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 and production[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 wrote.[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] 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.[9] The tones originate from Brown's acoustic Martin guitar, which is set up through two preamplifiers which are connected to their own power amplifiers.[9] 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".[9] 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.[9] 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]

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.[10] "Wannabe Gangster" was inspired by "white, middle class glorification of inner city problems", according to Brown.[11]

Release[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
ChartAttack favorable[1]
Consequence of Sound favorable[12]
Drowned in Sound 6/10[2]
Entertainment Weekly C[13]
Exclaim! favorable[14]
NME 4/10[15]
PopMatters favorable[16]

Wheatus was named artist of week at billboardtalentnet.com in February 2000.[17] In March, Wheatus signed to Columbia.[18] 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.[19] "Teenage Dirtbag" was released as a single on July 18,[20] and reached number two on the UK Singles Chart[21] and number seven on the U.S. Alternative Songs chart.[22] The music video, directed by Jeff Gordon,[23] was nominated for Best Video at the Kerrang! Awards.[24] The song was given extra promotion due to its inclusion on the soundtrack to the film Loser (2000).[17] According to an issue of Billboard date July 2000 Wheatus was the most-download artist at billboardtalentnet.com.[17] In the same issue, it mentioned that the band's debut album was to be called Teenage Dirtbag and was set for release on August 1.[17]

Wheatus was released through Columbia on August 15.[25][nb 1] The album charted at number 76 in the U.S.[27] and number seven in the UK.[21] In September, the band toured the U.S.[28] In February 2001 the "Teenage Dirtbag" single was certified silver in the UK and in the following month it was certified gold.[29] Wheatus toured the UK in April[30] and during the tour, the album was certified silver in the UK.[29] In May, the album was certified gold in the UK.[29] "A Little Respect" was released as a single on July 2,[31] and peaked at number 3 in the UK.[21] The music video, directed by Brendan Malloy,[32] is about how a boyfriend fails to impress his girlfriend until Wheatus stages a private concert for the pair.[33] It features Shawn Hatosy and Brittany Murphy.[33] By August, the album had sold one million copies worldwide.[34]

Wheatus tour the UK again in November and December 2001.[35] A double A-side single of "Wannabe Gangstar" and "Leroy" was released on January 22, 2002[36] and peaked at number 22 in the UK.[21] The music video for "Wannabe Gangstar" was directed by Gordon,[37] while the video for "Leroy" was directed by Mark Hartley.[38] A remixed version of "Wannabe Ganstar" featuring Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson was released on January 7.[39] In March, Brown asked Shannon Harris to join the band as a keyboardist.[40] Tired of being a session musician, Harris accepted.[40] Harris moved to New York and lived with Brown.[40] The band toured the UK in June.[41] In July 2013 the album was certified platinum in the UK, as was the "Teenage Dirtbag" single.[29] The single is also certified three times platinum in Australia.[42] In July 2014 the "A Little Respect" single was certified silver.[29] The band is set to play the album in full in the UK in September and October 2015.[43]

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]

Charts (2000) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[44] 55
Austrian Ö3 Top 40 Albums Chart[45] 7
Belgium (Flanders) Ultratop Albums Chart[46] 18
Belgium (Wallonia) Ultratop Albums Chart[47] 25
Netherlands MegaCharts Albums Chart[48] 96
New Zealand Recorded Music Albums Chart[49] 48
Swedish Sverigetopplistan[50] 44
Swiss Hitparade Albums Top 100 Chart[51] 22
UK Official Charts Company Album Chart[21] 7
U.S. Billboard 200 Chart[27] 76

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ U.S. Columbia 62146[26]
Citations
  1. ^ a b "Wheatus". Chart Attack. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Album Review: Wheatus - Wheatus". DrownedInSound. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d William Ruhlmann. "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 18 October 2000. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b William Ruhlmann. "Wheatus - Biography - AllMusic". 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. ^ a b c d "Wheatus". wheatus.com. Archived from the original on 18 April 2001. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Wheatus". wheatus.com. Archived from the original on 8 December 2000. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Wheatus's Crazy 48 Hours In Canada Results In Hitchhiking & Gunfight - Chart Attack". Chart Attack. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Dusting ‘Em Off: Wheatus – Wheatus - Consequence of Sound". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Music Review: 'Wheatus' - EW.com". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Wheatus". exclaim.ca. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  15. ^ "NME Reviews - Wheatus : Wheatus - NME.COM". NME.COM. 12 September 2005. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Wheatus". PopMatters. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c d Paoletta, ed. 2000, p. 22
  18. ^ "Billboard Talent Net" 2000, p. 19
  19. ^ "Wheatus". wheatus.com. Archived from the original on 18 April 2001. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c d e "WHEATUS". officialcharts.com. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Wheatus". billboard.com. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag - Music Video - MTV". MTV. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Archive News Aug 23, 2001". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Columbia Records - RELEASE SCHEDULE". columbiarecords.com. Archived from the original on 15 August 2000. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  26. ^ William Ruhlmann. "Wheatus - Wheatus - Release Information, Reviews and Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "Wheatus". billboard.com. 
  28. ^ Hay 2000, p. 22
  29. ^ 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
  30. ^ NME.COM. "NME News TOURING DIRTBAGS - NME.COM". NME.COM. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  31. ^ "A Little Respect - Wheatus - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Wheatus - A Little Respect - Music Video - MTV". MTV. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  33. ^ a b "Break Yo’ TV: Erasure – “A Little Respect” - Consequence of Sound". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  34. ^ Taylor 2001, p. 18
  35. ^ NME.COM. "NME News 'TEENAGE' LICKS! - NME.COM". NME.COM. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  36. ^ "Wannabe Gangstar - Wheatus - User Reviews - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Wheatus - Wannabe Gangstar - Music Video - MTV". MTV. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Wheatus - Leroy - Music Video - MTV". MTV. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Archive News Nov 29, 2001". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  40. ^ a b c Davis; Laing 2006, p. 339
  41. ^ NME.COM. "NME News WHEATUS AND WHEATUS ONLY - NME.COM". NME.COM. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  42. ^ http://www.aria.com.au/pages/aria-charts-accreditations-singles-2001.htm
  43. ^ "Wheatus Are Coming To The UK To Play Their Debut Album In Full". Rock Sound Magazine. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  44. ^ "ARIA Report - Week commencing 1 January 2001 - issue 566" (PDF). pandora.nla.gov.au. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Wheatus - Wheatus - austriancharts.at". austriancharts.at. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  46. ^ "ultratop.be - Wheatus - Wheatus". ultratop.be. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  47. ^ "ultratop.be - Wheatus - Wheatus". ultratop.be. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  48. ^ "Wheatus - Wheatus - dutchcharts.nl". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  49. ^ "charts.org.nz - Wheatus - Wheatus". charts.org.nz. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  50. ^ "swedishcharts.com - Wheatus - Wheatus". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  51. ^ "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). 1 Apr 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 (2 Sep 2000). "Popular Uprisings". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 112 (36). ISSN 0006-2510. 
  • Paoletta, Michael, ed. (8 Jul 2000). "Review & Previews". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 112 (28). ISSN 0006-2510. 
  • Pesselnick, Jill (12 Aug 2000). "The Modern Age". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 112 (33). ISSN 0006-2510. 
  • Taylor, Chuck (25 Aug 2001). Taylor, Chuck, ed. "Singles". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 113 (34). ISSN 0006-2510.