6 May 1996
12 Golden Country Greats is the fifth studio album by the American rock band Ween, and their third on Elektra Records.
The album marked the first (and so far only) time Ween limited themselves to a specific genre of music, in this case, country music. According to producer and friend of the band Ben Vaughn, Ween asked him to produce the album as he had already been working with musicians on the Nashville country scene, having produced Arthur Alexander's Lonely Just Like Me album and co-written songs with Rodney Crowell and Gary Nicholson. Although they managed to get many highly regarded country musicians to play on the album, some, such as keyboardist Bobby Emmons (who also served as a church deacon) and Danny Davis, turned them down due to the "blue" nature of much of their material. The session musicians were responsible for almost all instrumentation on the album: the only instrumental parts recorded by the core members of the band were guitar solos by Dean and Gene on "I Don't Wanna Leave You on the Farm" and "Fluffy" respectively. The legendary Bradley's Barn was chosen for recording the album. Later, Ween would assemble some of the session musicians again into a touring band dubbed The Shit Creek Boys.
Despite the album's name suggesting a number of 12 songs, 12 Golden Country Greats contains only 10 tracks, as the songs “I’ve Got No Darkside” and “So Long Jerry” were omitted after the artwork for the album was completed. Ween later claimed “12” represents the number of musicians that appear on the record, but afterward admitted it was merely an attempt to cover up the mismatch.
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