Tortoise (album)

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Tortoise-Tortoise (album cover).jpg
Studio album by Tortoise
Released June 22, 1994
Recorded November 29–December 5, 1993
Genre Post-rock, experimental rock, jazz fusion
Length 50:03
Label Thrill Jockey THRILL013
Tortoise chronology
Rhythms, Resolutions & Clusters
(1995)Rhythms, Resolutions & Clusters1995

Tortoise is the eponymous debut studio album by Chicago-based instrumental rock band Tortoise. It was released in 1994 on the Thrill Jockey record label. By March 1998, Tortoise had sold 35,000 copies (8,000 LPs and 27,000 CDs).[1]

The album is dedicated to the memory Michael F. Cergizan, who was a member of bassist Doug McCombs', and John Herndon's (both current members of Tortoise) band "Simple." in 1988.

The song "Cornpone Brunch" begins with a sample of the "Wonderful Radio Jingle" at the beginning of The Who Sell Out.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]

In his review for Allmusic, Glenn Swan states "Here, multi-instrumentalists John McEntire, Dan Bitney, John Herdon, Douglas McCombs, and Bundy K. Brown share equal responsibility and trust in each other, pouring out a thick stew of meditative grooves, light production experiments, and rusty guitar-string ambience -- the likes of which have rarely sounded so approachable, but this is not to say the album is a sellout leap into commercialism. There are a couple head scratchers and murky moments that fail to make much of an impact, but the quintet have spun such a rich web of mood and personality that any fall from grace barely changes altitude".[2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Magnet Pulls Through" 4:37
2. "Night Air" 3:50
3. "Ry Cooder" 7:04
4. "Onions Wrapped in Rubber" 6:40
5. "Tin Cans & Twine" 4:20
6. "Spiderwebbed" 8:33
7. "His Second Story Island" 2:41
8. "On Noble" 4:05
9. "Flyrod" 3:29
10. "Cornpone Brunch" 4:44


  1. ^ Morris, Chris (7 March 1998). "Thrill Jockey's Tortoise Finds Experimentation Instrumental". Billboard. 110 (10): 14. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Swand, Glenn. Tortoise – Tortoise> Review at AllMusic. Retrieved January 17, 2014.