Ween's "Mutilated Lips" CD single
Ween was formed in 1984 in New Hope, Pennsylvania when Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) and Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) met in an eighth grade typing class. Finding that they were kindred musical spirits, the two began recording together. Ween’s public debut was a “Purple Haze” cover closing a 1987 talent show. They gained recognition playing bars in New Hope such as John & Peter’s on Main Street. The duo was signed to Twin/Tone Records and released their debut album. “GodWeenSatan: The Oneness”, in 1990. Their second album, “The Pod” (1991), was recorded at an apartment the duo shared in Solebury Township (also dubbed “The Pod”). This led to Ween signing with a major label – Elektra Records – who released their third album, “Pure Guava” (1992). Their next album, “Chocolate and Cheese” (1994), was their first album to use professional-grade recording equipment (the duo eschewed the four-track equipment used on their previous recordings). On the heels of the success of this album, Ween recorded “12 Golden Country Greats” (1996), a country music album which represented the first time the band limited itself to a specific music genre. Their next album, “The Mollusk” (1997), a partial concept album with nearly each song having a dark, nautical theme, had its genesis in sessions dating back to 1995, but was not recorded until 1996. The first single from the album was “Mutilated Lips” b/w “Ocean Man”. This is today’s featured single.:
“Mutilated Lips” starts off with the sound of a drum cymbal, and then we get lyrics written from the perspective of someone high on L.S.D.: “I lick my brain in silence/Rather squeeze my head instead/Midget man provoking violence/Listen not to what I said”. The “mutilated lips” of the song’s title are the lips of an ugly girl, which appear to the protagonist (under the influence of drugs) to be mutilated. It’s a singularly original idea for a song, and at the same time is an extremely funny send-up of progressive rock. Throughout their career, Ween has been able to inject humor into their music without becoming a novelty band, and nowhere is this more evident than on this track.
The B-side of this single, “Ocean Man”, is another sea-related song in keeping with the theme of the album. Although it matches “Mutilated Lips” in sheer weirdness, it is more upbeat and childlike, especially the lyrical content: “Ocean man, take me by the hand, lead me to the land that you understand/Ocean man, the voyage to the corner of the globe is a real trip/Ocean man, the crust of a tan man imbibed by the sand/Soaking up the thirst of the land.” The keyboards on this track contribute to the light, airy feel, and the song proceeds at a brisk clip, clocking in at a mere 2 minutes and 7 seconds. Overall, this is one of the better songs from “Mollusk”.
The single (catalog # is unknown) was released on Elektra Records. “Ocean Man” was eventually released as a separate single. The duo’s next release was the live retrospective “Paintin’ the Town Brown: Ween Live 1990-1998” (1999). They released “Craters of the Sac” (1999), a semi-official MP3 album, later that year. Their seventh album, “White Pepper” (2000), would also be their last on Elektra. Ween signed with Sanctuary Records, which released their next studio album, “Quebec” (2003). “Shinola” (2005), a collection of previously-unreleased songs, was released on Ween’s Chocodog imprint, as was “The Friends” EP (2007). Their next full-length studio album, “La Cucaracha” (2007), was released on Rounder Records.