Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles: #894 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Mudhoney - Superfuzz Bigmuff

Why is Mudhoney’s Superfuzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

A freight train of pioneering grungy punk rock energy.

Some stats & info about Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Grunge, Punk, Punk Rock, Garage Punk, Alternative Rock, Rock Music, Rock, Seattle Bands
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating4.5 out of 5 stars
  • When was Superfuzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles released? 1990
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #894 out of 1,000

Mudhoney’s Superfuzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.

What does Mudhoney’s Superfuzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

Mudhoney is a band that I’ve been a fan of for decades but that I honestly had a hard time figuring out what to do with regard to this here 1,000 1,000 albums ever list. Mostly it’s simply because they do a good job of spreading the songs of theirs that most like among a number of albums and, well, there are stretches on most of their albums – particularly on songs where feedback-y guitars screech on for a little too long for my taste – that aren’t let’s say my fave-y faves.

Still, the band is both “important” as a pioneering “grunge” band, if you think of such a thing as a thing (and I kind of do), and as one who has produced a very respectable amount of good to borderline songs over the course of their career. Which is all to say this album, which comprises both their initial EP release (Superfuzz Bigmuff) from 1988 and some other singles released over the following year or two, does the best job of showcasing the band at their best in one “album.”

Which, still, is frustrating only because I kind of hate the production on a lot of it. But, still, it’s very good overall and well deserving of a place on the list.

Any appreciation for Mudhoney has to start with “Touch Me I’m Sick,” a grunge anthem if there ever was one (though admittedly a song title that doesn’t play all that well during this current Pandemic Era). It showcases the classic dirty guitar sound, the no fills-meets-fully powered garage punk straight out of the deep gloom of the Pacific northwest (my now adopted homeland), and Mark Arm’s wailing vocals.

And while the version of “Touch Me I’m Sick” on this album is good, it sounds better elsewhere. Check out this Mudhoney live performance at the UK’s Reading Festival from 1992 and while the sound quality (still) isn’t great, you get a better sense of the visceral energy that the band produces.

For my money, “Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More” is another grunge classic, strange and slightly offputting yet super compelling in both sound and content.

“In ‘n’ Out of Grace” is one of my favorite Mudhoney songs, a freight train of grungy punk rock energy with wonderful sludgy and boot stomping guitar chords.

This album also sounds like

Throw out the name of any number of popular Seattle scene bands and you’ll be somewhere in the ballpark, particularly Soundgarden and Green River. I want to throw out a curve ball though: in terms of song dynamics, raw energy, and a shared background in the Pacific northwest, I see a connection with a great and raw garage band from the 1960s called The Sonic. Check out this song, called “Strychnine,” and see if you agree.

Another thing to appreciate about Mudhoney is how much fun they have with some of their album titles.  My favorite is Five Dollar Bob’s Mock Cooter Stew, which is a pretty good EP that I owned on CD back in the day.  

I was lucky enough to see Mudhoney live in San Francisco in the very early 2000s with my girlfriend (and now wife). The show was a rather small venue, which was fantastic for getting a visceral blast of the band’s energy. They put on a fantastic performance, and Mark Arm and crew were at the top of their game.