Melvinmania: The Best Of The Atlantic Years 1993-1996 was released in 2003 through Atlantic Records.
- (2003) ATLANTIC RECORDS
- 5050466574428 - CD
- Tracks: 15 Total Time: 45:23
- (June 2, 2010) WEA INTERNATIONAL/GRINDHOUSE RECORDINGS (Japanese Release)
- GHRCD-1009 (WQCP-857) - CD
- Tracks: 17 Total Time: 52:55
Tracks 1-5 are taken from the 1993 Houdini album.
Tracks 6-10 are taken from the 1994 Stoner Witch album.
Tracks 11-15 are taken from the 1996 Stag album.
Tracks 16 and 17 (Japanese Release only) are Rocket Reducer #62 (Rama Lama Fafafa) and Tipping The Lion B (a different version of Tipping The Lion to Track #13).
Lorax does not appear on any of the bands music video clips.
This album was not sanctioned by the band.
- "Hooch" (Melvins) – 2:53
- "Lizzy" (Melvins) – 4:47
- "Honey Bucket" (Melvins) – 2:44
- "Set Me Straight" (Melvins) – 2:27
- "Pearl Bomb" (Melvins) – 2:49
- "Queen" (Crover/Osborne) – 3:09
- "Sweet Willy Rollbar" (Osborne) – 1:30
- "Revolve" (Deutrom/Osborne) – 4:45
- "Roadbull" (Crover/Deutrom/Osborne) – 3:27
- "June Bug" (Deutrom/Osborne) – 2:02
- "The Bit" (Crover/Osborne) – 4:45
- "Bar-X-The Rocking M" (Crover/Deutrom/Osborne) – 2:25
- "Tipping The Lion" (Osborne) – 3:30
- "Black Bock" (Osborne) – 2:44
- "Berthas" (Osborne) – 1:24
Enhanced music videos
Melvinmania The Best Of The Atlantic Years 1993-1996
A brief history of heavyness (sic)
IT'S a clammy Sunday in August '92. As the midday sun starts to bear down on the Reading festival crowd you find yourself wondering whether the heat's causing you to sweat or whether it's the beer form the night before. Tabitha Zu, the first band of the day, are polite enough. Then a trio of miscreants step on the main stage and, in the words of the gladitorial Russell Crowe, unleash hell...
In the space of half an hour the Melvins manage to bewilder, shock and delight the audience to varying degrees. This is an audience familiar with every chord/howl on 'Nevermind'. Some are even aware of the common ties that bind tonight's headliners Nirvana to the Melvins (wait up! If you don't know we'll tell you in a while!). But no one is quite ready for the elephantine outpouring of heaviness, sheer force and hirsute heroics delivered by afro-delic frontman Buzz Osborne and his crew.
The stunned reaction is proof that even among an audiance that's embraced the likes of Mudhoney, Soundgarden and heavyweights Tad, the Melvins are still rank outsiders. In many ways it's the story of their entire career...
IN ALL honesty the Melvins have never fitted in. Thier overt love of metal has always scared away shoegazing alt.rock chumps. Conversely their slo-mo approach to heaviness has also led to scathing criticism form certain quarters of the metal press in capable of understanding their slothful power. The bands ability to polarise opinion is in itself a pretty good indication of thier unique position in rock firmament. It's a position they've held since the early '80s when they formed back in Aberdeen, Washington, and where, in the fine tradition of southern boogie lords Lynyrd Skynyrd, they named themselves after someone they didn't like (in this case a much-loathed grocery clerk form a store that Osborne worked at).
The musical equivalent of the keg-party face-off between Black Sabbath and Black Flag, back in '84 the Melvins established themselves as notorious anti-heros, drawing small crowds of like-minded deviants to thier infrequent shows in the logging town. Among them was a teenage Kurt Cobain who, in the Melvins, found a band who mirrored his nascent love of punk and proto-metal. For a while Buzz Osborne (also known by his more regal nomenclature of King Buzzo) became Cobain's mentor and Kurt the bands roadie.
Early slabs o' wax like 'Melvins', 'Ozma', 'Bullhead', 'Lysol' and thier debut '8 Songs' - recently reissued in expanded form as '26 Songs' on Mike Patton's Ipecac label and included garage demos - are audible evidence of the fact that the Melvins have never tried to please anyone but themselves. Part doom, part punk, part noise, all rocking - all these sets are requisite listening that mark the end of the first chapter of the band's history. The beautifully packaged collection assembled here, however, is a step further down the line than these aforementioned releases. In many ways, this selection captures the Melvins at their most direct and focussed. This is Chapter Two...
AS THE title suggests, this compilation (or complication for the uninitiated) is culled from the three albums recorded for Atlantic Records between 1993-1996. 'Houdini', 'Stoner Witch' and 'Stag' are actually something of a trilogy. While each album manages to spiral off into new directions at different times, if you play all three back-to-back you'll notice that there's a common vibe and a sense of continuity.
1993's 'Houdini' is a hulking efford resplendent with its sleeve by legendary punk art guru Frank Kozik. Listening to the uncompromising bombast of 'Houdini' a decade on it's still hard to comprehend how exactly a band as angular as the Melvins ended up on a major label. Then again, when you reflect on the fact that thier old pal Cobain co- produced six of the 13 tracks on the record and played drums on a number of the tracks maybe there's some sly logic to the same said deal.
Opener 'Hooch' starts with drummer Dale Crover's pernicious pounding. A few seconds later Osborne serves up a charred, chugging riff before resorting to a menacing growl. 'Lizzy' allows Osborne to indulge in his much-publicised Gene Simmons vocal fantasy with the man reliving his misspent youth and bellowing like the God Of Thunder himself. Meanwhile, 'Honey Bucket' boasts the kind of riff that Metallica would be proud to claim to, 'Set Me Straight' plunders Ace Frehley's book of hooks and, in retrospect, 'Pearl Bomb' boasts the kind of motorik drive that makes it hard to avoid thinking about Queens Of The Stone Age.
ARRIVING AT 1994, the Melvins seemed to suffer a punk rock guilt trip. Releasing an album titled 'Prick' under the pseudonym of Snivlem (read it backwards) on the Amphetamine Reptile label, the threesome - now including long-time associate/producer Mark Deutrom on Bass - served up a collection of unlistenable noise and pointless arsing around. Whether 'Prick' was an attempt to throw those off the scent who'd gotten into the Melvins via Cobain's patronage or their increased profile, is unclear. Whatever is the point, it remains a fine example of the band's contrary nature.
In the contrast their Atlantic album of the same year, the fantastically named 'Stoner Witch', catches the band in forward- looking form, packing anthemic qualities, sparkling production courtesy of GGGarth Richardson. Providing proof here are another five tracks. 'Queen' is another menacing, riff-heavy cruncher. The post-thrash pig-noised power of 'Sweet Willy Rollbar' sees the three-some with their foot to the floor. 'Revolve' is a rollicking pseudo-southern romp (like Metallica-meets-Skynyrd in a garage). Elsewhere 'June Bug' is a piledriving instrumental detour.
If their 'Prick' trip of 1994 suggested that the Melvins were itching to explore further routes of noise and lunacy, then 'Stag' emerged in '96 and illustrated the band's broad musical palette. The sitar intro on 'The Bit' should provide you with evidence of the fact. Then there's the horn-heavy skronk of 'Bar-X-The- Rocking-M'. The Zappa-meets-Minutemen mersh of 'Tipping The Lion' follows in equally inspired form. Just when you're getting confused, the Melvins turn the tables and serve up a bona fide pop tune in 'Black Block' ... with added psychedelics, naturally! Album closer 'Berthas' brings this whole set to a close in fine rollicking style.
As if to underline their musical schizophrenia, the band followed 'Stoner Witch' with a series of live shows under the banner of 'An Evening With The Melvins'. Consisting of three sets a night, it allowed the band to stretch out and highlight the multiple aspects of their music. From straight-ahead rock through to dive-bombing noise attacks and on to the downright weird, the shows were yet another fine example of the band's diversity/perversity. Since then, of course, the band have continued to serve up albums which have continued to astound fans, confuse critics and throw up new shapes. As this point in the sleevenote process it is customary to sign off with a final flurry. We need to mention the band's uncompromising approach again. We need to blather on about their significance. We need to underline their unique qualities in a manner that far outweights the reality of their accomplishments. To do so in this case would be to do the Melvins a grave disservice.
Uncompromising, significant, unique - the Melvins are all this and more...
Phil Alexander, London, England, June 2003
Phil Alexander is the Editor-In-Chief of MOJO, Kerrang! & Q. He has interviewed everyone from AC/DC to ZZ Top but he's never interviewed the Melvins because he's too scared...
Tracks 1-5 are taken form the 1993 Atlantic album "Houdini" All songs written by Melvins. (C) 1993 WB Music Corp. / Green Lantern Music / Prision Bride Music, ASCAP (C) & (P) 1993 Atlantic Recording Corp. for the US and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the US.
Tracks 6-10 are taken form the 1994 Atlantic album "Stoner Witch" All songs written by Melvins. All songs published by WB Music Corp. / Green Lantern Music / Prision Bride Music, ASCAP (C) & (P) 1994 Atlantic Recording Corp. for the US and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the US.
Tracks 11-15 are taken form the 1996 Atlantic/Mammoth II, Inc. album "Stag" Lyrics by King Buzzo & Music by Melvins. All songs published by WB Music Corp. / Green Lantern Music ASCAP (C) & (P) 1996 Atlantic/Mammoth II, Inc. for the US and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the US.
Dale C-Drums King B-Vocals & Guitars Mark D-Bass
Tracks 1-5 Produced by Kurt Cobain & Melvins. Recorded at Brilliant Studios, San Francisco, CA & Razor's Edge, San Francisco, CA Engineers: Jonathan Burnside, Billy Anderson & Lou Oribin. Second Engineer: Wolf Kesseler. Mixed at Hyde Street Studios, San Francisco, CA & Prairie Sun, Cotati, CA by Kurt Cobain, Melvins, GGGarth Richardson & Billy Anderson. Second Engineer Joe Marquez & Tom Doty. A&R: Al Smith. Booking: Peter Davis, Creature Booking. Band Photo: Don Lewis. Art Direction/Illustration: Frank Kozik. Art Direction/Design: Valerie Wagner. Mastered by Stephen Marcussen at Precision Mastering. Special thanks to Danny Goldberg. Thanks to Joe Hibbs (Tama), Pam Gore (Rhythem Tech), Ann Marie (Zildjian), Mike Feldman, The Briliant Crew (Alex Scull, Mike Supple & the rest) Debbi Shane, Jeff Thomas, Smelly, Tom Hazelmeyer, Dan Raymond, Bobbie Gayle, Laura Gold, Michael Krumper, Tricia Kovic, Joe Grillo, Amiira Ruotola-Largent, Melanie Nissen, Elizabeth Barett, Kathy Cantwell, Martha Schultz, Jason Lamb (DOD), Black Master Music. Billy Anderson appears courtesy of Spilth. Bill Bartell appears courtesy of The Gasatanka Empire. Kurt Cobain appears courtesy DGC Records.
Tracks 6-10 Produced by the Melvins & GGGarth. Recorded & Mixed by Joe Barrisi. Assisted by Geetus Guido South Aguto & Mike Elvis Smith. Recorded & Mixed at A&M Studios, Hollywood, USA. Spiritual guidance by the Magic Eight Ball. Door Squeaking & Pencil Sharpening by Scott Humphrey. Digital Editing, Back Cracking & Moog by Paul Dicarli. Management: David Lefkowitz. Art Direction: Mackie Osborne. Photography: Annalisa & Chris Cuffaro. Special thanks to Mark Harvey & the staff at A&M, Scott Caudill the Hiwatt Guy, Rich Friedrich at Dean Markley, Mark Wittenberg Fender Custom Shop, Ampeg, Gibson, Pam Gore/Rhythm Tech, Brent Anderson/Zildjian, Aquarian Heads, Joe Hibbs form Tama & Ashli Lewis.
Tracks 11-15 Produced, Engineered & Mixed by Melvins, GGGarth & Joe Baressi. "Stag" was recorded and mixed at these locations: Sound City, A&M Studios, Entourage, Falconer (London), Paramount, Kozlowski sound productions & at home. Mastered at Precision Mastering by Stephen Marcussen & Ron Boustead. Illustration & Design: Mackie Osborne. Special thanks to: Davey Stone, Bill Bartell, Greg Rogers & Al Smith. Management: David Lefkowitz. Bass on tracks 1-5 by Lorax. Bass on tracks 6-15 by Mark D. This compilation (P) & (C) 1993, 1994, 1996 & 2003 Atlantic Records, WEA International Inc. & Warner Music UK Ltd. Compilation by Carlos Anaia at WSM UK Designed by www.mentalblock.co.uk Mastering & Enhanced CD work by www.sonic-arts.com Thanks to Stuart Batsford.