Sailing the Seas of Cheese
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Sailing the Seas of Cheese
Sailing the Seas of Cheese
1991 Sailing the Seas of Cheese.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 14, 1991
RecordedJanuary - February 1991
StudioFantasy Studios, Berkeley, California
Primus chronology
Frizzle Fry
Sailing the Seas of Cheese
Miscellaneous Debris
Singles from Sailing the Seas of Cheese
  1. "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver"
    Released: 1991
  2. "Tommy the Cat"
    Released: 1991
  3. "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers"
    Released: 1992

Sailing the Seas of Cheese is the second studio album and major-label debut by the American rock band Primus, released on May 14, 1991. It spawned three singles: "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver", "Tommy the Cat", and "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers". "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" appeared in the video games ATV Offroad Fury, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater,[2][3]Rock Band 3,[4] and as downloadable content for Rocksmith 2014,[5] while "American Life" appears in Tony Hawk's Project 8,[6] as well as in the first season of True Detective.

Album information

  • "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" contains a sample from the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 in which the character Chop Top exclaims "Dog will hunt!"
  • "Los Bastardos" contains samples from the BBC television series The Young Ones including Vyvyan shouting, "Shut up, you bastards!" as well as Rick saying, "You just called me a bastard, didn't you?" and "Mike, you bastard!"
  • The lyrics "sail the seas of cheese" from "Seas of Cheese" would later appear in the song "DMV" on their next album Pork Soda, as well as the song "Dirty Drowning Man" on 1999's Antipop.
  • The song "Eleven" is in an unusual time-metric of 11/8, hence the name.

Live performance

The album was performed live in its entirety in 2003 and 2004 on their Tour De Fromage, on December 30, 2010 and once more during a two night show at Royal Albert Hall in April 2012.[7]

Critical reception

Reviewing the album for AllMusic, Steve Huey contends that "Sailing the Seas of Cheese completely redefined the possibilities of the electric bass in rock music for those who'd never heard the group before." He describes the album as "mostly riff-driven, fleshing out their heavy metal roots with prog rock tricks from Rush and Frank Zappa, as well as the novelty side of Zappa's sense of humor." He notes that "the willful goofiness may alienate some listeners, but... it never detracts from the band's frequently stunning musicianship" and concludes that this album is "the tightest, most song-oriented representation of their jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind style."[8]Simon Reynolds reviews the album for Entertainment Weekly by describing Primus as "too self-consciously goofy for their own good, but their rubber-boned thrash-funk can be cartoonish fun."[10]

Release history

Sailing the Seas of Cheese reached Gold status in March 1993. It was certified platinum in December 2001.[18]


Plain Recordings released a 180 gram version of the LP.

2013 reissue

A deluxe edition of the album was released on May 21, 2013. It is available in two six-panel Digipak configurations, each featuring the album's new stereo mix on CD and the new 5.1 surround mix on Blu-ray or DVD, plus three exclusive, previously unreleased bonus tracks, and liner notes by music journalist Greg Prato."[19] Claypool stated, "Musically, it holds up incredibly well. Sonically, it holds up fairly well. There's some old-style reverbs that are a little bit syrupy. With modern technology, we can fix some of that stuff. But we don't want to mess with it too much, because it is what it is. We want to fatten it up a little bit."[19]

Track listing

All lyrics are written by Les Claypool; all music is composed by Primus, guitar melodies on "Tommy the Cat" and "Sgt. Baker" by Todd Huth.

1."Seas of Cheese"0:42
2."Here Come the Bastards"2:55
3."Sgt. Baker"4:16
4."American Life"4:32
5."Jerry Was a Race Car Driver"3:11
7."Is It Luck?"3:27
8."Grandad's Little Ditty"0:37
9."Tommy the Cat"4:15
10."Sathington Waltz"1:42
11."Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers"5:20
12."Fish On (Fisherman Chronicles, Chapter II)"7:45
13."Los Bastardos"2:39
Total length:45:43



Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1991 Heatseekers 2
1991 The Billboard 200 116

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1991 "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" Modern Rock Tracks 23


  1. ^ Jenkins, Mark (27 October 1991). "California's Funk-Metalists, Putting on Airs". Retrieved 2017 – via
  2. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2000-03-17). "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater". IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Scary, Larry (2000-03-29). "Tony Hawk {{sic}} Pro Skater". GamePro Media. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-11. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Tony Hawk's Project 8 Drops 56 Tracks". IGN Entertainment, Inc. 2006-10-17. Archived from the original on 2011-03-16. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Interview with Les Claypool of Primus: Odd Man Out | The Aquarian Weekly". 2010-10-08. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Sailing the Seas of Cheese - Primus". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012.
  9. ^ Kot, Greg (June 6, 1991). "Primus: Sailing the Seas of Cheese (Interscope)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ a b Reynolds, Simon (May 24, 1991). "New Hybrid Sounds". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ "Primus: Sailing the Seas of Cheese". NME: 36. June 15, 1991.
  12. ^ "Primus: Sailing the Seas of Cheese". Q (104): 130. May 1995.
  13. ^ McIver, Joel (July 2013). "Primus - Sailing The Seas Of Cheese (Deluxe Edition)". Record Collector (416). Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ Kot, Greg (2004). "Primus". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 654. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  15. ^ Thelen, Christopher (2019). "The Daily Vault Music Reviews : Sailing the Seas of Cheese". Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ "Primus - Sailing the Seas of Cheese". Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ Kangas, Chaz. "Primus - Sailing the Seas of Cheese". Retrieved 2019.
  18. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Archived from the original on 2010-12-10. Retrieved .
  19. ^ a b Business Wire. "Primus' 'Sailing The Seas Of Cheese' Newly Mixed and Expanded for New Deluxe Edition, to Be Released May 21 by Universal Music Enterprises". Business Wire. Retrieved .

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