Grant Lee Buffalo is a rock band based in Los Angeles, California, consisting of Grant-Lee Phillips (vocals and guitar), Paul Kimble (bass) and Joey Peters (drums). All three were previously members of another Los Angeles band, Shiva Burlesque.
Grant Lee Buffalo released four albums: Fuzzy (1993), Mighty Joe Moon (1994), Copperopolis (1996) and Jubilee (1998). They toured with major bands including R.E.M., Pearl Jam, the Smashing Pumpkins, and The Cranberries. In the United States, the band's 1998 single, “Truly, Truly” received extensive airplay.
Paul Kimble departed the band in 1997, but Grant Lee Buffalo's next album Jubilee met with more success than the prior releases thanks to "Truly, Truly." But, as Phillips describes, a number of changes led to the dissolution of the band's time at their label and their time together.
- "The celebrational spirit of Jubilee actually brought a renewed optimism to me personally. The album was well received and understandably the expectations at the label were high, probably too high. Although the highly refined Jubilee had brought the band considerable success at radio with "Truly, Truly," a shift within the industry was well underway. The label's constant nagging about "Call-out Response" was both a new term and a bewildering concept to our ears. The basic strategy: a radio station arranges to call up a listerner who is asked to consume about 30 songs over the phone, perhaps 20 seconds of each. From this remote encounter, the listener will then proceed to judge the material. Insufficient call-out response was a big reason that Jubilee hardly got a shot at Warners. Grant Lee Buffalo tunes are often like an old car or an old amp that needs a few seconds to get warmed up, but when it does... look out! Meanwhile, a new crop of young record buyers, the largest since the Baby Boomer era, were now being targeted to the exclusion of Gen-Xers, like myself, still waiting for the Pixies to reform.
- As for Grant Lee Buffalo, I sensed they were beginning to wonder if we'd ever get through finishing school. Before that could happen, band and label parted as did Peters and myself. The scenery was changing and I was looking for new explorations. I'm sure we all were. Perhaps we always will be."
In 2004, a compilation of singles, album tracks and rarities called Storm Hymnal was released.
Phillips continues to pursue a solo career, releasing seven albums between 2000 and 2012.
Grant Lee Buffalo's sound is comparable to Neil Young and an electrified version of Americana song writer John Stewart. Phillips writes that their first album "would galvanize the sound of Grant Lee Buffalo, i.e., the acoustic feedback howl of overdriven 12-string guitars, melodic distorto-bass, tribal drum bombast, the old world churn of pump organs and parlor pianos."
Lyrically, they reference American history as well as contemporary events. For instance, “Lone Star Song” from Mighty Joe Moon references the Waco siege and “Crackdown“ from Copperopolis references the murder of Yoshihiro Hattori as well as the Oklahoma City bombing.
As of May 5, 2011 the band has returned on a limited tour, making stops in Los Angeles, Dublin, London, Brussels, Copenhagen and Oslo. On August 8, 2011 the band performed at Dranouter festival in Belgium, and on August 9 in Copenhagen. Plans for an extended tour have not been released, yet the band has been confirmed to play at the German Haldern Pop Festival in August 2012.
- Fuzzy (1993) UK #74
- Mighty Joe Moon (1994) U.S. Heatseekers #16, UK #24
- Copperopolis (1996) U.S. Heatseekers #16, UK #34
- Jubilee (1998) U.S. Heatseekers #18
Singles and EPS
- Buffalondon live EP (1993)
- 1. The Shining Hour (live) / 2. For The Turnstiles (live) / 3. Grace (live) / 4. America Snoring (live)
- Fuzzy Australian Single (1993)
- Fuzzy CD-4 1993
- 1. Fuzzy / 2. Stars and Stripes / 3. Dixie Drug Store (alternate album take) / 4. I Will Take Him
- America Snoring Single (1993)
- 1. America Snoring / 2. Wish You Well / 3. The Hook (Live) / 4. Burning Love (Live)
- Blue Plate Special (1993)
- 1. Dixie Drug Store / 2. America Snoring / 3. Jupiter and Teardrop (Live - Park West, Chicago) / 4. Wish You Well (Live) / 5. Burning Love (Live)
- Jupiter and Teardrop CD-5 (1994)
- 1. Jupiter and Teardrop (singles mix) / 2. Wish You Well (alternate album take) / 3. Soft Wolf Tread (alternate album take) / 4. The Shining Hour (alternate album take)
- El Dorado Motorhome video (1994)
- Lone Star Song single (1994)
- Mockingbirds single (1994)
- 1. Mockingbirds / 2. Orpheus / 3. Let Go of My Hand / 4. Fuzzy / 5. Dixie Drug Store
- MJM - Four Track Sampler (1994)
- Honey Don't Think single (1995)
- 1. Honey Don't Think / 2. It's the Life (Live) / 3. Mockingbirds (Live) / 4. Wish You Well (Live) / 5. Honey Don't Think (Live) / 6. Last Days of Tecumseh (Live)
- Homespun single (1996)
- 1. Homespun (single edit) / 2. Comes to Blows / 3. Armchair / 4. Crashing at Corona
- Yours Truly CD-4 (1996)
- 1. Truly, Truly (album version) / 2. My My My (album version) / 3. Were You There / 4. Mockingbirds (original 4-track demo)
- Truly, Truly single (1996)
|U.S. Modern Rock|
|1994||"Mockingbirds"||14||Mighty Joe Moon|
The song "Happiness" was used at the end of the first season episode 'Babies and Bathwater', of the TV series House. A cover of Brian Wilson's "In My Room" appeared on the television show Friends and the accompanying soundtrack.