Grant Lee Buffalo
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Grant Lee Buffalo was a rock band based in Los Angeles, California, consisting of Grant-Lee Phillips (vocals and guitar), Paul Kimble (bass) and Joey Peters (drums). All three were previously members of another Los Angeles band, Shiva Burlesque.
|Grant Lee Buffalo|
Grant Lee Buffalo, 1996
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Genres||Alternative rock, Americana|
|Years active||1991–1998, 2011|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
Grant-Lee Phillips, Paul Kimble and Joey Peters started as a rock music formation called Shiva Burlesque. The band was active in the late 1980s. It released two studio albums, the self-titled Shiva Burlesque in 1987 on Fundamental Records. The follow up album, the band's second and last album was Mercury Blues and was released in 1990 on Ripple Effect record label. Shiva Burlesque was reformed in 1991 as Grant Lee Buffalo.
Grant Lee Buffalo released four albums: Fuzzy (1993), Mighty Joe Moon (1994), Copperopolis (1996) and Jubilee (1998). They toured with major bands including R.E.M., Pearl Jam, the Smashing Pumpkins, and The Cranberries. In the United States, the band's 1998 single, "Truly, Truly", received extensive airplay.
Paul Kimble departed the band in 1997, but Grant Lee Buffalo's next album Jubilee met with more success than the prior releases thanks to "Truly, Truly." But, as Phillips describes, a number of changes led to the dissolution of the band's time at their label and their time together.
- "The celebrational spirit of Jubilee actually brought a renewed optimism to me personally. The album was well received and understandably the expectations at the label were high, probably too high. Although the highly refined Jubilee had brought the band considerable success at radio with "Truly, Truly," a shift within the industry was well underway. The label's constant nagging about "Call-out Response" was both a new term and a bewildering concept to our ears. The basic strategy: a radio station arranges to call up a listerner who is asked to consume about 30 songs over the phone, perhaps 20 seconds of each. From this remote encounter, the listener will then proceed to judge the material. Insufficient call-out response was a big reason that Jubilee hardly got a shot at Warners. Grant Lee Buffalo tunes are often like an old car or an old amp that needs a few seconds to get warmed up, but when it does... look out! Meanwhile, a new crop of young record buyers, the largest since the Baby Boomer era, were now being targeted to the exclusion of Gen-Xers, like myself, still waiting for the Pixies to reform.
In 2001, a compilation of singles, album tracks and rarities called Storm Hymnal was released.
Grant Lee Buffalo's sound is comparable to Neil Young and an electrified version of Americana songwriter John Stewart. Phillips writes that their first album "would galvanize the sound of Grant Lee Buffalo, i.e., the acoustic feedback howl of overdriven 12-string guitars, melodic distorto-bass, tribal drum bombast, the old world churn of pump organs and parlor pianos."
Lyrically, they reference American history as well as contemporary events. For instance, “Lone Star Song” from Mighty Joe Moon references the Waco siege and “Crackdown” from Copperopolis references the murder of Yoshihiro Hattori as well as the Oklahoma City bombing.
As of May 5, 2011 the band has returned on a limited tour, making stops in Los Angeles, Dublin, London, Brussels, Copenhagen and Oslo. On August 8, 2011 the band performed at Dranouter festival in Belgium, and on August 9 in Copenhagen. Plans for an extended tour have not been released, yet the band has been confirmed to play at the German Haldern Pop Festival in August 2012.
In October 2017, Chrysalis Records acquired Grant Lee Buffalo’s back catalog from Slash Records. Chrysalis/Blue Raincoat CEO Jeremy Lascelles had previously signed the band to the label’s publisher in the 1990s.
Lead singer Phillips has had his own solo career as well. He explains:
- As for Grant Lee Buffalo, I sensed they were beginning to wonder if we'd ever get through finishing school. Before that could happen, band and label parted as did Peters and myself. The scenery was changing and I was looking for new explorations. I'm sure we all were. Perhaps we always will be." 
He was signed to the Boston-based indie label Rounder Records and launched a solo career, issuing Ladies' Love Oracle online in 2000. The recording was later more widely released. His first full-length LP, Mobilize, was released in 2001. Phillips has released eight albums between 2000 and 2012.
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|1994||Mighty Joe Moon||24||48||—||8||23||38||16|
Singles and EPsEdit
|Year||Single / EP||Peak chart positions|
|UK||NL||U.S. Modern Rock||Album|
|1993||America Snoring Single
|1993||Buffalondon live EP
|1993||Blue Plate Special
|1993-1994||Jupiter and Teardrop
|1994||Let go of my hand / We're coming down||—||—||—||—|
|1994||Lone Star Song||—||—||—||—|
1. Mockingbirds / 2. Orpheus / 3. Let Go of My Hand / 4. Fuzzy / 5. Dixie Drug Store
|1994||MJM - Four Track Sampler|
|1995||Honey Don't Think single
|1998||Truly, Truly (Yours Truly)
1. Truly, Truly (album version) / 2. My My My (album version) / 3. Were You There / 4. Mockingbirds (original 4-track demo)
Compilations and live albumsEdit
|2001||Storm Hymnal: Gems from the Vault of Grant Lee Buffalo
||The best of and B-sides/rarities||Disc I: Takes
1. Fuzzy (4:56) 2. The Shining Hour (3:52) 3. Jupiter And Teardrop (5:57) 4. Stars N' Stripes (4:41) 5. Lone Star Song (4:34) 6. Mockingbirds (4:41) 7. Honey Don't Think (2:43) 8. Happiness (3:00) 9. Bethlehem Steel (6:04) 10. Arousing Thunder (5:42) 11. Homespun (5:35) 12. Two & Two (3:45) 13. Truly, Truly (3:58) 14. Testimony (4:00) 15. My, My, My (4:06) 16. The Shallow End (4:14)
Disc II: Double Takes
1. We're Coming Down (4:12) 2. The Shining Hour /Alternate Acoustic Version/ (3:24) 3. Wish You Well /Alternate Acoustic Version/ (3:43) 4. Soft Wolf Tread /Alternate Acoustic Version/ (2:36) 5. I Will Take Him (4:26) 6. Let Go Of My Hand (4:09) 7. Orpheus (4:53) 8. Goodnight John Dee (3:15) 9. Halloween (4:15) 10. Gold Chain Drag (2:16) 11. Crashing At Corona (4:20) 12. Mr. Know-It-All (2:55) 13. Were You There (6:46) 14. Where Do We Go From Here (3:49)
|2013||Live At the Royal Festival Hall
||Live at the Royal Festival Hall in London on May 18, 2011||1. Shining Hour (5:03) 2. Wish You Well (3:32) 3. Jupiter and Teardrop (5:49) 4. Demon Called Deception (3:22) 5. Lady Godiva and Me (5:03) 6. Soft Wolf Tread (3:03) 7. Stars 'N Stripes (4:52) 8. Bethlehem Steel (5:34) 9. Honey Don't Think (2:51) 10. Happiness (2:53) 11. Sing Along (4:09) 12. Drag (3:25) 13. It's the Life (3:44) 14. America Snoring (4:01) 15. Fuzzy (6:16) 16. The Hook (5:37) 17. Homespun (5:01)|
|Year||Song / Video||Album||Director|
|1994||Lone Star Song||Mighty Joe Moon||Carlos Grasso|
|1994||Mockingbirds||Mighty Joe Moon||Anton Corbijn|
|1994||Honey Don't Think||Mighty Joe Moon||Carlos Grasso|
|1994||El Dorado Motorhome (Mighty Joe Moon Promo)||Mighty Joe Moon||Carlos Grasso|
|1999||Circuit DVD Music Magazine #1 (Jubilee Promo)||Jubilee||Jodi Wille|
|OST release date /
Episode air date
|Song||Composer||Film / TV series|
|22 March 1994||Fuzzy||Grant-Lee Phillips||With Honors (OST)|
|13 June 1995||Mockingbirds||Grant-Lee Phillips||Mad Love (OST)|
|26 September 1995||In My Room||Brian Wilson, Gary Usher (The Beach Boys)||Friends (OST)|
|3 November 1998||The Whole Shebang
Bitter's End (performed by Paul Kimble and Andy Mackay)
Lo' and Behold*
Make Your Own Little Heaven*
|Velvet Goldmine (OST)|
|2 February 1999||Testimony||Grant-Lee Phillips||I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (OST)|
|9 April 2001||Jupiter and Teardrop||Grant-Lee Phillips||Trigger Happy TV (OST to Series 2)|
|19 April 2005||Happiness||Grant-Lee Phillips||House TV Series (Babies & Bathwater episode)|
(*) - Soundtrack demos only, not on the OST.
- Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 396. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
- "History | Part 4: The Search for Copperopolis". Grant Lee Buffalo. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
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- "Grant Lee Buffalo Special Reunion Tour and Limited Dates". Josef Peters. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- "Chrysalis acquires Parlophone catalogues under divestment deal". Retrieved 2018-02-24.
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