18 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

From the opening salvo of “The Shah Sleeps In Lee Harvey’s Grave” where we learn among other things that singer Gibby Haynes “smokes Elvis Presley’s toenails when I want to get high,” the Butthole Surfers were out to offend on whatever level it took. That they did everything with a wicked sense of humor might be lost on those easily offended, but for anyone willing to take the trip with them, each of their albums has proved to be a wild, unexpected ride. This is a collection of two early EPs: the studio debut Brown Reason to Live and a live collection that finds the band in anarchic form. Though the Texas freaks attached themselves to the hardcore punk scene, they were more determined to warp rockabilly and the blues into shape for Captain Beefheart. “Something” channels a psychotic trudge through swamp-blues. “Bar-B-Q Pope” powers the band through a dark psychedelia that would surface in the band’s later work. “Suicide” is remorseless. The live material is simply relentless. “Shah,” “Hey” and “Gary Floyd” show the band had musical chops hiding underneath their sensationalistic outrage.

EDITORS’ NOTES

From the opening salvo of “The Shah Sleeps In Lee Harvey’s Grave” where we learn among other things that singer Gibby Haynes “smokes Elvis Presley’s toenails when I want to get high,” the Butthole Surfers were out to offend on whatever level it took. That they did everything with a wicked sense of humor might be lost on those easily offended, but for anyone willing to take the trip with them, each of their albums has proved to be a wild, unexpected ride. This is a collection of two early EPs: the studio debut Brown Reason to Live and a live collection that finds the band in anarchic form. Though the Texas freaks attached themselves to the hardcore punk scene, they were more determined to warp rockabilly and the blues into shape for Captain Beefheart. “Something” channels a psychotic trudge through swamp-blues. “Bar-B-Q Pope” powers the band through a dark psychedelia that would surface in the band’s later work. “Suicide” is remorseless. The live material is simply relentless. “Shah,” “Hey” and “Gary Floyd” show the band had musical chops hiding underneath their sensationalistic outrage.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

rhinocerosfive ,

"I've always got a knife in my back"

LIVE PCP PEP is the best live album of the period. The "shut up" contest between the band and the audience is the very essence of punk. Plus, these are the best performances of these songs you will find outside a live show. Just compare them to the tepid studio versions on this double set and you'll either agree, or you'll be mistaken.

I bought this album in 1985 with stolen money, and under the influence of my first drugs (also purchased with those ill-gotten gains) I learned to appreciate the sacred unholy mysteries of Gibby Haynes and his merry band of hallucinogenic casualties. Now sober, and no longer much of a criminal, I still find this music (?) inspirational, in the truest sense: it makes me want to live.

Other punks I bought that spring don't hold up - Dead Milkmen now sound to me like one-trick children, and DOA (mostly) just sounds like noise. I can still listen to the F.U.s in moderation, and the Clash is the best bunch of musicians ever to assume the punk label, but PCP PEP, while utterly weird and often cacophonous, is high art. It is an honest form of the protest against dullness that poseurs like the Flaming Lips took years even to approximate, and that poorly.

This album opened up entire worlds to me. Hearing half the house decline an encore was like seeing the dawn for the first time. This experience introduced me to whole new vocabularies of success and failure; it gave me the strength to leave my hometown; it also made me crash my car several times. Can any Green Day album say as much?

Hefro ,

This is where it all started. An essential for Butthole fans!

I first bought PCPPEP on vinyl when I was 14 in 1984. I saw it in the record store and looked at the cover and thought "What the !@#$% is this?" I bought it completely on a whim with money I made moving lawns ($10 in 1984 for a 14 year old was a lot). I was completely blown away by it. I had never heard anything like it (and still haven't). I didn't even know how to process it at first, it was so different. I still love the Buttholes and think they are one of the greatest bands of all time (especially the first 5 or 6 albums). I was lucky enough to see them live recently with the original lineup in Brooklyn and they played only old music, including a few songs from this album. They still rock! The show was as good as many I remember from the old days. This iTunes release is really their first two EPs from Alternative Records (Jello Biafra's label) which have been combined. The live album really captures the intensity and insanity of their live performances. They never really received a lot of fame or critical appreciation (except for a brief time later with their sub-par major label album Electriclarryland, which was produced in a way that made them sound way too mainstream). They didn't ever fit neatly into any musical genre, and people just didn't know what to think, so they ignored them instead. This is a must for any serious Butthole fan, as it captures their early sound when their sound was more influenced by punk rock. Don't forget to pick up Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac, Rembrandt Pussyhorse, and (their best album ever) Locust Abortion Technician, and you will have all of the essential music. Everyone should have at least one BS album from the 80s in their collection, and this is a great chioce. Buy it!

xcvvvntbrgnherrstgfhytrsdtfgxjytder45gt64jgjh45stxyhj ,

best song ever

Bar-B-Q Pope well worth 10 dollars by itself

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