Ween – 12 Golden Country Greats: #845 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Ween - 12 Golden Country Greats

Why is Ween’s 12 Golden Country Greats on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

Plays as great comedic alt country/country rock material or simply flat out great alt country/country rock music, period. Well, except for…

What does Ween’s 12 Golden Country Greats mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

Ween has always been a tricky band to figure out, let alone when considering one of their albums for potential placement on this best 1,000 albums ever project/thing.

Ween’s music is often clever, and sometimes outright hilarious. They have an astonishing ability to emulate different musical styles – 12 Golden Country Greats is, you guessed it, an entire country album by an ostensibly alt rock band! But those facts alone make Ween interesting but not necessarily great.

Then there are Ween’s more problematic aspects. Some of their material is sophomoric at best, offensive to some at worst. “Mister Richard Smoker” from this album, for example, leans hard into the latter category. When 12 Golden Country Greats came out in the mid-1990s, I took songs such as this one as silly and harmless. I feel differently today: it’s simply not appropriate or acceptable by 2020 standards.

Moving past all of that, 12 Golden Country Greats deserves a slot on the best 1,000 albums ever because most of the album either plays as great comedic alt country or country rock material or simply flat out great alt country or country rock music, period.

An example of the latter is “I Don’t Wanna Leave You on the Farm,” a sweet and winsome song that makes you reconsider everything you thought you knew about the band. That’s what Ween excels at, really, as well as anything else.

“Piss Up a Rope” pushes into R rated language in a way that some may not like, but it’s a solid and funny parody of boot shuffling country while being rather catchy and sing along-able at the same time.

“Piss Up a Rope” was the kind of song that got my attention in the ‘90s, but these days I’m especially impressed with songs like “You Were the Fool,” which plays as simply gorgeous alt country.

Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Ween’s 12 Golden Country Greats

One of my favorite songs by Ween has long been “The Rainbow,” off the weirdly incredible Chef Aid: The South Park Album, released in 1998. It’s a fantastically trippy alternative rock song that’s catchy as hell and genuinely (I think?) uplifting about humanity… except for one specific word that gets repeated over and over that could have easily been replaced with a more appropriate word.

Again, this is what Ween does.

Some stats & info about Ween – 12 Golden Country Greats

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Country Rock, Alternative Rock, Alt Country
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating4 out of 5 stars
  • When was 12 Golden Country Greats released? 1996
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #845 out of 1,000

Ween’s 12 Golden Country Greats 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.