Sunday, April 17, 2016

On the turntable this Sunday...Hoist

Hoist (stylized as (Hoist)) is the fifth official studio album by the American rock band Phish, released on March 29, 1994, by Elektra Records. At the time of its release, Hoist was Phish's best selling album to date, peaking at #34 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

The band suggested a few ideas for the album's title before finally settling on Hoist; one of the alternative suggestions was Hung Like a Horse. The band ruled this out, but decided to keep the visual joke intact for the album's cover. The horse is also a reference to "The Horse," the only song not visually depicted on the cover of Rift, the band's previous album.

Hoist features guest appearances from Alison Krauss, Béla Fleck and a host of other musicians, as well as actor Jonathan Frakes on trombone. With its jazz, blues, soul and bluegrass influences, the album is marked by more stripped-down, straightforward songwriting and pop-friendly hooks, a somewhat new approach for Phish.

However, the album's final track, "Demand", segues into an extended instrumental excerpt from the April 21, 1993, live performance of the song "Split Open and Melt", followed by the first verse and refrain of the Hebrew song "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold)."

"Riker's Mailbox" is a brief interlude track on the album, and the only "song" on the album to have never been performed live by the band. Album producer Paul Fox lived next to Jonathan Frakes, whose mailbox is apparently uniquely decorated. Frakes, who played Commander Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, sat in for a while during the Hoist sessions, giving his name to the track.

On June 26, 1994, the band performed the entire Hoist album (minus "Riker's Mailbox") verbatim as the second set of their live show in Charleston, West Virginia. This move was a subversion of Phish's usual improvisationally driven performances, and later inspired the band's tradition of donning a musical costume for Halloween.

The band released a music video for "Down with Disease", directed by bass guitarist Mike Gordon.
The album was certified gold by the RIAA August 19, 1996.
In February 2009, this album became available as a download in FLAC and MP3 formats at

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