Chicot the Hippo

The now iconic Neverwhined album cover shows Chicot swimming in a pool toward a cupcake dangling from a fishhook. According to Chicot, he conceived the idea while watching a television documentary program on the unusual past time of underwater picnics. (This may have actually been just a dream, it is rumored that he was on a diet at the time). Originally the cover was to have been of a baby swimming towards a big pile of money, however it turned out that throwing babies into swimming pools was largely frowned upon in most societies, and that Lefty did not want to get his money wet.

 

Despite low commercial expectations by Chicot and his record label, Neverwhined became a surprise success in late 1991, largely due to the popularity of the singles, "Smells Like Tinned Spinach" and ″Dumb as Your Arse″, and “Linoleum.”. By January 1992, it had replaced Michael Jackson's album Dangerous at number one on the Billboard charts. The Recording Industry Association of America has certified the album Diamond (over 10 million copies shipped), and the album has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Neverwhined was responsible for bringing alternative rock to a large mainstream audience and critics subsequently regard it as one of the best rock albums of all time.

Chicot fashioned power chord sequences based mainly around hammering on the guitar frets with his huge great hoofs, and he wrote songs that combined pop hooks with dissonant guitar rhythms. His aim for the Neverwhined material was to sound, in his words, like the "Bay City Rollers getting eaten by a Black Panther" (which it turns out had been a fantasy shared by many). The songs on Neverwhined feature shifts in dynamics, where Chicot changes from quiet verses to really loud choruses influenced by roadwork construction, in particular the jackhammer for breaking up concrete – recordings of which are used throughout the album accompanied by Chicot’s shrieks of pain when it hammered his foot.