Wheatus (album)

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Wheatus
Wheatus Wheatus.jpg
Studio album by Wheatus
Released August 15, 2000
Recorded Brendan Brown's mother's basement
Genre Pop,[1] pop-punk,[2] pop rock,[3] rock[2]
Length 33:14
Label Columbia
Producer Wheatus, Philip A. Jimenez
Wheatus chronology
Wheatus
(2000)
Hand Over Your Loved Ones
(2003)
Singles from Wheatus
  1. "Teenage Dirtbag"
    Released: July 18, 2000
  2. "A Little Respect"
    Released: July 2, 2001
  3. "Wannabe Gangstar"/"Leroy"
    Released: January 22, 2002

Wheatus is the self-titled debut album by American rock band Wheatus. The majority of the songs were written by vocalist/guitarist Brendan Brown. It was recorded in the basement of Brown's mother's house and was produced by Wheatus and Philip A. Jimenez. Bassist Rich Liegey left the band and was replaced by Mike McCabe in July 2000. In the same month, "Teenage Dirtbag" was released as a single and peaked at number two in the UK and number seven in the U.S. The single was later certified platinum in the UK. Wheatus was released through Columbia on August 15, 2000 and charted at number 76 in the U.S. and number seven in the UK, later reaching platinum status in the latter. "A Little Respect", an Erasure cover, was released as a single in July 2001 and charted at number three in the UK. "Wannabe Gangstar"/"Leroy", a double-A sided single, was released in January 2002 and peaked at number 22 in the UK. The band plan to perform the album front-to-back in the UK in September and October 2015.

Background[edit]

Wheatus formed in late 1998 after vocalist/guitarist Brendan Brown left the skate-pop band Mr. Jones to write his own material.[4] Brown brought in his younger brother, Peter, to play drums[5] and Rich Leigey to play bass.[6] Peter enjoyed the songs Brendan had written.[5] Multi-instrumentalist and engineer Phil A. Jimenez wanted to work with Brown after hearing "Teenage Dirtbag".[5] The following week, Jimenez was at band rehearsal, appreciating every song.[5] The energy "of the pop elements" in addition to "the story-telling and the social commentary" made Jimenez feel like he "really wanted to be a part of [the band]."[5]

Composition[edit]

All of the material on Wheatus was written by Brendan Brown, except for "Punk Ass Bitch", which was written by bassist Rich Liegey,[7] and their cover of Erasure's "A Little Respect",[3] which was written by Vince Clarke and Andy Bell.[7] The song titles came to Brown first with the subject matter following as he considered the name "an emotional blueprint".[5] Brown mentioned that the beat in "Teenage Dirtbag" was "sort of a hip-hop thing" and that the guitars "are definitely heavy metal".[8] Brown had the chorus melody and the "oh yeah" section before finishing the song's lyrics, it was "one of those once-in-a-lifetime melodies that works for every reason."[8] Brown claimed the song was autobiographical, however, none of the band members "wound up getting the girl in the end. So I guess that's the inspiration—the hope that that happens to someone someday."[8]

Talking about "Truffles" and "Wannabe Gangstar", Brown explained that when you're younger "You can't do anything [...]. You have no power; you have no resources. You're subject to everyone else's crap".[5] "Sunshine", the first song written for the album, was Brown realizing he was working for the wrong kind of people.[5] "Hump'Em N' Dump'Em" was written when the Senate was thinking of impeaching the president.[5] "Hey, Mr. Brown" was written after Brown was not being paid for something he had done.[5] "Love Is a Mutt from Hell" was about a dysfunctional romance.[9] "Wannabe Gangster" was inspired by "white, middle class glorification of inner city problems", according to Brown.[10]

Recording[edit]

Using the knowledge he gained from being in his former band,[5] Wheatus was recorded in the basement of Brown's mother's house.[5] A control room was set up in the dining room, with a one hundred-foot cable leading down to the basement.[5] Wheatus was produced and engineered by Wheatus and Philip A. Jimenez.[7] One of the reasons the band self-produced the album was their idea to take specific sounds from different genres and include them into songs.[8] Brown explained that "When you're a small band and nothing's going on for you, you can't explain to somebody bigger than you [...] what you want to do. They just won't care."[8]

Despite the multitude of electric guitar tones, no electric guitars were used in the recording process.[11] The tones originate from Brown's acoustic Martin guitar, which is set up through two preamplifiers which are connected to their own power amplifiers.[11] Brown can swap between the preamplifiers with the aid of an expression pedal so that he is able to "swell into a distortion sound while fading out the clean tone".[11] Brown claimed he does not know "[that] many guitar players", thus he took three different guitar sounds that he enjoyed and merged them into his sound.[11] Jimenez provided percussion, harmonica and banjo.[5] David Thoener mixed almost all of the tracks apart from "Wannabe Gangstar", which was mixed by Brown, and "A Little Respect", which was mixed by Richard A. LaSalvia.[7] The album was mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound in New York.[7]

Release[edit]

Wheatus was named artist of week at billboardtalentnet.com in February 2000.[12] In March, Wheatus signed to Columbia.[13] Liegey left the band prior to the release of Wheatus[3] and was replaced by Mike McCabe in July,[6] who left his job as a flight attendant to join the band.[14] "Teenage Dirtbag" was released as a single on July 18.[15] The music video, directed by Jeff Gordon,[16] was nominated for Best Video at the Kerrang! Awards.[17] The song was given extra promotion due to its inclusion on the soundtrack to the film Loser (2000).[12] According to an issue of Billboard dated July 2000 Wheatus was the most-download artist at billboardtalentnet.com.[12] In the same issue, it mentioned that the band's debut album was planned to be called Teenage Dirtbag and was set for release on August 1.[12] Instead, Wheatus was released through Columbia on August 15.[18][nb 1] In September, the band toured the U.S.[20]

Wheatus toured the UK in April 2001.[21] "A Little Respect" was released as a single on July 2.[22] The music video, directed by Brendan Malloy,[23] is about how a boyfriend fails to impress his girlfriend until Wheatus stages a private concert for the pair.[24] It features Shawn Hatosy and Brittany Murphy.[24] Wheatus tour the UK again in November and December 2001.[25] A double A-side single of "Wannabe Gangstar" and "Leroy" was released on January 22, 2002.[26] The music video for "Wannabe Gangstar" was directed by Gordon,[27] while the video for "Leroy" was directed by Mark Hartley.[28] A remixed version of "Wannabe Ganstar" featuring Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson was released earlier on January 7.[29] In March, Brown asked Shannon Harris to join the band as a keyboardist.[30] Tired of being a session musician, Harris accepted.[30] Harris moved to New York and lived with Brown.[30] The band toured the UK in June.[31]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
ChartAttack favorable[1]
Consequence of Sound favorable[32]
Drowned in Sound 6/10[2]
Entertainment Weekly C[33]
Exclaim! favorable[34]
NME 4/10[35]
PopMatters favorable[36]

"Teenage Dirtbag" reached number two on the UK Singles Chart[37] and number seven on the U.S. Alternative Songs chart.[38] Wheatus charted at number 76 in the U.S.[39] and number seven in the UK.[37] In February 2001 the "Teenage Dirtbag" single was certified silver in the UK and in the following month it was certified gold.[40] The album was certified silver in the UK in April 2001.[40] The following month, it was certified gold in the UK.[40] "A Little Respect" peaked at number 3 in the UK.[37] By August, the album had sold one million copies worldwide.[41] "Wannabe Gangstar"/"Leroy" peaked at number 22 in the UK.[37] In July 2013 the album was certified platinum in the UK, as was the "Teenage Dirtbag" single.[40] The single is also certified three times platinum in Australia.[42] In July 2014 the "A Little Respect" single was certified silver.[40] By August 2015 the album had sold over five million copies worldwide.[43] The band is set to play the album in full in the UK in September and October.[44]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Brendan Brown, except where noted.[7]

  1. "Truffles" – 2:10
  2. "Sunshine" – 3:16
  3. "Teenage Dirtbag" – 4:07
  4. "A Little Respect" (Vince Clarke, Andy Bell) – 3:19
  5. "Hump'Em N' Dump'Em" – 3:38
  6. "Leroy" – 3:19
  7. "Hey, Mr. Brown" – 2:10
  8. "Love Is a Mutt from Hell" – 4:23
  9. "Punk Ass Bitch" (Rich Liegey) – 3:09
  10. "Wannabe Gangstar" – 3:45

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per booklet.[7]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2000) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[45] 55
Austrian Ö3 Top 40 Albums Chart[46] 7
Belgium (Flanders) Ultratop Albums Chart[47] 18
Belgium (Wallonia) Ultratop Albums Chart[48] 25
Netherlands MegaCharts Albums Chart[49] 96
New Zealand Recorded Music Albums Chart[50] 48
Swedish Sverigetopplistan[51] 44
Swiss Hitparade Albums Top 100 Chart[52] 22
UK Official Charts Company Album Chart[37] 7
U.S. Billboard 200 Chart[39] 76

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ U.S. Columbia 62146[19]
Citations
  1. ^ a b "Wheatus". Chart Attack. August 1, 2000. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Bezer, Terry (March 27, 2001). "Album Review: Wheatus - Wheatus". DrownedInSound. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Ruhlmann, William. "Wheatus - Wheatus - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  4. ^ Behrman 2000, p. 26
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Wheatus". wheatus.com. Archived from the original on October 18, 2000. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Wheatus - Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Wheatus (Booklet). Wheatus. Columbia. 2000. 499605 2/COL 499605 2. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Pesselnick 2000, p. 73
  9. ^ "Wheatus". wheatus.com. Archived from the original on December 8, 2000. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  10. ^ Melton, Tim (September 19, 2000). "Wheatus's Crazy 48 Hours In Canada Results In Hitchhiking & Gunfight - Chart Attack". Chart Attack. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d Shea, Eric. "Wheatus". wheatus.com. Archived from the original on April 18, 2001. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c d Paoletta, ed. 2000, p. 22
  13. ^ "Billboard Talent Net" 2000, p. 19
  14. ^ "Wheatus". wheatus.com. Archived from the original on April 18, 2001. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag - Music Video". MTV. June 26, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Archive News Aug 23, 2001". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. August 23, 2001. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Columbia Records - RELEASE SCHEDULE". columbiarecords.com. Archived from the original on August 15, 2000. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  19. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Wheatus - Wheatus - Release Information, Reviews and Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  20. ^ Hay 2000, p. 22
  21. ^ Bychawski, Adam (March 9, 2001). "NME News TOURING DIRTBAGS". NME. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  22. ^ "A Little Respect - Wheatus - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Wheatus - A Little Respect - Music Video". MTV. June 26, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  24. ^ a b Young, Alex (August 19, 2010). "Break Yo’ TV: Erasure – "A Little Respect" - Consequence of Sound". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  25. ^ Bychawski, Adam (August 21, 2001). "NME News 'TEENAGE' LICKS!". NME. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Wannabe Gangstar - Wheatus". AllMusic. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Wheatus - Wannabe Gangstar - Music Video". MTV. June 26, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Wheatus - Leroy - Music Video". MTV. June 26, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Archive News Nov 29, 2001". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. November 29, 2001. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  30. ^ a b c Davis; Laing 2006, p. 339
  31. ^ Bychawski, Adam (April 30, 2002). "NME News WHEATUS AND WHEATUS ONLY". NME. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  32. ^ James, Becca (September 18, 2010). "Dusting ‘Em Off: Wheatus – Wheatus - Consequence of Sound". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  33. ^ Morgan, Laura (September 29, 2000). "Music Review: 'Wheatus' - EW.com". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  34. ^ Edwards, Michael (September 1, 2000). "Wheatus". exclaim.ca. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  35. ^ Long, April (September 12, 2005). "NME Reviews - Wheatus : Wheatus". NME. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  36. ^ Argyrakis, Andy (August 14, 2000). "Wheatus". PopMatters. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  37. ^ a b c d e "WHEATUS". officialcharts.com. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Wheatus". billboard.com. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  39. ^ a b "Wheatus - Chart history (Billboard 200)". billboard.com. Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  40. ^ a b c d e "Certified Awards". bpi.co.uk. Retrieved June 29, 2015.  Enter Wheatus in the field Search. Select Artist in the field Search by. Click Search
  41. ^ Taylor 2001, p. 18
  42. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2001 Singles". ARIA. Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  43. ^ Dalling, Robert (August 26, 2015). "Wheatus singer Brendan B.Brown talks to Llanelli Star ahead of 15th anniversary album tour". Llanelli Star. Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  44. ^ Biddulph, Andy (April 17, 2015). "Wheatus Are Coming To The UK To Play Their Debut Album In Full". Rock Sound Magazine. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  45. ^ "ARIA Report - Week commencing 1 January 2001 - issue 566" (PDF). pandora.nla.gov.au. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  46. ^ "Wheatus - Wheatus - austriancharts.at". austriancharts.at. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  47. ^ "ultratop.be - Wheatus - Wheatus". ultratop.be. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  48. ^ "ultratop.be - Wheatus - Wheatus". ultratop.be. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  49. ^ "Wheatus - Wheatus - dutchcharts.nl". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  50. ^ "charts.org.nz - Wheatus - Wheatus". charts.org.nz. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  51. ^ "swedishcharts.com - Wheatus - Wheatus". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  52. ^ "Wheatus - Wheatus - hitparade.ch". hitparade.ch. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
Sources
  • Behrman, Lorne (Nov 2001). "On the Verge". CMJ New Music Monthly (CMJ Network, Inc.) (87). ISSN 1074-6978. 
  • "Billboard Talent Net". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 112 (14). Apr 1, 2000. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  • Davis, Sarah; Laing, Dave (2006). The Guerilla Guide to the Music Business (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Continuum international. ISBN 9780826417916. 
  • Hay, Carla (Sep 2, 2000). "Popular Uprisings". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 112 (36). ISSN 0006-2510. 
  • Paoletta, Michael, ed. (Jul 8, 2000). "Review & Previews". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 112 (28). ISSN 0006-2510. 
  • Pesselnick, Jill (Aug 12, 2000). "The Modern Age". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 112 (33). ISSN 0006-2510. 
  • Taylor, Chuck (Aug 25, 2001). Taylor, Chuck, ed. "Singles". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 113 (34). ISSN 0006-2510.