They Can't All Be Zingers

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The alt-rock revolution of the '90s opened the doors to the mainstream for a bunch of weirdos, chief among them Primus, the Bay Area-based trio led by bassist/singer/prankster Les Claypool. From the start, they were alternative primarily because they didn't quite fit any other category. Their roots were in the Bay Area metal scene, which kind of fit since they were indeed heavy even if they weren't quite metallic, plus they shared an instrumental virtuosity not uncommon to metal, even if in Primus' case it often sounded like an extrapolation of Frank Zappa -- and that was in large part due to Claypool's satiric lyrics, equally as cynical and vulgar as Zappa, but...
See more details below
CD (Remastered)
$10.05
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$10.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (8) from $4.20   
  • New (5) from $8.01   
  • Used (3) from $4.20   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The alt-rock revolution of the '90s opened the doors to the mainstream for a bunch of weirdos, chief among them Primus, the Bay Area-based trio led by bassist/singer/prankster Les Claypool. From the start, they were alternative primarily because they didn't quite fit any other category. Their roots were in the Bay Area metal scene, which kind of fit since they were indeed heavy even if they weren't quite metallic, plus they shared an instrumental virtuosity not uncommon to metal, even if in Primus' case it often sounded like an extrapolation of Frank Zappa -- and that was in large part due to Claypool's satiric lyrics, equally as cynical and vulgar as Zappa, but delivered without the same level of pretension (although he did often manage to nail part of Frank's condescension). But above all, Primus was jokey, their music exploding in garish colors as if it was a Tex Avery cartoon, which the gleefully grotesque clay and cartoon album covers resembled. They jammed, but their exaggerated rhythms, dissonant chords, and intricate riffs made it all sound like a soundtrack to absurd antics. Their songs were peppered with characters like Tommy the Cat, John the Fisherman, Jerry the Race Car Driver, Mr. Krinkle, and a murderer called Mud, all personified by Claypool in a voice that sounded like he held his nose while he sang. Not quite the raw ingredients for a huge band, but Primus came along at the right time, with their breakthrough second album, 1991's Sailing the Seas of Cheese, arriving not long after Faith No More and the Red Hot Chili Peppers made funk-metal popular, and not long before Nirvana made all underground rock commercially viable. Primus rode this wave all the way toward the top of the Billboard charts, as their third record, 1993's Pork Soda, debuted at number seven, leading toward a headlining slot on the third Lollapalooza that year. They weren't as huge as Nirvana or Pearl Jam, but there's little question that Primus was one of the big alt-rock bands in America during the peak of alt-rock, and they did it without a commercial crossover to their name. But they did have a number of MTV and modern rock radio staples in the '90s, and they're all collected on 2006's They Can't All Be Zingers, the band's first compilation. Removed from their brief, inexplicable peak, these songs still sound strange, but not necessarily in the way they were intended -- and if ever there was a band that tried to sound strange, it was Primus. As this well-chosen comp illustrates through its selection of hits and album tracks, they were self-consciously funny-sounding without quite being funny, deliberately abrasive yet never quite rocking. They were certainly not grunge, nor were they really rooted in punk the way so many alternative rock bands were: they were an arty jam band, which is the reason why Claypool wound up forming collectives with other arty jammers such as Phish's Trey Anastasio and the Police's Stewart Copeland when Primus was on one of their many hiatuses. That artiness and virtuosity is abundant on They Can't All Be Zingers, which is really all the casual Primus fan or '90s nostalgist needs, since a little of this goes a long, long way for all but the faithful. In a way, the manic "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver," "Tommy the Cat," with its Tom Waits cameo, or the crude but funny "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" still retain their power: they still sound boldly colorful and willfully annoying, but even if you're ready to turn off any of the songs by the time they reach the second verse, it's still hard not to admire Primus for their sheer musicianship as well as how they stuck to their defiantly weird guns. As this comp proves, they didn't change much from their debut through to their 2003 EP Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People, and even if that's not strictly your cup of tea, it's hard not to admire that -- and hard not to be a bit nostalgic for a time when a band like this could sneak onto the charts and become platinum-selling artists with music as odd as this.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/17/2006
  • Label: Interscope Records
  • UPC: 602498884843
  • Catalog Number: 000598402
  • Sales rank: 25,453

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Primus Primary Artist
Tom Waits Vocals, Voices, Mellotron
Tim "Herb" Alexander Drums
Les Claypool Bass, Vocals
Larry LaLonde Guitar
Martina Topley-Bird Vocals
Technical Credits
Primus Composer
Tom Waits Producer
Les Claypool Composer
Brian Fox Liner Notes
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Matthew Winegar Producer
David Lefkowitz Management
Reuben Raffael Art Direction
Jeff Fura Executive Producer
Reuben Rude Illustrations
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously