Buttercup
by Brad

Album: Shame (1993)
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Songfacts®:

  • A track from their first album, Brad was formed by Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard along with lead singer Shawn Smith and drummer Regan Hagar. When they came up with this song, the band didn't exist - they were merely recording some songs together. They recorded their first jam session on DAT; Smith took the tape home and added a chorus and some other vocal parts. The results convinced the assemblage that they could record an entire album, which they did.

    "It was that song that made Stone go, 'Dude, let's the three of us go in the studio in the fall after I'm done with Pearl Jam stuff,'" Smith told us.

    Adding bass player Jeremy Toback, the group returned to the studio while Gossard was on break from Pearl Jam (not long after their 1992 Lollapalooza gig) and spent 17 days making the Shame album. Brad turned out to be more than a one-off side project: they released another album in 1997 and have continued recording together when time permits.
  • The Prince influence is apparent on this song. "On my end it's 'Purple Rain,' with like one different chord," said Smith, who played piano on the track.

    Smith grew up listening to Prince, and cites the purple one as a favorite songwriter. The funky, Prince-infused side of the band helped Brad stand out among other Seattle acts.
  • Don't read too much into the lyrics to this song - even if you can understand them. "The vocal's improvised, except the chorus," Smith told us. "That's why some of the words are muffled. They don't say anything, really, except 'absjurhh.'" (Here's our full interview with Shawn Smith.)

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