Phish recorded their third studio album, Picture of Nectar, at White Crow Studios in hometown Burlington, Vermont during the summer of 1991. Picture of Nectar was Phish’s major label debut album and was mostly finished by the time the band entered their record deal with Elektra Records. Phish also teamed up with Trey’s old friend, The Dude of Life at Archer Studios in Colchester to begin collaboration on a new album called The Dude of Life and Phish. Following a successful fall tour, which they capped off with their largest concert to-date on New Year’s Eve 1991, the band took some time to practice, write and produce.
By February, https://www.phish.com/releases/detail.php?ID=51 was ready for release and the band had commenced recording https://www.phish.com/releases/detail.php?ID=14 with The Dude. On February 1st, the members of Phish joined Shockra for their show at K.D. Churchill’s in Burlington. Mike was taking lessons in slap bass from Shockra’s bassist Edwin around that time and the two bands were spending some time together with Shockra opening some classic Phish concerts in the Northeast in 1991. On the 1st, Phish took the stage with Shockra for their second set, performing Shockra staples like Tone Clone, Don’t Let it Stop Ya and Underground People as well as some funky, syncopated jamming. This was the first of a number of live jams the bands played together through the years at Boston’s Neptune House and later at Shockra club performances in 1992 and 1993.
Mixing for https://www.phish.com/releases/detail.php?ID=14 began around February 11th and continued through the spring at Archer Studios in Colchester, Vermont. At the time, the Dude album was Phish’s only appearance as a "backing band" and their first co-produced album that wasn’t all their own material. They arranged and played every track on the Dude’s album, delivering a scorching performance on the title track of a jam similar to Chalk Dust Torture. Also included on the album were Dude favorites such as Self and TV Show. Following a mini-tour that featured Phish as the backing band, Crimes of the Mind was released on Elektra Records in October 1994 https://www.phish.com/tmiph/index.php?year=1994&month=10.
https://www.phish.com/releases/detail.php?ID=51 was released in the United States on February 18th. Leading up to the release, the band spent a couple days in New York doing interviews and other press. On the 18th (which happened to be Super Tuesday of the upcoming presidential election), Trey, Mike and Page were interviewed on WIZN FM’s "What’s New" to promote the self-produced release. The band presented cuts from their new record, which featured a challenging mix of material that had mostly all been played live by the time the record was released. Trey’s dog Marley is credited on the album with security duties and the liner notes pay tribute to the album’s namesake, Nectar. "Eight and a half years ago, we played our first bar gig at Nectar’s in Burlington. Nectar Rorris, the proprietor, was happy to give us a gig despite our lack of experience, organization, or a song list long enough to last two sets. The night went well enough and soon we were playing a series of monthly three night stands – three sets a night on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Like countless other bands in Burlington’s diverse music scene, those nights at Nectar’s taught us how to play. We dedicate this album to Nectar Rorris for 16 years of bringing Burlington live music every night of the week with no cover, and the best fries this side of…France."
It was an unprecedented time in Phish history with the fan community gathering enough critical mass to spread details of the band’s obscure Secret Language from coast-to-coast in a matter of weeks as they crossed the country. As fans on the recently-organized Phish.Net wondered whether the band’s popularity would compromise their creativity, 1992 saw Phish breaking songs like Tweezer and Stash into wide open jams while honing increasingly complex melodies and rhythms like Glide, The Mango Song and Guelah Papyrus into their performances. Phish toured extensively throughout the Spring and Summer supporting the new album and debuting new songs from their next studio effort, https://www.phish.com/releases/detail.php?ID=50 (see TMIPH March 1992, TMIPH April 1992 and TMIPH June 1992).