PRIMUS

Funk Metal / Non-Metal • United States
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Primus are an American Bay Area funk rock/metal band formed in 1984, known for bassist and frontman Les Claypool's unique and eccentric style. The band are also known for their often comedic lyrics and album titles.

While forming in 1984, the band was put hold as Claypool and guitarist Larry LaLonde went to work with thrash metal band Blind Illusion. After coming back to Primus, they released their debut live album in 1989 with their debut studio album following a year later. Drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander had left the band in 1996 following the release of their fourth studio album "Tales from the Punchbowl", and was replaced by Bryan "Brain" Mantia.

In 1996 the band was asked to record the theme song for the show South Park. The band's now famous theme song has been used for the show ever since it first aired in 1997. After releasing two albums with
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Sailing The Seas Of CheeseSailing The Seas Of Cheese
Interscope 2013
$12.30
$10.30 (used)
Frizzle Fry [Vinyl]Frizzle Fry [Vinyl]
Remastered
Prawn Song 2009
$11.21
$22.66 (used)
Pork Soda [2 LP]Pork Soda [2 LP]
Interscope 2018
$21.99
$24.88 (used)
The Desaturating SevenThe Desaturating Seven
ATO Records 2017
$9.59
$10.00 (used)
They Can't All Be Zingers: Best OfThey Can't All Be Zingers: Best Of
Remastered
Interscope 2006
$6.60
$8.45 (used)
Miscellaneous Debris [LP]Miscellaneous Debris [LP]
Interscope 2018
$12.99
$20.04 (used)
Tales From The Punchbowl [2 LP]Tales From The Punchbowl [2 LP]
Interscope 2018
$23.68
$28.48 (used)
Green Naugahyde [2 LP]Green Naugahyde [2 LP]
ATO Records 2011
$23.98
$8.28 (used)
Brown Album [2 LP]Brown Album [2 LP]
Interscope 2018
$22.35
$25.02 (used)
Rhinoplasty [2 LP]Rhinoplasty [2 LP]
Interscope 2018
$20.38
$15.98 (used)
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PRIMUS Discography

PRIMUS albums / top albums

PRIMUS Frizzle Fry album cover 3.91 | 29 ratings
Frizzle Fry
Funk Metal 1990
PRIMUS Sailing the Seas of Cheese album cover 3.78 | 30 ratings
Sailing the Seas of Cheese
Funk Metal 1991
PRIMUS Pork Soda album cover 3.68 | 24 ratings
Pork Soda
Funk Metal 1993
PRIMUS Tales From the Punchbowl album cover 3.79 | 21 ratings
Tales From the Punchbowl
Funk Metal 1995
PRIMUS The Brown Album album cover 3.98 | 13 ratings
The Brown Album
Funk Metal 1997
PRIMUS Antipop album cover 3.65 | 13 ratings
Antipop
Funk Metal 1999
PRIMUS Green Naugahyde album cover 3.54 | 13 ratings
Green Naugahyde
Funk Metal 2011
PRIMUS Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble album cover 3.64 | 7 ratings
Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble
Non-Metal 2014
PRIMUS The Desaturating Seven album cover 4.00 | 6 ratings
The Desaturating Seven
Non-Metal 2017

PRIMUS EPs & splits

PRIMUS Miscellaneous Debris album cover 3.17 | 3 ratings
Miscellaneous Debris
Funk Metal 1992
PRIMUS Rhinoplasty album cover 3.40 | 5 ratings
Rhinoplasty
Funk Metal 1998
PRIMUS Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People album cover 3.92 | 9 ratings
Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People
Funk Metal 2003
PRIMUS June 2010 Rehearsal album cover 3.00 | 3 ratings
June 2010 Rehearsal
Funk Metal 2010

PRIMUS live albums

PRIMUS Suck On This album cover 3.50 | 5 ratings
Suck On This
Funk Metal 1989

PRIMUS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

PRIMUS Primus album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Primus
Funk Metal 1991
PRIMUS Here Come The Bastards album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Here Come The Bastards
Funk Metal 1992
PRIMUS Southbound Pachyderm album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Southbound Pachyderm
Funk Metal 1996

PRIMUS re-issues & compilations

PRIMUS They Can’t All Be Zingers album cover 3.90 | 5 ratings
They Can’t All Be Zingers
Funk Metal 2006

PRIMUS singles (12)

.. Album Cover
3.25 | 2 ratings
Jerry Was a Race Car Driver
Funk Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Mr. Krinkle
Funk Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 3 ratings
My Name Is Mud
Funk Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 2 ratings
Mrs. Blaileen
Funk Metal 1995
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver
Funk Metal 1995
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Shake Hands With Beef
Funk Metal 1997
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 2 ratings
Over the Falls
Funk Metal 1997
.. Album Cover
3.33 | 3 ratings
Electric Uncle Sam
Funk Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 3 ratings
Lacquer Head
Funk Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
3.25 | 2 ratings
N.I.B. (w/Ozzy)
Funk Metal 2000
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 3 ratings
Pilcher's Squad
Funk Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Me llamo Mud
Funk Metal 2010

PRIMUS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cheesy Home Video
Funk Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Videoplasty
Funk Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hallucino-Genetics: Live 2004
Funk Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Blame It on the Fish
Funk Metal 2006

PRIMUS Reviews

PRIMUS Tales From the Punchbowl

Album · 1995 · Funk Metal
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martindavey87
With their fourth album, 'Tales from the Punchbowl', Primus have finally managed to channel all their talent into something somewhat akin to a cohesive rock album. Taking their unusual style of offbeat, alternative funk rock and applying it in a more traditional rock setting, Primus have managed to produce a record that is more accessible to the mainstream public, without having to compromise their own distinct sound.

There's no other band that embodies the term "acquired taste" better than Primus, and even on a release that features some of the bands most radio-friendly material, there's plenty of their obscure (and somewhat self-indulgent) weirdness, that doesn't follow any type of traditional songwriting trait, and features an almost monotone spoken-word dialogue.

But yet, unlike previous albums, I seem to be able to tolerate it here. The odd music, the random, yet interesting lyrics, the humour... everything here just seems to work on some artistic level or another. It's like a car crash, an ugly mess but you just can't look away.

The highlights for me are 'Professor Nutbutters House of Treats', 'Mrs Blaileen', 'Southbound Pachyderm', 'Over the Electric Grapevine', and of course, the band's biggest hit, 'Wynona's Big Brown Beaver' (which is for me, like so many others, the song that introduced me to Primus). But the album flows so smoothly that even small, comedic, filler tracks such as 'Space Farm' and 'De Anza Jag' are infectious and notable in their own right.

As interesting as it is unique, Primus truly aren't to everyone's tastes (including my own), but 'Tales from the Punchbowl' is just a straight-up good album, and serves as a great starting point if you're new to the band.

PRIMUS Sailing the Seas of Cheese

Album · 1991 · Funk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
Not these guys again...

There was a time in my youth when I'd have loved the quirkiness of a band like Primus. With their obscure sense of humour and their blend of rock and funk, there's truly no other band like them. But what makes them so unique is also what pretty much puts so many people off of them.

And to put it bluntly, it's mostly boring self-indulgence.

While the musicians themselves are all incredibly talented, and certainly adept at thinking outside the box, the music itself is very hard to follow, and definitely requires the listener to be equally open-minded. There's very little singing, with vocalist Les Claypool preferring more of a spoken-word type of vocal style, and a lot of the music itself tends to plod along with no real melodies sticking out. As a whole, it's just a complete mess.

If I had to pick out some highlights, it'd have to be 'Tommy the Cat' and 'Jerry Was a Race Car Driver', most probably because these are the notable singles from the album, and while they do have some infectious grooves in the music, as per usual with this band, the spoken babble that is the lyrics kind of ruins them.

I'm sure there was a time when I loved this band, especially as I seem to recall asking for some of their albums as Christmas and Birthday presents in my early twenties. But I listen to 'Sailing the Seas of Cheese' now and it bores the life out of me. Primus really are in a league all of their own when it comes to "keeping an open mind", sadly, it's just not a very good one.

PRIMUS Frizzle Fry

Album · 1990 · Funk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
It would be an absolute understatement to say that Primus is an acquired taste. Their music is incredibly obscure, with some of the most random musical passages and the most quirky lyrics you could think of. And so it is, that their debut album is a convoluted mess of ideas thrown together with no real sense of direction, other than being random for random's sake.

While the musical ability between all the members is of a high caliber, especially bassist, singer and all-round main man Les Claypool (story goes that he was once turned down to join Metallica for being "too good"), the general compositions seem rather unfocused and boring. Nothing really stands out in this 52-minute smorgasbord of random guitar riffs and vocal melodies, which usually are delivered via something more akin to talking or just completely random noises.

If I really had to pick out any notable highlights, 'John the Fisherman', 'Too Many Puppies' and 'To Defy the Laws of Tradition' could be considered alright, but honestly, this album as a whole just gets rather boring and repetitive fast. I'm sure there are people that love songs that randomly go into renditions of 'Humpty Dumpty', but to me, it's just not cool, it's not funny, and it's not really all that clever either.

PRIMUS Frizzle Fry

Album · 1990 · Funk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Residents fan Les Claypool and his cohorts unleash their twisted funk metal style on an unsuspecting musical world on this debut album. Claypool's bizarre vocal style is a "love it or hate it" sort of thing, but if you can at least tolerate it you'll find a weirdly intricate bass-heavy album which somehow manages to be oddly catchy despite how downright weird it is. Primus are the sort of band where a little of their work goes a long way, but on balance I would say that this release has a slight edge over the subsequent Sailing the Seas of Cheese, perhaps because it feels a bit more fresh and wild about the edges.

PRIMUS Frizzle Fry

Album · 1990 · Funk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
PRIMUS is one of the many eccentric bands to come from San Francisco, only no flower children here. A product of the demented imagination of founder Les Claypool, PRIMUS managed right from the start to forge their own musical style that kinda fits in here and there in the different genres, but when it really comes down to it, doesn’t fit anywhere! They are certainly alternative funk metal but they are equally quirky in how they are experimental and progressive at the same time without really taking you into the seas of inaccessibility.

FIZZLE FRY is their very first studio album after their first round of quirkiness of releasing their live “Suck On This” as their debut, which included a whole bunch of tracks that would end up on their studio albums. Together with Jane’s Addiction, PRIMUS introduced the world to the wonderful world of alternative metal that would usher in the 90s and dethrone the glam scene and replace it with grunge, groove and nu metal and indie rock.

FIZZLE FRY has a lot of sizzling hot smoking alternative guitar riffs accompanied by Claypool’s unique signature bass style and hardcore drumming action. While PRIMUS is primarily considered to be Claypool’s baby, it should also be noted that after the debut guitarist Todd Huth left the band to focus more on his family, Larry LaLonde (previously from the death metal band Possessed) joined the party and never went away. He has been just as a consistent ingredient in the band’s sound as Claypool’s on their studio albums anyways.

PRIMUS has experienced the same problem as Spinal Tap in that their weakest link has been retaining a permanent drummer as since their inception in 1984 as a band has gone through seven drummers who have mostly gone but some came back only to go again. On this one we get Tim Alexander who performs the duties quite exemplarily. As far as i know none have spontaneously self-combusted in bizarre gardening accidents though.

I personally think FRIZZLE FRY is my favorite PRIMUS album. While it fully displays the idiosyncrasies of Claypool, it doesn’t feel like he has the upper hand quite yet. The songs are all diverse and the energy is high. There seems to be more guitar action and less bass dominance. In short, the songs are balanced and quite creative. The goofiness is peeking around the corner but there is a more serious approach on album number one.

God forbid, there are even rip roaring guitar solos as on the title track and “Spaghetti Western.” The album simply delivers a satisfying smorgasbord of juicy ideas. There were two singles from this one: “John The Fisherman” and “Too Many Puppies,” the latter of which expressed a very punk attitude and anti-war sentiment where the puppies represent the victimized soldiers in the rotisserie of wars that destroy far too many young lives before their time.

Les Claypool and posse perfectly meld all their influences together well in this PRIMUS debut. They range from The Residents to Rush with a heavy dose of Zappa-esque humor and some sort of alternative country feel as well. Claypool himself has stated that their music is a kind of psychedelic polka but i’m not really feeling that myself. This is alternative funk metal run amok and i have to admit that even though it took a while for PRIMUS’ sound to grow on me, i have to say that once it incubated a while, it sprouted new brain sucking properties in me and now i have succumbed to its quirky charm. FRIZZLE FRY has qualities that can appeal to thrash metal lovers, funk extremists, alternative junkies and those who just like eccentric high energy music that drifts in different directions but never quite goes to the same pastures where the other herds of musical cows are grazing. It is semi-comedic, sort of bizarre but never takes you so far away into someone else’s dreamland that you can’t get the gist of it. Oh, and that bass!

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