Hoist: Phish’s Fifth Studio Album Released 22 Years Ago Today

This year, Phish is celebrating the 22nd anniversary of Hoist with a limited and individually numbered 180g 2-LP orange splatter colored vinyl set released on April 16th at select record stores participating in Record Store Day.

Phish Hoist splatter LP

During the tracking of the album, band bassist Mike Gordon brought along a videocamera recording the antics and anecdotes that occurred at the American Recording Co. in Woodland Hills, California in October and November 1993, which he then edited together in the 25-minute documentary, Tracking, here:

From Wikipedia: The band suggested a few ideas for the album’s title before finally settling on Hoist; one of the alternative suggestions was Hung Like a Horse. The band ruled this out, but decided to keep the visual joke intact for the album’s cover. The horse is also a reference to “The Horse,” the only song not visually depicted on the cover of Rift, the band’s previous album.

Screenshot from "Tracking" featuring Hoist's album cover photoshoot

The album cover artwork is undeniably referenced in artist Maurizio Cattelan’s piece “Novencento”, which featured a taxidermized horse hung from the baroque ceiling of one of the salons at the Castello di Rivoli in Turin in 1997, three years after Phish released Hoist.

Maurizio Cattelan’s “Novencento”

Maurizio Cattelan’s “Novencento”

About three months after the album’s release, Phish played their first show in West Virginia and performed the album in its entirety as their second set. The first set? A profound, must-hear performance of the Gamehendge saga, prompting fans and critics to refer to this 6/24/94 show as the “GameHoist” show.