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Mudhoney is an American grunge band. Formed in Seattle, Washingtonmarker in 1988 following the demise of Green River, Mudhoney's members are vocalist and rhythm guitarist Mark Arm, lead guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Matt Lukin (who left in 1999 to be replaced by Guy Maddison) and drummer Dan Peters. Mudhoney's early releases on Sub Pop—the "Touch Me I'm Sick" single and the Superfuzz Bigmuff EP—were very influential in the Seattle music scene, and helped inspire the dirty, high-distortion sound that would characterize grunge. Mudhoney were also notable for their mixing of heavy blues rock and garage punk. They have found very little commercial success during their career, although have retained a cult following. They have inspired notable grunge and alternative rock musicians, most notably Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.


Mr. Epp and the Calculations

The very beginnings of Mudhoney start out in Bellevue, Washingtonmarker, a suburb of Seattle. While at Bellevue Christian High School, Mark McLaughlin (later known as Mark Arm) and some friends started Mr. Epp and the Calculations, a band named after a math teacher of his. Initially the band was more a joke band than a real band; their first "show" was in class singing Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" and using rolled up maps as guitars because they couldn't play real instruments. "Mr. Epp" finally played their first show in 1981, three years after they formed. Around this time Mark Arm and friend Steve Turner formed a more serious yet still humorous band, Limp Richerds. Mr. Epp appeared on KZAM-AM radio and were introduced as "the worst band in the world". They played their last show on February 3, 1984 with Malfunkshun at Seattle's Metropolis.

Green River: 1984–1987

Green River was formed in 1984 when Mark Arm and Steve Turner recruited Alex Vincent as drummer, who had previously played with Turner in the short-lived Spluii Numa. Bassist Jeff Ament joined the band after arriving in Seattle with his band Deranged Diction. Stone Gossard, another of Turner's former bandmates, was recruited as second guitarist. Green River recorded their debut EP, Come on Down, in 1985, and it is often regarded as the first true "grunge" record. Steve Turner left the band after its release due to his distaste of the band's heavy metal leanings. He was replaced by another Derranged Diction member, Bruce Fairweather. After recording another EP (Dry As a Bone) and a full-length album (Rehab Doll), the band decided to call it quits in late 1987. Gossard, Ament, and Fairweather went on to join Mother Love Bone. Following lead singer, Andrew Wood's death, Gossard and Ament went on to form Pearl Jam, and Fairweather joined Love Battery. In January 1988, Arm reunited with Turner to form Mudhoney.

Sub Pop: 1988–1991

Steve Turner wanted to start a band that rehearsed before playing to a live audience. He and Mark Arm began songwriting with Bundle of Hiss drummer Dan Peters. The trio decided that Matt Lukin, who had recently left The Melvins, should join the band as bassist. They named themselves after the Russ Meyer movie Mudhoney, which none of the band members had actually seen.In 1988, the band recorded and released their debut EP, Superfuzz Bigmuff, and their first single, "Touch Me I'm Sick", on the Sub Pop label. The single attracted a great deal of attention and the band enjoyed moderate success in the United States. Mudhoney quickly became Sub Pop's flagship band. Sonic Youth, who were fans of the band, had invited Mudhoney to join them for a tour in England in 1989. After this tour Superfuzz Bigmuff landed on the British indie charts and they received a respectable amount of press coverage. Following this success the band released their first full-length LP, Mudhoney, in 1989.Mudhoney's partial success led to a number of other Seattle bands, such as Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Tad, gaining some recognition. In the early '90s, Sub Pop was not making very much money. As a result, many of its bands left the label to seek backing from major labels. However, Mudhoney decided to stay with Sub Pop and they released their second album, Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge, in 1991. After the album's release they were offered a deal with Reprise Records, and they joined the label in 1992.

Reprise: 1992–1999

As grunge entered the mainstream, Mudhoney shifted away from their early grunge sound. Many of the band's contemporaries were having huge success and gaining popularity worldwide. Mudhoney's first album with Reprise was Piece of Cake, which leaned more towards garage rock than grunge. In 2008 Mojo magazine article, guitarist Stephen Turner explains the album references "how easily things had come to them...thesongs were kinda half-baked..." They also contributed a track "Overblown" at this time to the soundtrack to the film Singles.

In 1995, as grunge was fading from the mainstream, Mudhoney decided to return to their earlier sound. With their album My Brother the Cow they mixed their earlier and more recent sound, producing a fan favorite and arguably one of their finest albums. Critics weren't as accepting. Steve Turner explains in a recent article in Mojo, "There was a backlash after Kurt [Cobain] killed himself. The English press were so angry that we were still around. Those were some of the worst reviews we'd ever gotten. We were mocked for still existing."In 1996, Mudhoney appeared in the comedy movie Black Sheep, starring Chris Farley and David Spade. The band was shown performing at an MTV concert and then speaking with Farley backstage.Mudhoney's melding of styles would become more pronounced on their following album, Tomorrow Hit Today, recorded and released in 1998. The album continued their garage and grunge sound but demonstrated a strong blues-rock influence. Sensing a "use-it-or-lose-it" budget, they hired Jim Dickinson, an eccentric legend who worked with the Rolling Stones. They recorded in 3 different citiesAfter a few years of touring, Reprise decided to release Mudhoney from their label. One of the reasons was that the band's record sales had reached a career low, despite the fact their concerts were drawing larger audiences than before. Subsequently, bassist Matt Lukin called it quits, due primarily to his dislike of touring. The band released March to Fuzz, a retrospective compilation of songs from throughout their career. Many fans speculated that the band was on the verge of breakup.

After Matt Lukin: 2000–present

However, Mudhoney continued to play some concerts in the Pacific Northwest, and these concerts were doing so well that band members decided to resurrect their careers. They recruited permanent bassist Guy Maddison (of Monroe's Fur and Lubricated Goat) who had played with Mark Arm in one of his many side projects, Bloodloss. In 2002, following their return to Sub Pop, the band recorded and released a new studio album, Since We've Become Translucent. This was followed by a major South American tour including Chile, Argentina & Brazil.
In early 2003 the band entered the studio to record a new song entitled "Hard-On For War" that would appear exclusively on Travis Keller's critically acclaimed Buddyhead Presents: Gimme Skelter compilation album. Later that year the band returned to the studio and recorded Under a Billion Suns on which a new version of the song appeared. The album was released in 2006 and received favorable reviews. In 2006 the band also helped to curate an edition of the British All Tomorrow's Parties festival.During 2007, Mudhoney played in Brazil once again and went on a brief European tour.[32791] In November that year, the band released a live album entitled Live Mud, containing songs recorded at a concert in Mexico.In 2008, Mudhoney began recording their next album with producer Tucker Martine. It was titled The Lucky Ones and released in May 2008. Shortly thereafter, Sub Pop released a deluxe, remastered edition of Superfuzz Bigmuff. The reissue contains the original EP in its correct running order, along with singles, demos, and two live recordings from 1988. In the liner notes of the reissued Superfuzz Bigmuff, Jay Hinman wrote:
My feeling—and I know I’m not alone in this one—is that for all the play and worldwide attention several Seattle-area bands got during the 1988-92 period, at the end of the day (and even at the time), there was Mudhoney—and then there was everybody else.
To me, you, and everyone else paying close attention to underground rock music during those years, Mudhoney still sound like the undisputed kingpins of roaring, surging, fuzzed-out, Punk music.
In 2009, Mudhoney announced a series of live dates. This included an extensive tour of Europe which started in Edinburgh, Scotland on Friday 9th October with Sub Pop label mates The Vaselines. Other dates of the tour included; England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland and ended on Monday 26th October in Tel Aviv, Israel.


Studio albums

  1. Mudhoney (1989)
  2. Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (1991)
  3. Piece of Cake (1992)
  4. My Brother the Cow (1995)
  5. Tomorrow Hit Today (1998)
  6. Since We've Become Translucent (2002)
  7. Under A Billion Suns (2006)
  8. The Lucky Ones (2008)


  • Deming, Mark. " Mudhoney". Allmusic. Retrieved May 14, 2005.
  • Vinylnet Record Label Discographies. link. - Sub Pop Catalogue Numbers.
  • Mojo Magazine "Come As You Are" by Michael Azerrad; August 2008; p. 97

External links

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