The label was created in 1989 for the initial limited release of the Primus live album Suck On This. To fund the release, the band borrowed some money from Claypool's father and pressed one thousand vinyl copies of the record. The album was later licensed to independent record label Caroline Records in 1990 for its second pressing, the same label that released the Frizzle Fry album the same year. Primus signed to Interscope Records before their third album Sailing the Seas of Cheese in 1991, who released all of their subsequent albums.
Prawn Song was resurrected in 1993 as a subsidiary of Interscope (at the time 50% owned by Atlantic Records, the parent company of the original Swan Song label) for the use of Claypool's side projects, Sausage and The Holy Mackerel. At this point, Prawn Song was also made a sister label to the Atlantic imprint Mammoth Records, working together with them to launch the musical projects of many of Claypool's friends, including the Charlie Hunter Trio (featuring Jay Lane) and the bands M.I.R.V., Porch (featuring Todd Huth) and Laundry (featuring Tim Alexander).
During this time, Primus' albums continued to be released solely by Interscope. In 1998 & 1999, however, Primus also started utilising the Prawn Song imprint to release the albums Rhinoplasty and Antipop. By 2001, Prawn Song had dropped its association with Mammoth and branched out from Interscope to become a fully independent label, whilst also remaining as Primus' liaison to Interscope for the release of their EP/DVD Animals Should Not Try to Act like People in 2003. It should be noted that the 2006 compilation album They Can't All Be Zingers was released only by Interscope, separate from Prawn Song.
As an independent label, so far it has been used to release Claypool's most recent side projects and to re-issue the early, out-of-print, pre-Interscope Primus albums. It has also been used to launch the artist Gabby La La's debut album Be Careful What You Wish For..., on which Claypool produces and provides the rhythm section.
When operating independently of Interscope, the Prawn Song label is based in San Francisco, California, and distribution is handled by RED Distribution in the United States, and Essential Music and Marketing in Europe.
Initial inception Edit
As an Interscope Records subsidiary Edit
- INTD-92361 - Sausage - Riddles Are Abound Tonight (1994)
- INTD-90085 - Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel - Highball with the Devil (1996)
- 490214-2 - Primus - Rhinoplasty (1998)
- 490414-2 - Primus - Antipop (1999)
- 0602498613603 - Primus - Animals Should Not Try to Act like People (2003)
As a Mammoth Records associate Edit
- MR0065-2 - M.I.R.V. - Cosmodrome (1994)
- MR0066-2 - Charlie Hunter Trio - Charlie Hunter Trio (1993)
- MR0082-2 - Alphabet Soup - Layin' Low in the Cut (1995)
- MR0094-2 - Porch - Porch (1994)
- MR0098-2 - Laundry - Blacktongue (1994)
- (unknown) - Eskimo - The Further Adventures of Der Shrimpkin (1995)
As an independent label Edit
- PSR-0001-2 - Colonel Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade - Live Frogs Set 1 (2001)
- PSR-0002-2 - Colonel Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade - Live Frogs Set 2 (2001)
- PSR-0003-2 - Primus - Suck On This (2002 re-issue)
- PSR-0004-2 - Primus - Frizzle Fry (2002 re-issue)
- PSR-0005-2 - The Les Claypool Frog Brigade - Purple Onion (2002)
- PSR-0006-2 - Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains - The Big Eyeball in the Sky (2004)
- PSR-0008-2 - Primus - Hallucino-Genetics: Live 2004 (2004)
- PSR-0009-2 - Gabby La La - Be Careful What You Wish For... (2005)
- PSR-0010-2 - Les Claypool - 5 Gallons Of Diesel (2005)
- PSR-0011-2 - Les Claypool - Of Whales and Woe (2006)
- PSR-0012-9 - Primus - Blame It on the Fish (2006)
- PSR-0013-9 - Les Claypool - Fancy (2007)