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All you need to know about alternative rock prodigies Ween
Carving a niche in the world of alternative rock, Ween became one of the leading names in the genre and remained a force to reckon with till their break up in 2012. The prodigious band recently announced their plans to reunite which has fans going wild with excitement. In the context of their reunion and upcoming live performances, we decided to take a look at the highlights of a career that spanned more than two decades. Read on to find out more.
Beginnings of a promising career
Formed in New Hope, Pennsylvania in 1984, Ween is the music vehicle for childhood friends Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo Jr. The two met in a middle school typing class and realizing their shared passion for music formed a duo. Inspired by The Ramones, they chose the name Ween for their band; Freeman adopted the pseudonym Gene Ween while Melchiondo went with Dean Ween.
They performed as a duo for their first ten years, with Gene on lead vocals and occasional rhythm guitar and Dean as lead guitarist and back up vocalist, backed by a digital audio tape. Eventually, Ween expanded into a four and then five member act.
The big break
As a duo, Ween self-released six albums in the late eighties. Their public debut was at a high school talent show in 1986 where they performed a cover of Jimi Hendrix's “Purple Haze.” The band's first big break came when they were discovered by Dave Ayers from the Minneapolis-based record label Twin/Tone. Under the label, Ween released their debut album in 1990.
Soon after they switched to the Shimmy Disc Label under which they released their second studio effort, The Pod. It was followed by the group's first extensive US tour and a short UK tour that further expanded their exposure and acclaim.
Grabbing media attention
Ween signed with the major label Elektra Records and released their third studio album Pure Guava in 1992. The album yielded the group's highest charting single “Push th' Little Daisies” which gained them considerable media attention. The music video for the single was also featured on MTV's popular show, Beavis and Butt-head.
Chocolate and Cheese
The success of Pure Guava opened new doors for Ween that led to the realization of the need to expand the live and studio line-up. With a new and improved roster, Ween produced their fourth studio album, Chocolate and Cheese that landed among the top ten on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. The album featured tracks influenced by 70's pop/rock and soul such as “Voodoo Lady” and “Freedom of '76.”
Charting on the Billboard
By the late 90's this alternative rock act had established a sizeable cult-following courtesy of their unique music and exciting live performances. The following decade saw the band release four studio albums, including the notable Billboard charting album White Pepper in 2000 and their last release before the break up, La Cucaracha in 2007.
Breakup and reunion
After a prolific and decades-spanning career that yielded eleven studio albums aside from several independent releases, EPs and live albums, the band decided to break up in 2012. Their final run was a three-night stint at Denver's Fillmore Auditorium. In November 2015, Ween announced that they would reunite for two concerts in Colorado. It was welcome news among the group's extensive fan base and Ween tickets saw heavy demand during presales which led the band to add a third show to their reunion run.
Experimentation with eclectic music styles and lyrical content that incorporates humor and absurdity remain the hallmarks of the band's music. Get Ween tickets to enjoy a powerful dose of alternative rock.
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