The Elephant Riders

The Elephant Riders is the third full-length album by the band Clutch, released April 14, 1998 on Columbia Records, the only album Clutch made for the label.[2]

The Elephant Riders
Clutch - The Elephant Riders.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 14, 1998
GenreStoner rock, alternative metal, hardcore punk, funk metal
ProducerJack Douglas
Clutch chronology
The Elephant Riders
Jam Room
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]

Recording and releaseEdit

It was produced by Jack Douglas (whose other credits include The Who, Aerosmith, Blue Öyster Cult, John Lennon, James Gang and Mountain). The band convened in a 100-year-old house in West Virginia which they lodged in while making the album. Several incidents the band members experienced during their residence there became inspirations for some of the songs, notably in "The Soapmakers" and "Wishbone". Bassist Dan Maines had set up a BMX track in the yard surrounding the house.


The original concept for the title track and what became the title for the album, according to the bonus multimedia pack which came bundled with the original CD pressings, was an alternate history version of the Civil War in which airships were used for reconnaissance and the cavalry rode elephants rather than horses. The album has some of the band's live staples on it and has a different musical angle from the previous work. There is some very noticeable trombone on some tracks, which is keeping with the band's preference to alter their previous musical 'style' somewhat each album. They have the Stoner Rock efforts that the previous album had started to create, but stay true to their original Punk / Metal roots as well, and continues with some Funk metal undertones. It also contains some more mellow songs as well.
It is an album that has a hidden track (one of three different ones) on the end of the song "The Dragonfly", and quite a few unreleased songs from the era (that are heavily bootlegged). Each print of the album has a different hidden track but you cannot tell from the album cover itself which one it is. The Japanese version has all three as separate tracks.
As of 2015, The Elephant Riders is out-of-print by Columbia Records and when asked about a possible reissue in 2012, vocalist Neil Fallon stated it was unlikely any time soon, saying:

"...maybe in the distant future [it] will revert to us, just because the terms of the contract will expire, but that’s not on our to-do list, because trying to talk to Sony’s lawyers is like launching a spacecraft." [3][4]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Clutch. Published © 1998 Freon Justice Music, Inc. (ASCAP)

1."The Elephant Riders"3:50
2."Ship of Gold"4:22
3."Eight Times Over Miss October"4:21
4."The Soapmakers"2:57
5."The Yeti"4:59
6."Muchas Veces"5:44
7."Green Buckets"3:52
10."The Dragonfly"12:01
Total length:51:03

The last track, "The Dragonfly", runs to 12:01 on the album itself; this is because each copy of the album contains one hidden track, which is after a few minutes silence, though it is not known which song you will get by the album cover itself. This gives most versions a run time of 51:03, instead of 45:21 minutes without the extra track (as the song itself fades out at the 6:19 mark). The Japanese version of the album, however, contains all three bonus tracks, separate of the last song and gives an even longer run time of 57:01.

11."David Rose"4:30
12."Gifted & Talented"2:41
Total length:57:01

The tracks listed below are from the era, unmastered and giving a very raw sound, bootlegged from the sessions the band did for this album, but have never been 'Officially' released to date. They appear on an unofficial compilation called "Clutch: Rarities and B-Sides", which has a 'Clutch Cavalry - Pro-Rock' label as the cover. It also contains early tracks by the band that are hard to come by.[5][6] It is a precursor to the Slow Hole to China: Rare and Unreleased album the band would later release, under their own label, in 2003, though it didn't have all of the bootlegged tracks from this unofficial release.[7][8]

1."Big News III"4:00
2."Earth Years"4:08



  • Produced by Jack Douglas
  • Engineered & Mixed by Jason Corsaro; except "Eight Times Over Miss October" which is mixed by Jack Joseph Puig
  • Recorded at Electric Lady Studios and Manhattan Center Studios, NY
  • "Muchas Veces" & "Crackerjack" recorded by Larry Packer at Stonewall Studios, WV
  • Mixed at Avatar Studios, NY and Ocean Way Studios & Jack's Kingdom, LA
  • Assistant Engineers: Andy Salas, Kurt Garrison, Barbara Lipke, Jim Champagne
  • Mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk, NY
  • Art Direction: Sean Evans & Clutch
  • Photography by Dan Winters

Chart positionsEdit


Year Chart Position
1998 The Billboard 200 #104
1998 Top Heatseekers #1


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "Pro Rock". Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "CLUTCH : Discography". Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  5. ^ "Clutch: B-Sides & Rarities - Clutch — Listen and discover music at". Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  6. ^ "B-Sides & Rarities by Clutch (Bootleg, Hard Rock): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music". Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  7. ^ "CLUTCH : Discography". Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  8. ^ "Clutch - Vibestar Media". Vibestar Media. Archived from the original on 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2016-02-20.