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Camper Van Beethoven is an American alternative rock group formed in Redlands, California in 1983 and later located in Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Their eclectic and ever-evolving style mixes elements of pop, ska, punk rock, folk, alternative country, and various types of world music. The band initially polarized audiences within the hardcore punk scene of California's Inland Empire before finding wider acceptance and, eventually, an international audience. Their strong iconoclasm and emphasis on do-it-yourself values proved influential to the burgeoning indie rock movement.

Released within an 18 month period, the band's first three independent records enjoyed critical success, each placing in The Village Voice's 1986 Pazz and Jop Top 100 Albums list. Their debut single, "Take the Skinheads Bowling", remains a college rock radio staple. The group signed to Virgin Records in 1987, released two lauded albums and enjoyed chart success with their 1989 cover of Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men", a number one hit on Billboard Magazine's Modern Rock Tracks. They disbanded the following year, however, due to internal tensions.

Individual members found greater commercial success thereafter, with lead singer David Lowery forming Cracker, multi-instrumentalist David Immergl├╝ck joining the Counting Crows, and several other members playing in Monks of Doom. Beginning in 1999, the former members resumed their collaboration, resulting in a full-fledged reunion and several new releases.

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Discography

Album

Year Title Rating Releases
1985 Telephone Free Landslide Victory 5
1986 II & III 4
1987 Camper Van Beethoven 5
1988 Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart 7
1989 Key Lime Pie 5 2
2002 Tusk 2
2002 Cigarettes & Carrot Juice: The Santa Cruz Years 2
2004 New Roman Times 1
2012 La Costa Perdida 2

Album + Compilation

Year Title Rating Releases
1993 Camper Vantiquities Compilation 3
1994 The Virgin Years Compilation 1
2000 Camper Van Beethoven Is Dead. Long Live Camper Van Beethoven. Compilation 1
2008 Popular Songs of Great Enduring Strength and Beauty Compilation 1

Album + Live

Year Title Rating Releases
2004 In the Mouth of the Crocodile: Live in Seattle Live 1
2005 Discotheque CVB: Live in Chicago Live 1

Single

Year Title Rating Releases
1986 Take the Skinheads Bowling 1
1988 Life Is Grand 1
1989 Pictures of Matchstick Men 1

EP

Year Title Rating Releases
1987 Vampire Can Mating Oven 2

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