16 Songs, 1 Hour 16 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Primus’ consistently entertaining greatest-hits collection They Can’t All Be Zingers starts with an indispensable line: “To defy the laws of tradition is a crusade only of the brave.” “To Defy the Laws of Tradition” is a statement of the band’s personal and musical ethos, but to say that Primus defied tradition isn’t entirely accurate. What the band did was make its own tradition, melding pieces of music history that no other group would have thought to blend: thrash metal, slap-bass funk, prog rock, country. The fusion was wacky but unified. It even resulted in a string of unlikely radio hits, culminating in 1995 with the eternally spicy “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver.” Primus was never really a hits band by the rules of the mainstream, but it engendered such a devoted cult that “John the Fisherman,” "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,” and “My Name Is Mud” reached legendary status, at least within some circles. Alongside the better-known songs are several overlooked tracks that deserve further acclaim, including “Over the Electric Grapevine,” “Too Many Puppies,” “Shake Hands with Beef," and “Coattails of a Dead Man,” which features faithful Primus booster and fellow genre-welder Tom Waits.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Primus’ consistently entertaining greatest-hits collection They Can’t All Be Zingers starts with an indispensable line: “To defy the laws of tradition is a crusade only of the brave.” “To Defy the Laws of Tradition” is a statement of the band’s personal and musical ethos, but to say that Primus defied tradition isn’t entirely accurate. What the band did was make its own tradition, melding pieces of music history that no other group would have thought to blend: thrash metal, slap-bass funk, prog rock, country. The fusion was wacky but unified. It even resulted in a string of unlikely radio hits, culminating in 1995 with the eternally spicy “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver.” Primus was never really a hits band by the rules of the mainstream, but it engendered such a devoted cult that “John the Fisherman,” "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,” and “My Name Is Mud” reached legendary status, at least within some circles. Alongside the better-known songs are several overlooked tracks that deserve further acclaim, including “Over the Electric Grapevine,” “Too Many Puppies,” “Shake Hands with Beef," and “Coattails of a Dead Man,” which features faithful Primus booster and fellow genre-welder Tom Waits.

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