Pepper (song)

Pepper (song)
Single by Butthole Surfers
from the album Electriclarryland
Released 1996 (1996)
Format CD, 7"
Genre Psychedelic rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rap
Length 4:57
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Butthole Surfers
Producer Steve Thompson
Butthole Surfers singles chronology
"Good King Wencenslaus/The Lord Is a Monkey"
"Jingle of a Dog's Collar"
Music sample

"Pepper" is a song by American alternative rock band Butthole Surfers. It appeared on their 1996 album Electriclarryland, and reached number one on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. It attained number 4 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of 1996.


Composition and lyrics

"Pepper" opens with The Chorus Guitar riff, (slowed down to half speed).

The song shifts from rap-like verses to sung choruses.

The lyrics of the verses list ten characters and describes how each either dies or escapes a brush with death. Each incident, whether brought about by idiotic recklessness or meaningless bad luck, finds the victim romanced or invigorated by facing death.

The relationship between the lyrics and title is not made clear, nor is the exact connection between the different types of piqued awareness presented in the different sections.

The song also contains the bridge played in reverse. The reversed words are the first and last lines of the chorus: "I don't mind the sun sometimes; the images it shows; you never know just how you look through other people's eyes."

Formats and track listing

Compact Disc Single (US) / US Cassette Single

  1. "Pepper" (Edit) - 4:36
  2. "Pepper" (Album Version) - 4:56
  3. "Let's Talk About Cars" - 4:34

Remix Maxi Single (US)

  1. "Pepper (Comin' Down The Mountain Mix - Edit)" - 4:09
  2. "Pepper (Short Shot Mix)" - 2:56
  3. "Pepper (Hallucinations' Funky Salt-Lick Mix)" - 6:46
  4. "Jingle Of A Dog's Collar" - 3:09

Compact Disc Single (Holland)

  1. "Pepper" – 4:56
  2. "Hybrid" – 6:39
  3. "Pepper" (Butcha' Bros. Remix) – 4:44
  4. "The Lord is a Monkey" (Demo) – 4:44

7" Vinyl Single (UK)

  1. "Pepper" (Single Edit) - 4:36
  2. "Pepper" (Butcha' Bros. Remix) - 4:44

7" Vinyl Single (UK)

  1. "Pepper" - 4:57
  2. "Birds" - 3:10

Cover version

On September 2, 2010, Hesta Prynn and Shawn Crahan of Slipknot released a cover of "Pepper" that was released as a 7" vinyl single.[1] The B-side of the single is the unreleased track "Seven Sisters".


The Christian parody band ApologetiX parodied "Pepper" into "People", a song about the disciples of Jesus Christ. The song is labeled on the CD as "People (A parody of "Pepper" by The Butthole Surfers)."


Preceded by
"Counting Blue Cars" by Dishwalla
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
July 6 – July 20, 1996
Succeeded by
"Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand" by Primitive Radio Gods

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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