My guess is that a good number of you don’t know this album or even this band. In one word, “you should!”
They were one of the best power-pop bands of the early nineties, Jellyfish. One of those bands that you ask yourself, Why wasn’t this all over radio, why were they not more popular?
You can hear a little Squeeze in their sound, a little XTC and a little Beatles.
The songs that did get some recognition off of Bellybutton were “The King is Half Undressed,” “Baby’s Coming Back” and “Now She Knows She’s Wrong.” Those are just the titles that I’m highlighting, there’s not a bad track on the album. I probably should have highlighted “That is Why” as well, so there.
Jellyfish, from San Francisco were lead by singer drummer Andy Sturmer and keyboardist Roger Manning. They were the band’s songwriters. The lineup was rounded out by guitarist Jason Falkner. They also included Chris Manning on bass and Niko Wenner for the live shows. They formed in 1989 and were done by 1994. The follow up to this album called Spilt Milk in 1993. They disbanded after it’s releases. Musical differences between Roger Manning and Andy Sturmer lead to the decision.
Bellybutton was released in 1990. It peaked at # 124 on the Billboard Album Charts. “Baby’s Coming Back” peaked at number #62 on the Billboard Singles charts.
And I always thought that Jellyfish were the scary things that went after the Seaview on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea!
All songs written by Roger Manning and Andy Sturmer, except where noted.
- “The Man I Used to Be” – 4:33
- “That Is Why” – 4:16
- “The King Is Half-Undressed” – 3:46
- “I Wanna Stay Home” (Sturmer) – 4:06
- “She Still Loves Him” – 4:30
- “All I Want Is Everything” (Sturmer) – 3:44
- “Now She Knows She’s Wrong” – 2:35
- “Bedspring Kiss” – 5:03
- “Baby’s Coming Back” (Sturmer) – 2:57
- “Calling Sarah” – 4:02
- Andy Sturmer: Vocals, Drums, Some Guitar & Keyboards.
- Roger Joseph Manning Jr. – Keyboards, Piano, Harpsichord & Vocals.
- Jason Falkner: Guitars, Bass & Background Vocals.
- Chris Manning: Band Witchdoctor & Mime.
- Chuck Findley – trumpet
- Tommy Morgan — harmonica
- Steven Shane McDonald – bass
- John Patitucci – upright bass
- Lenny Castro, Luis Conte — percussion
- Frank Marocco – accordion
- Sid Page — string accompaniment