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Hairway to Steven

Butthole Surfers

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

After the sonic overkill of 1987’s Locust Abortion Technician, the Butthole Surfers suddenly shifted gears and made what was at the time their most accessible album to date. The only barrier to entry was the band’s decision to leave the song titles off the record label in favor of some scatological cartoon drawings. Still, listening to the surprisingly melodic (sometimes even folk-rock) tunes, one could sometimes figure what the song might be called, even if it turned out to be “I Saw an X-Ray of a Girl Passing Gas” — which just might be the catchiest song on the album. The opener, “Jimi,” is a twelve-minute “tribute” to Hendrix from the inside out, obsessing on the late guitar player’s craziest, most experimental tendencies courtesy of Surfers’ guitarist Paul Leary’s string-mangling psychosis, while “John E. Smokes” shines its spotlight on the Surfers’ singer Gibby Haynes, who channels the vibe of a preacherman as he psychobabbles into delightful incoherency.

Customer Reviews

What the Sam Hill is This?

What in the name of Whitney Houston is going on here? I thought I had my hairmetal for breakfast when I woke up one morning late in the apocalypse and found that instead on my overfried feedbacked wheat toast a steaming lump of psychedelic excrement known as Hairway to Steven. Brilliant. Brainiac never had it so good.

The Best

This is one of my all time favorite records and in my opinion, the best album they put out. Paul Leary's guitar tones are unmatchable by any other player that I have ever heard. The first time I heard this was in the eighth grade and I was into metal at the time. These guys blew my mind. I think that it was recorded with two drummers, they toured with two drummers for the album. Truely mind altering.

an awesome album from one of the greatest live bands ever!

the butthole surfers lived in the clubs during the late 80's and their live show was something to die for! kids will talk about how great a manson or nin show was but the surfers put on a show that would make their jaws drop. this album is bad a*s and you should have it and you should get everyone of their albums while your at it!


Formed: 1982 in San Antonio, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Arguably the most infamously named band in the annals of popular music — for years, radio found their moniker unspeakable, and the press deemed it unprintable — Butthole Surfers long reigned among the most twisted and depraved acts ever to bubble up from the American underground. Masters of calculated outrage, the group fused the sicko antics of shock rock with a distinct and chaotic mishmash of avant-garde, hardcore, and Texas psychedelia; sleazy, confrontational, and spiteful, songs...
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