Best known for their suprise Top 40 hit "Three Little Pigs" (as well as the song's claymation video, which became a staple on MTV in 1993), Green Jelly began their career as Green Jell+¦ in 1981. The name was chosen due to the band's poor opinion of green-flavored jello, and they decided it also appropriately reflected the quality of their music. Hailing from Kenmore, NY, the bandmates never attempted to be good, deciding instead to "disguise their lack of ability with stupid props," as their liner notes once put it. Green Jell+¦ appeared on [RoviLink="VW"]The Gong Show touting themselves as the world's worst band, but the real turning point came in 1988, when they met GWAR and learned how to sculpt props and costumes with latex, papier-mache, chicken wire, and couch cushions. They attracted a small, curious following with their bizarre, cartoonish look and wound up signing with Zoo Records as a video-only band.
Having already released several EPs and one album (1989's Triple Live M+¦ther G+¦+¦se at Budokan), Green Jell+¦ made their Zoo Records debut with Cereal Killer, a "video album" that featured music videos for each song. Filled with silly costumes and simple, bubblegum metal songs, Cereal Killer became a hit once the clay-animation video for "Three Little Pigs" started showing up on MTV. Demand for the band's music increased, and the guys responded by releasing Cereal Killer Soundtrack -- essentially the audio version of their video-only album -- in 1993.
With success came lawsuits. After Kraft Foods took them to court for trademark infringement, the musicians were forced to change their name to Green Jelly. They also had to include an edited version of "Cereal Killer" on their audio release, as the cereal companies whose mascots were murdered in the video did not take kindly to it. The music industry still had faith in the group, though, and Green Jelly had little trouble convincing BMG to co-finance Green Jell++ Studios, an audio and visual production house that opened its doors in 1994 on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CA. That same year, Green Jelly supplied the first-ever video game soundtrack for [RoviLink="GW"]Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage, based on the Marvel Comics characters. The group released one last single in 1995, a version of Gary Glitter's "I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am)" with Hulk Hogan on vocals, before calling it quits.
A decade passed before Green Jelly reunited in 2008 with a slightly revised lineup. After touring the country and reissuing several albums, the band released a new record, Musick to Insult Your Intelligence By, in 2009. ~ Steve Huey & Steve Leggett
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