Several years ago on a cold, hazy day, I listened to “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel with a couple of friends. My friends talked about the album’s legacy and would often stop to sing along with the harsh, off-putting vocalist.
Legacy? How could this band leave behind a legacy? I was confused how they could find his voice even remotely listenable — much less good enough to want to sing along with. I made a mental note not to listen to that band with the strange name and shrill vocals.
Years later, I was a fully-fledged Neutral Milk Hotel fan. I had listened to all their albums and EPs, read their Wikipedia article several times and even tried to proselytize my friends and family into becoming NMH fans. I loved the production on “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” so much that I wanted to know where NMH recorded and who did the work. On Wikipedia, it said one of their labels was Elephant 6. I clicked on it to investigate and that’s when I first stumbled upon the Elephant Six Recording Company. After listening to the prominent bands of the Elephant 6 label, I realized that I had found myself an aural gold mine.
Elephant Six Recording Company was founded in 1991 in Denver, Colorado by lifelong friends Robert Schneider (The Apples in Stereo), Bill Doss (Olivia Tremor Control), Will Cullen Hart (Olivia Tremor Control and Circulatory System) and Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel). While they had many great bands, here are — in our estimation — the top 3 bands in the history of The Elephant Six Recording Company (be sure to click the band name in order to see a complete review and music videos):
#3 – Beulah
#2 – Elf Power
#1 – Circulatory System
Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comment section below!