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Eels

From Academic Kids

This article is about the band. For the fish, see Eel. For the spectroscopic technique used in material science, see Electron energy loss spectroscopy.

Eels is an American rock band formed by singer/songwriter Mark Oliver Everett, better known as Mr. E or simply E. He is the frontman of the band, calling Eels a vessel for his music. Other members rotate frequently, both in the studio and on stage. Eels bring on a surprising live act, with every song they play sounding like it would have, had it been on the most recent album. This leads to interesting interpretations of older songs, and usually some well-known covers.

Missing image
Eels.jpg
"A picture of Eels from 1997 - E, Tommy, and Butch"
Contents

Biography

E solo records

In 1992, Mr. E released his first solo album titled A Man Called E on Polydor. The single "Hello Cruel World" was a minor success. Touring to support this album, he opened for Tori Amos. A Man Called E was followed by Broken Toy Shop in 1993; This year he was also joined on stage by drummer Jonathan 'Butch' Norton. After Broken Toy Shop E was released from his record deal with Polydor.

Beautiful Freak

When Butch and E met Tommy Walter, they founded Eels. The main reason for this name was so that the band's records would be next to E's in an alphabetical ordering. It was only later that they realised that The Eagles would be in between. They signed a record deal with Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks, being one of their first bands. In 1996 the band released their debut album Beautiful Freak: a melancholic pop record, where the lyrics of a tormented Everett shine. With the singles "Novocaine for the Soul" and "Susan's House" the band had modest international success. They toured extensively to support the album in 1996 and 1997, playing many festivals and building their good name as a live act in the United States and Europe. In september 1997, Tommy quit the band (or was fired, depending on who you ask - see the hidden message in the track "Dog's Life").

Electro-Shock Blues

E had a difficult time in his personal life at this point. His sister had committed suicide just before Beautiful Freak was released, and his mother was diagnosed with cancer. These events inspired him to write Electro-Shock Blues, released in 1998. The lyrics deal with subjects like suicide, death, and cancer. Despite the fact that it is a very dark album, and not nearly as big a commercial success as its predecessor, Electro-Shock Blues is still many fans' favourite. Contributions to the album were made by Jon Brion, Dust Brother Michael Simpson, and T-Bone Burnett. "Last Stop: This Town" was a minor success as a single; the second single "Cancer for the Cure" was used on the soundtrack for the film American Beauty. Still a three-piece band on stage, Tommy Walter was replaced by Adam Siegel, formerly of Suicidal Tendencies. A large part of the American leg of the tour was cancelled after the death of E's mother. They returned to Europe later in the year, to open for Pulp. After the tour Adam left the band to focus on his own project, My Head.

Daisies of the Galaxy

In 2000, the Daisies of the Galaxy was released, a much happier album. As E puts it, If Electro-Shock Blues was the phone call in the middle of the night that the world doesn't want to answer, then Daisies of the Galaxy is the hotel wake-up call that says your lovely breakfast is ready. The album was almost entirely recorded in E's basement. E is joined in the studio by Michael Simpson (Dust Brothers), Grant Lee Phillips (Grant Lee Buffalo), and Peter Buck (R.E.M.). On the tracks "It's a Motherfucker" and "Selective Memory", E plays on the same piano Neil Young used on his classic album After the Goldrush. The first single "Mr. E's Beautiful Blues" was co-written by Simpson and features the sound of his pager in the intro. The song was not intended to be on the album, but the record company insisted E should put it on. Therefore it is not featured on the track listing but listed as 'bonus track', separated from the rest of the album by 20 seconds of silence. The song also appeared on the Road Trip soundtrack; some prominent members of the cast from that film feature in the music video. Because of the use of swear words on "It's a Motherfucker" and "Mr. E's Beautiful Blues" (goddamn right, it's a beautiful day) a censored version was released. "It's a Motherfucker" was renamed to "It's a Monstertrucker", and the occasions of the 'f-word' where removed by E singing over them in a distorted voice. To promote "Daisies of the Galaxy" another tour was planned across the United States and Europe. This time the Eels were transformed into an 6-piece orchestra, including Lisa Germano. E also played a few solo shows, opening for Fiona Apple.

Souljacker

In 2001 Souljacker was released, an album with a darker feel than Daisies of the Galaxy. John Parish, previously in PJ Harvey's band, co-wrote most of the songs and also played guitar on the album and first part of the tour. Koool G Murder played bass and keyboards and joined Eels on tour, jokingly introduced by E as 'the other guy'. Wim Wenders directed the video for the first single, Souljacker Part 1. After Parish became a father, he was replaced with Joe Gore for the American leg of the Bus Driving, Band Rocking Tour.

Shootenanny!

2003 marked the release of the album Shootenanny!. E now refers to the album as a break from recording the following Blinking Lights album. It was recorded live in the studio in only ten days. "Saturday Morning" was released as a single. Butch left the band after recording the album to join Tracy Chapman (see [1] (http://galaxy.bykr.org/galaxy_butch.htm)). He was replaced with Puddin. In 2003 Eels did another big tour, The Tour of Duty, visiting Australia for the first time. The live band then consisted of E, Shon 'Golden Boy' Sullivan (guitar), Koool G Murder (bass) and Puddin (drums). Golden Boy left to work on his own project Goldenboy and was replaced with Chet Atkins III. This year, E also composed the score for the film Levity.

Blinking Lights and Other Revelations

The new album, called Blinking Lights and Other Revelations, was released on April 26, 2005. It is an epic 33-track double album. Contributions were made by Tom Waits, Peter Buck and John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful). A hand-written lyric-sheet to "In the Yard, Behind the Church", a song from the new album, was sold on eBay for charity. The winning bidder paid $544 for it.

Discography

Albums

Singles

  • "Novocaine for the Soul" (1997) #10 UK
  • "Susan's House" (1997) #9 UK
  • "Your Lucky Day in Hell" (1997) #35 UK
  • "Last Stop: This Town" (1998) #23 UK
  • "Cancer for the Cure" (1998) #60 UK
  • "Mr E's Beautiful Blues" (2000) #11 UK
  • "Flyswatter" (2000) #55 UK
  • "Souljacker Part 1" (2001) #30 UK
  • "Hey Man (Now You're Really Living)" (2005) #45 UK

External links

fr:Eels nl:Eels sv:Eels

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