a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Billy Breathes

Billy Breathes

Released: 1996-10-15
  1. Free
  2. Character Zero
  3. Waste
  4. Taste
  5. Cars Trucks Buses
  6. Talk
  7. Theme From the Bottom
  8. Train Song
  9. Bliss
  10. Billy Breathes
  11. Swept Away
  12. Steep
  13. Prince Caspian

Co-produced by Steve Lillywhite and released as Elektra #61971 in 1996, Billy Breathes peaked at No. 7 at 430,000 copies (according to Billboard 10/3/98).

On it's released, Billboard Magazine reported (11/2/96), "Rock'n'roll journeymen's latest album is a typically diverse excursion into the edges of rock, jazz, and blues, highlighted by Trey Anastasio's adventurous writing and the band's improvisational talents. .... the album paints a colorful stylistic palette that will no doubt appeal to the group's large and loyal fan base, despite the absence of a clear radio hit."

Outtakes reportedly included Spock's Brain, Strange Design, Flip, The Blob (at least the full-length version, from which Steep, Talk, and Waste were taken), Grind (performed 12/30/98 with Tom Marshall), and several instrumentals.

The miniature Doniac Schvice included with the liner notes is a "greatest hits compilation:

  • Tom Interview - Feb 93 (technically pre-Schvice)

  • Fish's Forum - June 95

  • Burgess- Spring 94

  • Inside Joe's Nose- Feb/Mar/Apr 93

  • Schvice letter- Spring 94

  • DWD letter- Oct 94

A tabulature book for the album is available through Phish Dry Goods, and in the Doniac Schvice. (Note that all of the lyrics to "Swept Away" are repeated in "Steep", and that the book reveals the chorus of Character Zero.)

Alternate titles, as listed in liner notes and posted to RMP: THE WRONGS OF SPRING - your name here - boom marengue - IF THEY'RE PHISH, THEY'LL BITE - Thanks for letting us use your phone - A wet one - IF YOU'RE Phish I'LL BITE - FIRST TAKERS - BITE - skin - XOXINASTIC (ed a sticker) - NOTHING COULD BE FUNNER - spatial relation distinction confusion - Dave Matthews Band Crash (ed the sticker label from a CD, complete with bar code) - POP SEX - MOTHRA - Psychadelic Is Better Than Funky - Folk psyche - not think about it even more - page against the machine - solace white guys - bad clef - sweeps of the barn - LIKE A VERSION - HUNDRED - Big Blob of Music - Beanbow Music - It's About Time - >From Nothing to Still in the Background - Blowin the Hootie - The Other White Meat - Blah Blah Blob - Stock Riffs - No One to Blame but ourselves - Third Ball - Wrong Again - I Could Hear My Brain Getting In The Way - I Hear My Brain A-Comin' - Cut the Shit - From Boomp to Blap - Fish and Chips (Fishman w/ Ponch + Jon) - Welcome to Corsackie - If you don't like this album; Fuck this album - From Pussbag to Meathead - If you've got a dwarf you've got a party - Third Bowel - (a fishook symbol) The artist formerly known as Phish - Like India - Beware of Peace (a peace sign with a line through it) - Torque Lug Torque - Peace is head - Peace's Head - S-WORD - More ass than Head - Imperialism - No Pain Rogaine - Weird Design - B.O.R.D.E. - inectymop - insectafuct - HIGH FOUR - ratio problem - penile smile - cardboard kick - VAAZ - Third - Song in the key of D - Captain Chris and the Microscopic Chubby - SCHROEDER VIBE - R&B - r and b - songs for the charts - The Acceptable Sound of Rock Guitar - Lassiecollie - Elektra-wish - onelektra - talk - A thousand Pictures - crossover - no Hits - NO HITS BUT BONG - india - LIKE - The beverage - bypass filter - labor of like - DICA - MUSIC TO TAKE ACID TO - ACID TONES - 6 Week Repair - An album for your money - "jam?" "no... jelly please" - TREY SMOKED POT - Martha's Vineyard!!! - No pain yes gain

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sethadam1 Staff Reply
sethadam1 The moment in the guitar solo of "Billy Breathes" where Trey harmonizes with himself is the best moment of recorded Phish, period. It's the apex of emotion they've yet captured on CD.
Score: 2
lumpblockclod Staff Reply
lumpblockclod Agreed, the studio version of "Billy Breathes" is about as good as it gets for studio Phish. Otherwise, I find this album terribly overrated, though (even by Phish studio album standards).
Score: 1
lpenoza Reply
lpenoza According to the postscript to Charlie Dirksen's review of 1995-10-21 YEM:

Best Alternative titles to Billy Breathes (as considered by
the Committee at Elektra):

Page Against the Machine
No One But Ourselves to Blame
A Lame One
Wish You Were Dead
Weird Design
My Friend My Friend is Nailing My Wife
Oh Taste And See
Electrolux Dream
Songs to Take Acid To
Kill The Pig
You Have Failed Me for the Last Time
Breathe Deep the Gathering Gloom
A Man Has to Shoot His Own Dog
Theme from the Bottle
Deduct the Carrots from Your Pay
Gamehendge My Butt
Vader Release Him
Been You To Have Any Spike, Man
Let's All Get Drunk and Screw
Bacon Lettuce Tomatoes
Mike's Nose
I Am Hydrogen Hear Me Roar
Kiss Me I'm Fishman
Lap It Up, Lap It Up, Oh Oh Oh
She's Got Looks That Kill
Come Waste Your Money With Us
Hi We're Phish and We Suck
Cars Trucks Blood
Have You Seen The Man Mulcahey, Because He Owes Me Money
Prince Cheesepian and His Merry Hosemasters
Swept Away Sheep
Capital Zero
Sing We Merrily on High
We're Going To Bring Back Cities in Europe, And You Suck
Score: 1
coral_sand_below Reply
coral_sand_below Phish's best studio album by a country mile.
Score: 1
screechingllama Reply
These songs totally open up live. I'm not sure who recently (2014-ish) stopped liking Taste, sort of like Page doesn't like Sleeping Monkey. This version from Vegas should be on the recommended list.
Score: 1
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