Prawn Song Records

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Prawn Song Records
Founded1989 (1989)
FounderLes Claypool
Distributor(s)RED Distribution
GenrePop, rock
Country of originU.S.
LocationSan Francisco, California

Prawn Song Records is an independent record label owned by Les Claypool of Primus. The name and logo are a parody of Led Zeppelin's label Swan Song Records.[1]

Prawn Song is based in San Francisco, California, and distribution is handled by RED Distribution in the United States[2][3] and Essential Music & Marketing in Europe.[4]


The label was created in 1989 for the initial limited release of the Primus live album Suck On This. The band borrowed three thousand dollars from Claypool's father to fund the release and pressed one thousand vinyl copies of the record.[5][6] The album was later licensed to independent record label Caroline Records in 1990 for its second pressing, the same label that released the Frizzle Fry album the same year.[6] Primus then signed to Interscope Records, who released the band's third album Sailing the Seas of Cheese in 1991 and all of their subsequent records for the next twenty years.[6]

Prawn Song was resurrected in 1993 as a subsidiary of Interscope (at the time 50% owned by Atlantic Records, the parent company of the original Swan Song label) for the use of Claypool's side projects: Sausage and The Holy Mackerel.[7][8] At this point, Prawn Song was also made a sister label to the Atlantic imprint Mammoth Records, working together with them to launch the musical projects of many of Claypool's friends and former bandmates, including M.I.R.V. (featuring Mark "Mirv" Haggard),[9] the Charlie Hunter Trio (featuring Jay Lane),[10] Alphabet Soup (also featuring Lane),[11] Porch (featuring Todd Huth),[12] and Laundry (featuring Tim Alexander).[13] During this time, Primus' albums continued to be released solely by Interscope

In 1998 and '99, Primus started utilising the Prawn Song imprint to release the EP Rhinoplasty and the album Antipop, respectively.[14][15] By 2001, Prawn Song had dropped its association with Mammoth and branched out from Interscope to become a fully independent label,[2] while also co-operating with Interscope for the release of the Primus EP/DVD Animals Should Not Try to Act like People in 2003.[16] The 2006 compilation album They Can't All Be Zingers was released only by Interscope, separate from Prawn Song.[17] Claypool alleged in 2018 that Mammoth severed ties with Prawn Song as a result of their refusal to release an album by his side project Beanpole, which he worked on with Larry LaLonde, Adam Gates and Mark Greenberg among others.[18] The album was later released by Prawn Song and Sean Lennon's imprint, Chimera Music in 2018.

As an independent label, Prawn Song reissued the early, out-of-print, pre-Interscope Primus albums,[6] as well as DVDs of some of their recent live tours. The label also released material from Claypool's more recent side projects Colonel Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade and Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains,[2][4][19] his solo albums,[20][21] and Gabby La La's debut Be Careful What You Wish For..., on which Claypool produces and provides the rhythm section.[22] The Oysterhead album The Grand Pecking Order, however, was released by Elektra Records.[23]

In 2011 Prawn Song partnered with ATO Records for a joint release of the Primus album Green Naugahyde,[3] and together they subsequently released the band's 2014 album Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble,[24] and the Duo de Twang album Four Foot Shack.[25]



As a subsidiary of Interscope Records[edit]

As an associate of Mammoth Records[edit]

  • MR0065-2 – M.I.R.V.Cosmodrome (1994)
  • MR0066-2 – Charlie Hunter TrioCharlie Hunter Trio (1993)
  • MR0082-2 – Alphabet Soup – Layin' Low in the Cut (1995)
  • MR0094-2 – Porch – Porch (1994)
  • MR0098-2 – Laundry – Blacktongue (1994)
  • MR0102-2 – Eskimo – The Further Adventures of Der Shrimpkin (1995)

As an independent label[edit]

As an associate of ATO Records[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greg (16 September 2014). Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool. Akashic Books. pp. 178–. ISBN 978-1-61775-322-0. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b Overview, Green Naugahyde, Discogs.
  3. ^ a b Copyright information, Purple Onion (European issue), 2002.
  4. ^ Liner notes, Suck On This (reissue), 2002.
  5. ^ a b c d Illustrated Discography, Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People DVD, 2003.
  6. ^ Copyright information, Riddles Are Abound Tonight, 1994.
  7. ^ Copyright information, Highball with the Devil, 1996.
  8. ^ Overview, Cosmodrome, allmusic.
  9. ^ Overview, Charlie Hunter Trio, allmusic.
  10. ^ Overview, Layin' Low in the Cut, allmusic.
  11. ^ Overview, Porch, Discogs.
  12. ^ Overview, Blacktongue, Discogs.
  13. ^ Copyright information, Rhinoplasty, 1998.
  14. ^ Copyright information, Antipop, 1999.
  15. ^ Copyright information, Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People, 2003.
  16. ^ Copyright information, They Can't All Be Zingers, 2006.
  17. ^ How Sean Lennon Rescued Primus Side Project Beanpole from Oblivion Bandcamp Daily. August 29, 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  18. ^ Overview, The Big Eyeball in the Sky, Discogs.
  19. ^ Overview, Of Whales and Woe, Discogs.
  20. ^ Overview, Of Fungi and Foe, Discogs.
  21. ^ Copyright information, Be Careful What You Wish For..., 2005.
  22. ^ Copyright information, The Grand Pecking Order, 2001.
  23. ^ Overview, Primus & the Chocolate Factory, Discogs.
  24. ^ Overview, Four Foot Shack, Discogs.

External links[edit]