Eels Souljacker on 180g LP
Eels have had one of the most consistently acclaimed careers in music. The ever-changing project of principal singer/songwriter Mark Oliver Everett aka E, Eels have released 10 studio albums since their 1996 debut, Beautiful Freak. Mojo Magazine calls Everett "a member of rock's very own League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," while legendary troubadour Tom Waits says he "eagerly awaits each new release." In 2009 Eels began the release of an album trilogy: Hombre Lobo, End Times, and Tomorrow Morning, followed three years later by 2013's Wonderful, Glorious and the critically-acclaimed The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett in 2014.
Recorded in bits and pieces, some dating back to 1998, the bulk of the Souljacker album was recorded in the early part of 2001 and co-written and co-produced by E and John Parish, whom E met while Eels were appearing on the same 1998 taping of the British TV show, "Top Of The Pops," that PJ Harvey, the band Parish is often a member of, was also appearing on. E and Parish hit it off immediately, bonding over a mutual love of croquet and rock music.
The album's inspiration came when E was taking a break from the recording of Electro-Shock Blues at a meditation retreat, deep in the woods of central California. While thinking about a story he had recently heard about a California serial killer called the Soul Jacker, who claimed to take not only the lives of his victims, but the souls as well, E broke the retreat's rules of not reading, writing or speaking by writing the song "Souljacker Part II" on a roll of toilet paper.
The Souljacker album was released internationally in September of 2001 while the US release of the album was delayed until March 2002. Legendary German director Wim Wenders shot the video for "Souljacker Part I" in an abandoned East Berlin prison. TIME magazine crowned Souljacker one of the best records of the year, while NME called it "downright brilliant" and London's Sunday Times deemed it Album Of The Year, saying that "The conventional wisdom that Electro-shock Blues was E's masterpiece will have to be reassessed: it was clearly just one of his masterpieces."