of the World"     Anastasio 2:45



  • Mixed by Toby Wright
  • Recorded by Oz Fritz (see also TapeOp #75 Oz Fritz interviewed by Eli Crews)
  • Cover painting and illustrations: Tim Slowinski
  • Photography: Danny Clinch


No. 41 on the Billboard 200 Chart

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Billboard, October 3, 2001.
  2. ^ Doherty, Mike (2009-12-14). "Steward Copeland: All Hail Oyster, er, Foot?". Chart. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  3. ^ a b Allmusic review
  4. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  5. ^ Rolling Stone review