Trip Shakespeare’s First Two Indie Albums Get Omnivore Expanded Reissues

When people think of the “Minneapolis sound,” most think of Prince. But there were many other highly revered and influential bands on the scene in the ’80s and ’90s, Trip Shakespeare certainly among them. Matt Wilson and Elaine Harris met at Harvard and began playing together while Matt’s hometown music scene was exploding with
 not only Prince, but bands like Hüsker Dü and the Replacements. Matt asked Elaine to head back to Minneapolis with him, where they hooked up with Matt’s friend John Munson to form Trip Shakespeare. The band became a local sensation and its debut, Applehead Man, appeared on the regional label Gark, in 1986.

Omnivore Recordings is proud to bring Trip Shakespeare back into the spotlight with a reissue of that classic debut, including seven previously unissued bonus tracks, some with Matt’s brother, Grammy® Award-winning songwriter Dan Wilson, who soon joined the band. The original trio became a quartet and self-released Are You Shakespearienced? in 1988.

Applehead Man and Are You Shakespearienced? will be released in digipaks, both featuring liner notes from Jon Niccum (author of The Worst Gig) and previously unseen photos.

The Applehead Man LP reissue (first pressing on translucent red vinyl, with black to follow) contains the original ten tracks, liners and photos, and a download card for the entire CD program. The Are You Shakesperienced? LP reissue (first pressing on translucent sea-foam green vinyl, with black to follow) likewise contains the original nine tracks, liners and photos, and a download card for the entire CD program.

Trip Shakespeare would eventually sign to A&M Records. The Toronto Star called the major label debut Across the Universe “odd stuff, but completely engaging.” Newsday cited its “original melodies, soaring, driving hooks, and precise, daringly oddball lyrics.” Later, Munson and Dan Wilson went on to form Semisonic, whose “Closing Time” cracked the Top 50 and “Secret Smile” reached the Top 20 in the U.K. Wilson has continued as a prolific songwriter (Adele and the Dixie Chicks have recorded his songs), producer, recording artist and even visual artist.

But the Trip truly starts at Applehead Man and Are You Shakespearienced?.

Applehead Man Track Listing:
Stop the Winter
Applehead Man
Washington Bridge
Highway in the Sun
Bonus Tracks:
Freedom Bird
The Nail (Early Version)
Patricia (Early Version)
Susannah (Early Version)
Fool of the Wicked Kind

Are You Shakespearienced Track Listing:
The Lake
Two Wheeler, Four Wheeler
Toolmaster of Brainerd

Bonus Tracks:
Earth, By Revolving
Black Road
10,000 Watt Searching Light
Bachelorette (Early Version)
Look at the Lady
Reception (Early Version)
Stories End
Snow Days (Early Version)


In a previous life, Corinne ran a music website. After going strong for a decade, the site went on a hiatus. Consider her the antiTastemaker.