Classic Album Review: 12 Golden Country Greats

Full Title: 12 Golden Country Greats
Artist: Ween
Year: 1995
Label: Elektra
Tracks:
1) I’m Holding You- 9
2) Japanese Cowboy- 8
4) Piss Up a Rope- 9/10
4) I Don’t Want to Leave You On the Farm- 9
5) Pretty Girl- 7
6) Powder Blue- 7/8
7) Mister Richard Smoker- 9/10
8) Help Me Scrape the Mucas Off My Brain- 9
9) You Were the Fool- 7
10) Fluffy- 5

Comments: Every now and then I take a look at my vast quantity of music and pick out an artist- take a careful look at their discography and choose an album I feel my ears deserve the pleasure of hearing. This time it was Ween and the album is their take on Nashville Country with the 1995 record, 12 Golden Country Greats. Being a big fan of Ween, I had a feeling this record had some potential and I knew a couple of the songs already, so I wasn’t totally a stranger to this release. But, at the same time Ween typically shift from one style to another totally different style and for me this is one of most appealing aspects of their art, so, I wasn’t sure if the duo could pull off a one genre LP. Also most of the reviews of this album are unfavorable, could it be a case of critics schmitics or are they on to something. Only one way to find out, listen to the damn thing! And let me tell ya, I was suprised at how stellar this record is. They really capture the country sound to a tee and still manage to spit out their distinct, silly/sick humor, Ween touch! I mean, knowing their musical aesthetics, there are no major suprises here. In other words, unlike their magnum opus, The Mollusk (1997), which I reviewed almost exactly a year ago, this is pretty much what we would expect from a Ween country album, but that’s not a bad thing. They deliver, they deliver hard. The album explores a wide variety of country styles, but still maintains an overall album vibe, even with some of the weaker tracks, which are not many. Often when I hear a weak song on an album I feel like it had no place on the record and makes the good tunes look bad or fucks up the vibe of the record, but that doesn’t happen here. Songs like “Pretty Girl” and “Powder Blue,” didn’t hit me as hard, but they still complement the sound of the album as a whole and never distract you from the album’s tone. “I’m Holding You,” is a great opener, just simple, humble, 50s (?) country ballad, George Jones esque vocals. Not being a country afficionado, I don’t quite appreciate Ween’s clear dedication to the genre. Lyrically licentious tracks such as “Piss Up a Rope,” and “Mister Richard Smoker,” are classic, nasty, hilarious, typical Ween ditties. A bit more modern and of the Ween persuasion, but without a doubt for my tastes they are the best numbers featured here; like or not like, listeners will most likely muster at least a smirk, if not a gigantic burst of laughter or for some complete shock and disgusts! Haha. I won’t go through all the songs, but most are of high quality. The only below average track is the closer, “Fluffy,” which is amusing in its bizarre nature, but doesn’t do much for me and I would have loved a more epic, savage closer. Oh well, the Ween boys succeeded at what they set out to do (at least in my eyes) and I’m ultimately glad I revisted their discography.

Grade: 9/10

Biddley bah boo, biddley bah boo, biddley bah boo bow!

2 Comments

  1. An all time classic. You went into the review with some bad info (the reviews) but nailed it. Fluffy is weak, but the rest are stellar. Powder Blue and Pretty Girl are absolutely great songs… maybe they’re a little straighter than the rest in that they could be covered by any country band and their fans wouldn’t blink an eye.

    Also, Ween’s decision to do this album and their execution elevate them above 99% of other bands. Peace.

  2. Thanks for the comment jocko! Yeah, I honestly can’t remember which reviews I peeked at but honestly I didn’t take them that seriously (hence me taking the time to hear this album) ,and ultimately it doesn’t matter too much to me anymore since I think this is a solid LP and I clearly differ with those reviewers in terms of taste. I totally agree with you in that Ween is far superior than most bands; they just tap into this Zappa esque silliness that both mocks and celebrates the world of music. Society suffers from excessive poor taste (at least to me) and takes itself way too seriously to appreciate and value Ween’s art.

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