|Studio album by|
|Released||June 24, 1997|
|Singles from The Mollusk|
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 in a professional studio, 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. Ween'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, Ween completed the remaining tracking of The Mollusk at various inland locations. The album was finished in 1996 and released on June 24, 1997.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
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, also requesting a song from them which later became "Loop de Loop", and the track "Ocean Man" is played during the end credits of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Kurt Vile named "Mutilated Lips" his favorite song of all time, and recalled that the album "blew [his] mind" when he'd listened to it as a teenager.
|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)" (instrumental)||3:13|
|11.||"Waving My Dick in the Wind"||2:12|
|14.||"She Wanted to Leave" (contains a reprise of "I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight")||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.
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
- Claude Coleman Jr. – drums, percussion, engineering
- 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
|US Billboard 200||159|
|US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)||5|
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