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Lemonheads

The Lemonheads' evolution from post-Hüsker Dü hardcore punk rockers to teenage heartthrobs is one of the strangest sagas in alternative music. Initially, the group was a punk-pop trio formed by three teenage Boston suburbanites, but over the years, the band became a vehicle for Evan Dando. Blessed with good looks and a warm, sweet voice, Dando became a teen idol in the early '90s, when Nirvana's success made alternative bands commercially viable. While his simple, catchy songs were instantly accessible, they tended to hide the more subversive nature of his lyrics, as well as his gift for offbeat covers and his devotion to country-rock father Gram Parsons. After developing his signature blend of pop, punk, and country-rock on several independent records in the late '80s, Dando moved the Lemonheads to Atlantic Records in 1990. Two years later, It's a Shame About Ray made the group into media sensations, as Dando's face appeared on music and teen magazines across America and Britain. Though the Lemonheads were poised to become superstars, the band never quite found the right breakthrough single, and their popularity peaked in the early '90s. Around the same time, Dando descended into severe drug abuse that he curbed by the 1996 release of Car Button Cloth. However, he had missed his chance at stardom -- though the group retained their cult, much of their audience had already slipped away.

The son of a Boston attorney and a fashion model, Evan Dando (vocals, guitar, drums) formed the Lemonheads with his high-school classmates Ben Deily (vocals, guitar, drums) and Jesse Peretz (bass). Initially, the group was called the Whelps, but by the time the band made their debut EP, Laughing All the Way to the Cleaners, they had changed their name to the Lemonheads. Recorded the day after their high-school graduation, Laughing All the Way to the Cleaners was released on the group's own label, Huh-Bag. The EP gained the attention of the Boston-based indie label Taang!, which signed the band later that same year. By the beginning of 1987, Doug Trachten had become the band's full-time drummer, leaving Dando and Deily to share guitar and vocal duties. Hate Your Friends, a speedy hardcore LP that fell halfway between Hüsker Dü and the Replacements, was released in 1987. Trachten left after the record's release, and the band made 1988's Creator with Blake Babies drummer John Strohm.

Released in 1989, Lick expanded the Lemonheads' cult, thanks to a loud power pop cover of Suzanne Vega's "Luka." Following the release of Lick, Deily split and eventually formed the Pods and then Varsity Drag. Dando briefly played with the Blake Babies before forming a new version of the Lemonheads with drummer David Ryan. The Lemonheads signed with Atlantic Records in 1990, releasing Lovey, their most accomplished, melodic, and eclectic record to date, later that year. Dando's interest in the band began to wander the following year, as he recorded the solo EP Favorite Spanish Dishes. In 1992, he recorded It's a Shame About Ray, which featured Blake Baby Juliana Hatfield on bass and harmony vocals.

It's a Shame About Ray would prove to be the Lemonheads' breakthrough album, but it didn't become a hit until a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" was added to the album several months after its initial release. By the end of 1992, the record had gained momentum, and Dando was being touted as the next alternative star. By the fall release of 1993's Come on Feel the Lemonheads, Dando had become a minor celebrity, appearing in gossip columns frequently and hanging out with fellow Gen-X icons, including actors like Johnny Depp and musicians like Hole's Courtney Love. His fame was large enough to spark the creation of an anti-Dando fanzine, I Hate Evan Dando. Recorded with the band's new bassist Nic Dalton, Come on Feel was hyped as the album that would make the band superstars, but Dando's antics received more press than the record received airplay, even though "Into Your Arms" nearly scraped the pop charts. During the press junket to promote the album, he confessed to heavy use of hard drugs, including an escapade where he smoked enough crack to ruin his voice for several weeks. His addiction deepened throughout 1994, and he was frequently seen in a drug-induced haze on Oasis' fall tour of Britain. Early in 1995, he launched a solo tour of the U.S. with Epic Soundtracks, after which he played the Glastonbury Festival, where he was booed for appearing several hours late.

Dando sobered up during the remaining months of 1995, though he hadn't completely stopped drinking by the time he recorded Car Button Cloth with a new lineup of the Lemonheads featuring former Dinosaur Jr. drummer Murph, guitarist John Strohm, and bassist Bill Gibson. The album was greeted with mixed reviews upon its fall 1996 release and failed to generate a hit single; furthermore, Dando launched no full-scale tour to support the album. Late the following year, the Lemonheads and Atlantic Records parted ways; Atlantic retained the rights for a greatest-hits album, which was released in mid-1998.

With the Lemonheads essentially broken-up, Dando kept a fairly low-profile in the years directly following the split from Atlantic. He reappeared for a solo tour in 2001 and then released the lowkey solo album Baby I'm Bored in 2003. Three years later, Dando had reunited the Lemonheads and in 2006 the band released a self-titled album that, while not a revelation, certainly sounded like a worthy follow-up to It's a Shame About Ray and Car Button Cloth. In 2009, inspired by years of mixtapes given to Dando by his friend and Butthole Surfers-leader Gibby Haynes, the Lemonheads released the covers album Varshons. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: I Just Can't Take It Anymore (Radio Single)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
deadmbl68
The Lemonheads have been a go to me for many years. Thanks for the music.
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littlemeowth
No comment at this time.
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Rich azs spoiled trust fund possers.
I hate myself for liking their music. ,
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nicko252008
The sound of the 90's!! This is it.
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I am a fan. Leaving out all the "news"/noise about them, the music is special to me. Evan's singing voice and his way with songs is very enjoyable for me. It's positive feeling to me when I listen. And the lyrics are real, deeper, creative. The melding of genres is nice. The covers, the work with multiple cool artists all appeal to me.
And like the rest of us, Evan's had a life complete w some s**t along the way, some of which he's responsible for.
Anyway, I always enjoy his music.
Shawn
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Stupid retarded dumb heads
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They're missing the album after Come on Feel Lemonheads-- called Car Button Cloth, or something like that.
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Perfect song to play when it's raining
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Ah yes, the 90's. This is such a sweet & simple tune! This was now a time that some of us could come up for air from the 80's and switch gears into future, for better or for worse.
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Love the lemonheads
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Awesome !
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i fuking love the Lemonheads!
i miss evan dando, great lo-fi musician
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You gotta have the Lemonheads , yet another must have in the sounds of life
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overall - meh! .. best thing that ever happened to the Lemonheads was Murph banging skins from Dino J!
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nicko252008
Bahahahaha
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You must not read too many YouTube comments nicko.
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nicko252008
@MooMoo - That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard sombody say.
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glassed77
Car Button Cloth is not listed as one of their discography. That's a great album, one of their best.
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bwahahaha @iangoodman9 5
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Saw Dando and what was being called the Lemonheads in 2007 and the concept of him being clean might be a tad overstated as dude was wasted.
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sryan00
I spent a lot of time with the Lemonheads in the 90's along with all other bands surrounding them. They were not only amazing live but well respected by peers. Lovey was my favorite Stove is a rockn tune.
Report as inappropriate
jbitzer- Maybe your problem is the hair Metal station, I'm just saying. Lemonheads are great
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jbitzer
I'm really getting sick of Pandora playing crap like this on my hair metal station.
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I haven't bee n exposed to these guys-I don't know how I missed them. Good sound, good lyrics-but that little cheesy riff in the song doesn't even fit with the rest of the song.
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jasonparkere s 3
Great group.
Report as inappropriate
johndostal0
I like em.
Report as inappropriate
One of the best pop bands during the 90's!!! Why o why did this album not shoot to number 1??????? Evan Dando rocks and is one of the best in my book.
Report as inappropriate
"Hate Your Friends" is the best Lemonheads record.
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philbio66
Oh, Richard.
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Pretty cool. At least he doesn't say "put in your pantry with your cupcakes" as flakey as the original. LOL!
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estellamary
Interesting sound.....ha u n t i n g almost
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love the lemonheads:)
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sounds like the Smithereens
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Ahhhhhhhhhhh h h ! ! ! The Lemonheads!! ! Good stuff.
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ohioalison
Just brilliant - one of, if not my favorite bands of all time!
Report as inappropriate
Yeah Bromide....P a n d o r a just played that cover for me. Granted it is a good cover but it doesn't show what these guys did on their early punk stuff.
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True enough. Its a Shame About Ray is a gem of an album. One of those you can listen all the way through. There are a lot of dud tracks on their other albums though, at least for me.
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it's a shame about ray: one of the best albums of all time
Report as inappropriate
So Bromide, when you make it big with your cover song, you can b**ch and moan all you want about someone elses music. Coming up on a band's page telling everyone you hate them or they suck is like winning in the special olympics: sure you got the gold, but you're still retarded.
Report as inappropriate
spokexx
its a shame what drugs and alcohol can ruin.
Report as inappropriate
bromide01
UHM, HELLO? Their cover of "Mrs. Robinson" is still played on lame radio stations across America. They're so terrible that their big song was a cover.
Report as inappropriate
Bromide, do you have ears? This music is amazing. I won't ask if you have a brain, I know the answer to that.
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toferlewis
Oddly enough in all my time on Pandora and all my stations, the Lemonheads never came up, until now, and now I feel as if I'm back in high school/colle g e hanging out with some chick. I never hated the lemonheads, but never really got into them either, but I have plenty of ex's that loved 'em...
Report as inappropriate
bromide01
They're the worst kind of sell out. If Evan Dando wasn't "blessed with good looks and a warm, sweet voice" then they would have just been another mediocre punk pop band that faded into oblivion. This is the kind of crap Nirvana unfortunatel y spawned, while bands with real talent never really got a chance.
Report as inappropriate
Nothing sour about the Lemonheads - maybe a few seeds to spit.
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joelhorton
I actually dig the Lemonheads new album (2006).
Report as inappropriate
I like their cover of "skulls" by the misfits
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still sounds good after all this time
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They forgot the debut album "hate your friends"
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they single handled brought pop oriented alternative rock to a prime so bromide01 shut the f**k up
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