Ween is an alternative rock group formed in 1984 in New Hope, Pennsylvania when Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo met in an eighth grade typing class. The pair became known respectively as Gene and Dean Ween. The name Ween was a cross between the words "wuss" and "peen". Ween collected a large underground fanbase despite being generally unknown in pop music.
Pure Guava, the first of a series of releases on the Elektra label, featured their highest charting single, "Push Th' Little Daisies" (1992) which gained them media and MTV attention, as the video was a highlighted target on MTV's Beavis & Butt-head. Chocolate and Cheese followed in 1994, heralding 70s pop/rock and soul influenced tracks such as "Freedom of '76" and "Voodoo Lady," which appeared on the Road Trip soundtrack. The "Freedom of '76" music video was directed by Spike Jonze. At this time, Ween began to expand their live and studio line-up, providing both a crisper production sound in the studio and an easier live setup (up until this time, Ween had been using DAT tapes to provide backings for their songs).
Ween turned to Nashville studio musicians for the recording of the authentically-spirited 12 Golden Country Greats (1996) which only contained ten tracks. There are two theories regarding the title of the album. The first is that it refers to the dozen veteran Nashville studio musicians who played on the album. The second is that the band did indeed record twelve songs during the demo sessions for the album, but upon the removal of the tracks "I Got No Darkside" and "So Long, Jerry" (the latter of which was a B-side on the "Piss Up a Rope" single) they decided not to rename it.
The nautically-themed masterpieceThe Mollusk followed in 1997, demonstrating Ween's satirization, deconstruction, and appreciative mastery of genres, including 1960's Brit-pop, sea shanties, Broadway show tunes, and especially progressive rock. Fans, critics and the band themselves have since considered the album to be their definite opus. The band's desire to pursue alternate forms of media led to the MP3-only release Craters of the Sac (1999), presented by Dean for online download and free trade. Elektra Records released a live compilation entitled Paintin' The Town Brown: Ween Live 1990-1998 in 1999, followed by White Pepper (2000), their pop-themed album and final studio set for Elektra. The track "Even If You Don't" was made into a music video directed by the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Shortly after White Pepper Ween started the internet radiostation WeenRadio, which was awarded 3rd best internet music site by Rolling Stone.
Ween also formed their own label at this time, Chocodog Records, which oversaw the release of several self-produced live sets. The aforementioned Paintin' the Town Brown, which was compiled and mastered by the band, was meant to be the first Chocodog release. According to Dean Ween, once the album was completed, Elektra realized the sales potential of the CD and denied Ween the right to release it through Chocodog. Later, Ween released the first official Chocodog album, Live in Toronto (a live recording from the 1996 tour, in which Ween performed with Bobby Ogdin & The Shit Creek Boys). The limited-pressing CD, available exclusively through the band website, became an instant collector's item. Subsequent Chocodog releases (Live at Stubb's and All Request Live) were produced in higher volumes to meet demand. In 2005, the label released the first installment of a rarity compilation series entitled Shinola, and announced plans to re-release the 1987 cassette tape by Gene, Synthetic Socks.
The two signed to Sanctuary Records in 2003 and released quebec, their first studio set in 3 years. In 2004, they released Live in Chicago, a DVD and CD set that compiled tracks from three energetic live performances.
In February 2006, Dean and Gene, along with their band, rented an old farmhouse and converted it into a working studio. After writing over 50 songs and recording rough versions through 2006, they picked through them and, with Andrew Weiss as producer, re-recorded album versions for what would become "The Friends EP" and, the full-length, La Cucaracha which was released October 23, 2007 on Rounder Records.
On 21 September 2008 Dean Ween anounced on the official Ween website that they plan to release a CD-DVD combo for this Christmas. He states "This time we’re going to be going all the way back to the days when we were still a duo with a cassette deck in the early 90’s. It’s probably the brownest CD on the Chocodog label yet."
"Piss up a Rope" can be heard playing in the garage near the start of the movie "U-Turn". It can also be heard in the background in a scene in the cafe from a May 2008 episode of English soap Eastenders.
The band has made several on-screen appearances, including performing on Letterman, on MTV's Oddville, in puppet form on Crank Yankers, as part of Chef Aid in South Park, and on film as themselves in It's Pat.
Ween's music has been used for several snowboard video parts, including the notable use of "Johnny on the Spot" during snowboarding legend Peter Line's part in the 2000 Mack Dawg film, "The Resistance".
Dean made significant contributions to two projects by his friend Josh Homme: The Desert Sessions and Queens of the Stone Age. On the critically successful 2002 Homme album Songs for the Deaf, Dean played guitar on "Mosquito Song", "Gonna Leave You", and "Six Shooter".
In 2002, the advertising agency for Pizza Hut approached the duo to record a promotional jingle, which resulted in a 30-second recording of "Where'd the Cheese Go?". It epitomized Ween-style irreverence but did not appeal to the agency, and Pizza Hut rejected several versions of the song outright. True to form (and somewhat indignant), Ween re-recorded the same song with new lyrics as "Where'd the Motherfuckin' Cheese Go At?". Both versions are available here
In 2003, "Ocean Man" from The Mollusk reappeared on television when Honda used the song in an advertisement for its 2004 Civic Coupe. In 2004, the song appeared during the ending credits of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. "Ocean Man" was also featured on the 2008 Skateboarding film, "Baker Has a Deathwish".
In 2007, "It's Gonna Be A Long Night" from quebec was featured as the theme song for the launch of internet TV channel RawVegas.tv. "It's Gonna Be A Long Night" was also featured in season 3, episode 14 of the FX television show The Shield. This song also appeared in the soundtrack of Tony Hawks Underground 2. Also from the Quebec album, "Captain" was used in the season 2, episode 2 of Dexter. However, Ween's track was replaced on the DVD version of the Dexter episode by an imitation piece, and not "Captain" itself.
In 2007, on the show "Bionic Woman" the character Nathan was shown using a laptop with numerous Ween "Boognish" stickers on it.
|1986||The Crucial Squeegie Lip|
|1987||Axis: Bold As Boognish|
|1987||Erica Peterson's Flaming Crib Death|
|1988||The Live Brain Wedgie/WAD|
|1990||GodWeenSatan: The Oneness||Twin/Tone, reissued 2001 Restless|
|1991||The Pod||Shimmy Disc, reissued 1995 Elektra|
|1994||Chocolate & Cheese||Elektra|
|1996||12 Golden Country Greats||Elektra|
|1999||Craters of the Sac||online only MP3 release|
|2005||Shinola, Vol. 1||Chocodog|
|2007||La Cucaracha||Rounder Records|
|1999||Paintin' the Town Brown: Ween Live 1990-1998||Elektra|
|2001||Live In Toronto Canada||Chocodog|
|2002||Live at Stubb's 7/2000||Chocodog|
|2003||All Request Live||Chocodog|
|2004||Live in Chicago||Sanctuary|
|1992||I'm Fat||Vital Music|
|1992||Push th' Little Daisies||Elektra Records||1992||Sky Cruiser||Sub Pop|
|1992||Sky Cruiser EP||White Records|
|1993||Push th' Little Daisies||Elektra Records|
|1994||I Can't Put My Finger On It EP||Elektra Records|
|1994||Freedom of '76 EP||Flying Nun Records|
|1994||Voodoo Lady EP||Flying Nun Records|
|1996||Piss Up a Rope/You Were the Fool EP||Flying Nun Records|
|1996||Piss Up A Rope||Diesel Only Records|
|1997||Mutilated Lips||Elektra Records|
|1997||Ocean Man||Elektra Records|
|2000||Even If You Don't||Mushroom Records|
|2000||Stay Forever Promo EP||Mushroom Records|
|2000||Stay Forever Red Vinyl EP||Mushroom Records|
|2005||"Monique The Freak" limited edition one sided etched 12"||Chocodog/Schnitzel Records|
|2005||"Gabrielle" limited edition one sided brown 7"||Chocodog/Schnitzel Records|
|2007||The Friends EP CD and limited edition picture disc 12"||Chocodog/Schnitzel Records|
|1993||En Esch - Cheesy||TVT Records|
|1994||Frente - Lonley||Mushroom Records|
|1995||Kostars - Klassics With a K||Grand Royal|
|1995||Used & Recorded by 3RRR Vol.2||Radio Release|
|1996||Ben Vaughn - Instrumental Stylings||Bar None Records|
|1996||Yoko Ono-Rising Mixes||Capitol Records|
|1996||Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks||Atlantic Records|
|1998||Hub - Hub||SLASH RECORDS|
|1998||Chef Aid: The South Park Album||Columbia|
|1999||Ben - Wool||Ben Chatrer|