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Houdini
Houdini
Artwork by Kozik.
Studio album by Melvins
Released September 21 1993
Recorded 1992 - 1993
Genre Alternative Metal, Grunge, Stoner Metall
Length 54:50
Producer Melvins, Kurt Cobain, Garth Richardson
Melvins chronology
Lysol
(1992)
Houdini
(1993)
Prick
(1994)

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.

BackgroundEdit

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.[1] 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.

TracklistEdit

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)

PersonnelEdit

  • 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

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Self-TitledAccessed 20 May 2017
  V·T·E Melvins
Current Members Buzz OsborneDale Crover
Rotating Members Mike DillardTrevor DunnJared WarrenCoady WillisJeff PinkusSteven McDonald
Past Members Matt LukinLori BlackJoe PrestonMark DeutromKevin Rutmanis
Albums Gluey Porch TreatmentsOzmaBullheadLysolHoudiniPrickStoner WitchStagHonkyThe MaggotThe BootlickerThe CrybabyElectroretardHostile Ambient TakeoverPigs of The Roman EmpireNever Breathe What You Can't See(A) Senile AnimalNude With BootsThe Bride Screamed MurderFreak PukeEverybody Loves SausagesTres CabronesHold It InThree Men and a BabyBasses LoadedA Walk With Love and Death
Extended Plays Six SongsEggnogKing Buzzo (EP)Dale Crover (EP)Joe Preston (EP)Interstellar OverdriveSmash The StateSludge GlamorousHurray For Me, Fuk YouThe Bulls and The Bees1983Beer HippyWar PussyHigh Desert OverdoseSteven McDonald (EP)
Live Albums & Videos Your Choice Live Vol. 12Salad of a Thousand DelightsTora Tora ToraAlive At The F*cker ClubLive At Slim's 8-Track TapeColossus of DestinyA Live History of Gluttony and LustThe EndMelvins Vs. MinneapolisPick Your BattlesEndless ResidencySugar Daddy LiveMelvins Live At Third Man RecordsAround The USA in 51 Days: The Movie!The Colossus of Destiny: A Melvins Tale
Compilations Singles 1-1226 SongsNeither Here Nor ThereMangled Demos From 1983Sieg Howdy!The Making Love DemosChicken Switch
Associated Bands and Artists Billy Anderson • Nirvana • Altamont • Fantomas • ShrinebuilderTom HazelmyerMackie OsborneBig BusinessToshi KasaiBrian WalsbyCrystal FairyCrystal Fairy (Album)

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