Artwork by Kozik.
|Studio album by Melvins|
|Released||September 21 1993|
|Recorded||1992 - 1993|
|Genre||Alternative Metal, Grunge, Stoner Metall|
|Producer||Melvins, Kurt Cobain, Garth Richardson|
| Lysol |
| Houdini |
| Prick |
Houdini is the fifth studio album by Melvins. Released in 1993 on major label Atlantic Records it is considered to be one of the band's landmark releases and a favorite among fans.
Work had begun on Houdini sometime after the band had signed to Atlantic in 1992, with recording for all of the songs happening throughout 1992 going into 1993. The band had an idea of working with a host of different producers as well since they had the opportunity via being signed to a major label. The album features a cover of the 1974 KISS song "Goin' Blind". The songs "Hooch", "Lizzy" and "Honey Bucket" were released as singles with accompanying music videos. "Night Goat" is a partial re-recording of a song the band had released as a single in 1992 while "Set Me Straight" was re-recorded, having been originally appearing on Mangled Demos From 1983 and later Outtakes From First 7" and 26 Songs.
Houdini is also notable for featuring Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. Cobain is given co-production credit alongside the Melvins on six tracks, plays guitar on the song "Sky Pup", and percussion on the song "Spread Eagle Beagle" though ultimately his contributions as producer was minimal and was "fired" by the band.
Speaking to Kerrang! in 2008, King Buzzo remembered:
|“||"Houdini was the first album we did for Atlantic Records and certainly our biggest selling record, although not so much that I could put a down-payment on a new Rolls or something! It came on the whole tidal wave of Nirvana stuff and I'm sure if it weren't for that we wouldn't have had interest from a major at all. We wanted to do a record that wouldn't alienate our fans, but we wanted to do one that we would like. We also knew we weren’t gonna be dusting off a platinum album any time soon, you know? We did a bunch of sessions with Kurt Cobain [producing], but it got to the point where he was so out of control that we basically fired him and went our separate ways, which is unfortunate, because I think that would have been fun. Obviously that was a little snapshot of what would end up happening and I don't have a whole lot of fond memories of that – it was an absolute tragedy. But still, a lot of people like that record – it's not one of my favourites, but I like a lot of the songs on it."||”|
— Buzz Osborne, Kerrang! magazine, issue #1214, June 14, 2008. Treasure Chest. An Intimate Portrait of a Life in Rock. King Buzzo. P.60
Another notable point on Houdini is Lori Black being credited as the bassist for the record and being illustrated on the back cover. While she had been in the band at the time leading up to the album's release she had been fired by early 1993. In a 2010 interview with Primer, King Buzzo confirms that Dale Crover and himself actually played bass on most of Houdini and that Lori Black was credited in name only. Billy Anderson also confirmed that Lorax did not perform on the record on The Colossus of Destiny: A Melvins Tale.
Houdini at the time of release was praised by critics and in recent years has held up as one of the band's seminal releases if not one of the most identifiable Melvins albums. In 2005, the album was performed live in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back series. Subsequent performances of the album occurred over the next few years, such as their appearance at the Primavera Sound festival in 2007, the bands 25th Anniversary tour in 2009, Spaceland Residency and The Endless Residency tours. A specially recorded live performance of the album was released as A Live History of Gluttony and Lust in 2006.
All songs written by The Melvins unless otherwise noted. Some vinyl copies include a cover of "Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa)", originally by the MC5, instead of "Spread Eagle Beagle". A Japanese CD release (catalog# AMCY-625) also contains "Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa)" as the 14th track at the end of the disc, coming after "Spread Eagle Beagle".
- 1. Hooch (2:51)
- 2. Night Goat (4:41)
- 3. Lizzy (4:43)
- 4. Going Blind (Simmons, Coronel) (4:32)
- 5. Honey Bucket (3:01)
- 6. Hag Me (7:06)
- 7. Set Me Straight (2:25)
- 8. Sky Pup (3:50)
- 9. Joan of Arc (3:36)
- 10. Teet (2:51)
- 11. Copache (2:07)
- 12. Pearl Bomb (2:45)
- 13. Spread Eagle Beagle (10:13)
- 14. Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa) (MC5) (3:31)
- Buzz Osborne - Guitar, Vocals, Producer, Mixing, Engineer, Bass (Uncredited)
- Dale Crover - Drums, Vocals, Producer, Mixing, Engineer, Bass (Uncredited)
- Bill Bartell - Bass, Lead Guitar (4)
- Billy Anderson - Bass (6, 10); Engineer (2-6, 8, 10 - 12), Mixing (3 - 6, 10 - 11)
- Kurt Cobain - Guitar (8), Percussion (13); Producer (1, 7-9, 12 - 13), Mixing (1, 7)
- Al Smith - Percussion (13); A&R
- Mike Supple - Percussion (13)
- Jonathan Burnside - Engineer (1, 2, 7-9, 12 - 13)
- Tom Doty - Second Engineer (1, 7)
- GGGarth Richardson - Mixing (3 - 6, 9, 10, 13); Producer (6, 10)
- Joe Marquez - Second Engineer (3 - 6, 9, 10, 13)
- Wolf Kessler - Second Engineer (6, 9, 10, 13)
- Lou Oribin - Engineer (8, 12)
- Barrett Jones - Engineer, Mixing (11)
- Stephen Marcussen - Mastering
- Frank Kozik - Art Direction, Illustration
- Valerie Wagner - Art Direction, Design
- Don Lewis - Band Photo
- Peter Davis - Booking
- Stephanie Wells - Davis Lefkowitz Management
- Elliot Cahn - Legal Beagle
- Jeff Saltzman - Legal Beagle