The Mollusk

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The Mollusk
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 24, 1997
ProducerAndrew Weiss
Ween chronology
12 Golden Country Greats
The Mollusk
Paintin' the Town Brown: Ween Live 1990–1998
Singles from The Mollusk
  1. "Mutilated Lips"
    Released: June 24, 1997
  2. "Ocean Man"
    Released: 1997

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."[1] Gene Ween has echoed this sentiment, saying: "The Mollusk is probably my favorite, at the end of the day."[2]


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 they had used on previous releases.[3]

Though Ween's 1996 album 12 Golden Country Greats was their first record to feature a full-fledged band on each track, the songs were recorded with various Nashville session musicians, so it 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.[4] 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.[5]

The cover art for The Mollusk was created by Storm Thorgerson, the graphic designer who designed many of Pink Floyd's album covers, including The Dark Side of the Moon. Thorgerson liked the album so much that, although he was only hired to do the cover art, he decided to do the related promo and poster art, including all of the initial print ads associated with The Mollusk, for no extra charge.[6]


After recording 1994's Chocolate and Cheese in a professional studio, Gene and Dean Ween decided they wanted to return to their early method of recording albums at home.[7] In 1995, they relocated their recording equipment to a rented beach house on the shore of Holgate, New Jersey,[8] and the equipment and some of the early materials for the album were nearly lost when a water pipe burst in the house while it was unoccupied. At this point, the band put this 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 it, Ween completed the remaining tracking of The Mollusk at various inland locations. The album was finished in 1996 and released on June 24, 1997.[7]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Entertainment WeeklyC[10]
Pitchfork Media9.7/10[13]
Rolling Stone[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[14]

Consequence of Sound included the album on their list of the 50 best albums from 1997.[15]


The Mollusk was a direct influence on the animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. Stephen Hillenburg, the show's creator, contacted the band shortly after the album's release, and he requested a song from them which later became "Loop de Loop". The track "Ocean Man" is played during the end credits of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.[16]

Kurt Vile named "Mutilated Lips" his favorite song of all time, and recalled that the album "blew [his] mind" when he listened to it as a teenager.[17]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Gene Ween and Dean Ween[18].

The Mollusk
1."I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight"1:56
2."The Mollusk"2:37
3."Polka Dot Tail"3:20
4."I'll Be Your Jonny on the Spot"2:01
5."Mutilated Lips"3:49
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)" (instrumental)3:13
11."Waving My Dick in the Wind"2:12
12."Buckingham Green"3:19
13."Ocean Man"2:07
14."She Wanted to Leave"
Total length:43:54


The Mollusk Sessions[edit]

The Mollusk Sessions is a compilation album released digitally for free trading by the band in 2007.[19] It contains a combination of demo tracks from The Mollusk and songs recorded for the album which were cut prior to pressing.

Track listing[edit]

The Mollusk Sessions
1."Mutilated Lips"4:03
2."Cold Blows the Wind"4:21
3."The Mollusk"2:50
4."Waving My Dick in the Wind"2:22
5."Kim Smoltz"4:45
6."Ocean Man"2:21
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
Total length:40:37


Additional musicians
  • Mean Ween – bass
  • Kirk Miller – sound effects
  • Bill Fowler – guitar, bass
  • 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


Chart performance for The Mollusk
Chart (1997) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[20] 69
US Billboard 200[21] 159
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[22] 5


  1. ^ "Dean Ween picks his favourite Ween disc, gives the back story on La Cucaracha". Retrieved 2008-03-27.
  2. ^ "WTF Podcast - Aaron Freeman". YouTube. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  3. ^ Shteamer, Hank (31 March 2011). Ween's Chocolate and Cheese (33 1/3). Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-0826431172.
  4. ^ Aaron, Freeman; Melchiondo, Mickey (1996). "Interview with Ween". 101X (Interview). Interviewed by Brad Hastings. Austin, Texas: KROX Radio. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  5. ^ Melchiondo, Mickey. "Ask Deaner". Archived from the original on 2012-11-07. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Ween's The Mollusk Turns 20: An Oral History By Mickey Melchiondo". 11 July 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Dean Ween Mollusk Interview With Earshot Magazine". Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on 1999-10-06. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
  8. ^ "Shore Chat with Captain Mickey aka Dean Ween". Retrieved 2012-03-02.
  9. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (1997-06-24). "The Mollusk – Ween | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  10. ^ Rob Brunner (1997-06-27). "The Mollusk". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  11. ^ Stefano Ferreri. "Ween". OndaRock (in Italian).
  12. ^ "Ween: The Mollusk : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. 1997-06-23. Archived from the original on July 25, 2009. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  13. ^ "Ween: The Mollusk: Pitchfork Review". Archived from the original on April 21, 2003. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  14. ^ Sarig, Roni (2004). "Ween". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 864–65. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  15. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 1997 - Consequence".
  16. ^ "Ween farewell to Stephen Hillenburg". Facebook. 2 December 2018. Archived from the original on 2022-02-26. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  17. ^ "Kurt Vile : The Aquarium Drunkard Interview". Aquarium Drunkard. 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  18. ^ "Release "The Mollusk" by Ween". MusicBrainz. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  19. ^ "Ween The Mollusk Sessions - Ween Discography - Ween.Net".
  20. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 298.
  21. ^ "Ween Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  22. ^ "Ween Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 23, 2017.