The Mollusk

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The Mollusk
Ween-TheMollusk.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 24, 1997
Recorded1995–96
Genre
Length44:05
LabelElektra
ProducerAndrew Weiss
Ween chronology
12 Golden Country Greats
(1996)
The Mollusk
(1997)
Paintin' the Town Brown: Ween Live 1990-1998
(1999)
Singles from The Mollusk
  1. "Mutilated Lips"
    Released: June 24, 1997
  2. "Ocean Man"
    Released: 1997
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyC[2]
Pitchfork Media(9.7/10)[4]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[5]

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."[6] Gene Ween has echoed the same sentiment, saying "The Mollusk is probably my favorite, at the end of the day."[7]

Background[edit]

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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11]

Recording[edit]

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.[12] In 1995, the band relocated their recording equipment to a rented beach house on the shore of Holgate, New Jersey.[13] 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.[12]

Track listing[edit]

The Mollusk[edit]

All tracks written by Gene Ween & Dean Ween[14].

No.TitleLength
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)"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 (contains hidden track, I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight reprise)"4:26
Total length:43:54

Notes

  • "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 a small, drowsier instrumental reprise of "I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight" that eventually fades out into the sounds of the wind you'd hear while at sea.

The Mollusk Sessions[edit]

The Mollusk Sessions is a compilation album released digitally for free trading by the band in 2007.[15] It contains a combination of demo tracks from The Mollusk and songs recorded for the album which were cut prior to pressing.

No.TitleLength
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
7."Koko"3:39
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

Personnel[edit]

  • 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

Charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[16] 159
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[17] 5

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (1997-06-24). "The Mollusk – Ween | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  2. ^ Brunner, Rob (1997-06-27). "The Mollusk". EW.com. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  3. ^ "Ween: The Mollusk : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Web.archive.org. 1997-06-23. Archived from the original on July 25, 2009. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  4. ^ "Ween: The Mollusk: Pitchfork Review". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on April 21, 2003. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Dean Ween picks his favourite Ween disc, gives the back story on La Cucaracha". Straight.com. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
  7. ^ "WTF Podcast - Aaron Freeman". Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  8. ^ Shteamer, Hank (31 March 2011). Ween's Chocolate and Cheese (33 1/3). Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 0826431178.
  9. ^ Aaron, Freeman; Melchiondo, Mickey (1996). "Interview with Ween". 101X (Interview). Interviewed by Brad Hastings. Austin, Texas: KROX Radio. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  10. ^ Melchiondo, Mickey. "Ask Deaner". askdeaner.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-07. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Ween's The Mollusk Turns 20: An Oral History By Mickey Melchiondo". 11 July 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Dean Ween Mollusk Interview With Earshot Magazine". Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on 1999-10-06. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
  13. ^ "Shore Chat with Captain Mickey aka Dean Ween". Goingtotheshore.com. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
  14. ^ "Release "The Mollusk" by Ween". MusicBrainz. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  15. ^ "Ween The Mollusk Sessions - Ween Discography - Ween.Net". www.ween.net.
  16. ^ "Ween Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  17. ^ "Ween Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 23, 2017.