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Eels is an American rock band formed in California in 1995 by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Oliver Everett, known by the stage name E. Band members have changed over the years, both in the studio and on stage, making Everett the only official member across most of the band’s works. Eels’ music is often filled with themes about family, death, and lost love. Since 1996, Eels has released twelve studio albums, seven of which charted in the Billboard 200.
In 1991, Everett released A Man Called E under the name E. The single “Hello Cruel World” was a minor success opening the way for a tour supporting Tori Amos. In 1993 E released his second album Broken Toy Shop which marked the beginning of his collaboration with drummer Jonathan “Butch” Norton.
Eels were officially founded when Norton and E met bassist Tommy Walter. The “Eels name was chosen so that the band’s albums would be close to E’s solo records in alphabetical order, although it was too late once they realized numerous Eagles and Earth, Wind & Fire releases were in between.
In 1996, Eels released their debut album Beautiful Freak, a melancholy pop record with tormented lyrics. Three singles from the album; “Novacaine for the Soul,” “Susan’s House” and “Your Lucky Day in Hell” became modest national and international success, winning the Best International Breakthrough Act award at the 1998 Brit Awards. In 1996 and 1997, Eels toured extensively to support the album, building their name as a live act in America and Europe.
In 2001, the Shrek animated motion picture soundtrack included the Eels’ song “My Beloved Monster.”
Following Beautiful Freak’s success E experienced difficult personal issues. His sister committed suicide, and his mother was diagnosed with cancer. These events inspired the album Electro-Shock Blues which focuses on his family, which he had never previously written about. The album released in 1998, deals with many difficult subjects including suicide, death and cancer. The album’s first single; “Last Stop: This Town,” saw minor success, while the second single “Cancer for the Cure” was featured on the American Beauty soundtrack.
In 2000, Eels released Daisies of the Galaxy, recorded almost entirely in E’s basement. The album was lighter and much more upbeat than its predecessor. The first single, “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues,” was not intended to be on the album, but the record company insisted on its inclusion. Therefore, it is not featured on the track listing but is instead listed as a bonus track, separated from the rest of the album by 20 seconds of silence.
In 2003, Eels released Shootenanny! The album was recorded live in the studio in only ten days and included “Saturday Morning”as its first single.
In 2005, Eels released a 33-track double album Blinking Lights and Other Revelations. The album included contributions from Tom Waits, Peter Buck and John Sebastian.
In 2009, Eels released Hombre Lobo the first album in a trilogy that eventually included End Times and Tomorrow Morning. The three albums respectively explore themes of desire, loss, and redemption.
Eels’ 12th studio album 2018’s The Deconstruction is their most recent and first in four years. The album travels through many styles sonically, but its lyrics primarily deal with rebuilding one’s life and looking back on what went wrong. Styles present on the album include orchestral pop, power pop, psychedelic pop/rock, indie/alternative rock, post-modern pop.
The Eels will tour America and Europe beginning in spring 2019.
Reference – http://www.eelstheband.com/
Sacramento’s K-ZAP 93.3 FM plays Eels. All part of 50 years of Rock, Blues and More, 24-7 on our station’s stream at K-ZAP.ORG/LISTEN/
Check out Eels performing “You Are The Shining Light” from the album Deconstruction.