|Studio album by|
|Released||June 24, 1997|
|Singles from The Mollusk|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
The Mollusk is the sixth studio album by American rock band Ween, released by Elektra Records on June 24, 1997. It is a multi-genre concept album with a dark nautical theme, with most songs incorporating elements from psychedelia and/or sea shanties while also featuring a heavy progressive rock influence. Dean Ween described the album as "the only record that I ever felt really confident about" and "my favorite record we've ever done." Gene Ween has echoed the same sentiment, saying "The Mollusk is probably my favorite, at the end of the day."
Starting with the release of their 1994 album Chocolate and Cheese, Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo—known by their stage names Gene and Dean Ween, respectively—began to significantly enhance their approach to studio recording. While their earlier albums were almost entirely recorded by Freeman and Melchiondo themselves at their home using a 4-track recorder, Chocolate and Cheese marked the first time the band produced an album in a professional recording studio. It also notably began their transition from a duo to a more traditional band with the addition of drummer Claude Coleman, allowing Freeman and Melchiondo to experiment with a wider range of musical styles than they could with the drum machine used on previous releases.
Though Ween's 1996 album 12 Golden Country Greats was their first record to feature a full-fledged band on each track, these songs were recorded with various Nashville session musicians and was viewed by the band as more of a spin-off album in the vein of The Beach Boys' Christmas Album than a true follow-up to Chocolate and Cheese. The Mollusk was the debut album for keyboardist Glenn McClelland, and with bassist Dave Dreiwitz joining shortly before the album’s release, the band finally evolved into the final five-man incarnation that continues to this day.
The cover art, and all related artwork for The Mollusk, was done by Storm Thorgerson, the graphic designer who designed many of Pink Floyd's album covers, including The Dark Side of the Moon. After Thorgerson heard the album, he liked the band so much that he decided to do all the related promo and poster art in addition to the cover art for which he was hired, for no extra charge. As a result, all artwork, including all print ads associated with The Mollusk at the time, were done by Thorgerson.
After recording 1994's Chocolate and Cheese, Gene and Dean Ween decided they wanted to return to their early method of recording albums at home. In 1995, the band relocated their recording equipment to a rented beach house on the shore of Holgate, New Jersey. The band's recording equipment and some of the material were nearly lost when a water pipe burst in the house while it was unoccupied. At this point, the band put the album on hold and made plans to record 1996's 12 Golden Country Greats in Nashville. After recording 12 Golden Country Greats in 1995 and releasing and touring behind the album, the band completed the remaining tracking of The Mollusk at various inland locations. The album was finished in 1996 and released on June 24, 1997.
|1.||"I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight"||1:56|
|3.||"Polka Dot Tail"||3:20|
|4.||"I'll Be Your Jonny on the Spot"||2:01|
|6.||"The Blarney Stone"||3:14|
|7.||"It's Gonna Be (Alright)"||3:19|
|8.||"The Golden Eel"||4:04|
|9.||"Cold Blows the Wind"||4:28|
|10.||"Pink Eye (On My Leg)"||3:13|
|11.||"Waving My Dick in the Wind"||2:12|
|14.||"She Wanted to Leave (contains hidden track, I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight reprise)"||4:26|
- "I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight" is a re-working of a 1953 Christmas song, "Are My Ears on Straight?" recorded by then 10-year-old Gayla Peevey.
- "She Wanted to Leave / (Reprise)" contains the main song, "She Wanted to Leave", as well as an instrumental reprise of "I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight".
The Mollusk Sessions
The Mollusk Sessions is a compilation album released digitally for free trading by the band in 2007. It contains a combination of demo tracks from The Mollusk and songs recorded for the album which were cut prior to pressing.
|2.||"Cold Blows the Wind"||4:21|
|4.||"Waving My Dick in the Wind"||2:22|
|8.||"Did You See Me"||5:29|
|9.||"Flutes of the Chi"||3:13|
|10.||"She Wanted to Leave"||2:28|
|11.||"Vinnie the Eel"||5:06|
- Dean Ween – guitar, vocals, engineering
- Gene Ween – guitar, vocals, engineering
- Dave Dreiwitz – bass
- Glenn McClelland – keyboards
- Mean Ween – bass
- Kirk Miller – sound effects
- Claude Coleman, Jr. – drums, percussion, engineering
- Juan Garcia – assistant engineering
- Bill McNamera – assistant engineering
- Steve Nebesney – assistant engineering
- Mick Preston – assistant engineering
- Ralph Smith – assistant engineering
- Jim Woolsey – assistant engineering
- Andrew Weiss – production, engineering, mixing
- Peter Curzon – artwork
- Tom Nichols – photography
- Rupert Truman – photography
- Sam Brooks – cover design
- Finlay Cowan – cover design
- Storm Thorgerson – cover design
- Matt Kohut
- Jason Reddy
- Bill Fowler – guitar, bass
In popular culture
"Ocean Man" appears during the end credits of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Melchiondo recalled that the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, Stephen Hillenburg, had contacted Ween, and told them that The Mollusk was a huge inspiration creatively. This would be Ween's second time working with SpongeBob, after writing the "Loop De Loop" song featured in an early episode.
|US Billboard 200||159|
|US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)||5|
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- "Release "The Mollusk" by Ween". MusicBrainz. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
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- "The Spongebob Squarepants Movie OST: Ween – Ocean Man". YouTube. 2012-12-15. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- "One of our proudest achievements | ASK DEANER.COM". Web.archive.org. 2012-10-18. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- "The Billboard Albums: Includes Every Album That Made the Billboard 200 Chart – Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- O'Brien, Andrew (December 15, 2018). "Ween Pays Tribute To Their 'SpongeBob Squarepants' Connection At The New Met Philly". liveforlivemusic.com. Live for Live Music. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- "Final track listing for Mimicry and Memories". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- "Ween Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
- "Ween Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 23, 2017.