Founded by Grunge pioneer Mark Arm (vocals), along with Steve Turner (guitar), Matt Lukin (bass), and Dan Peters (drums), Mudhoney (named after a title of a Russ Meyer movie)opened up boasting impeccable credentials with both Arm and Turner graduates from Grunge founding act Green River (and previously Thrown UPS), while Lukin had been a member of fellow Seattle act Melvins.
Securing as much claim as Nirvana to the title of Godfathers of Grunge, Mudhoney secured their place in fame with the single Touch Me I'm Sick. The single was one their few tracks that held up to the primal style of The Stooges, one of their clear influences, featuring Arm shrieking like a man sick himself. Named after Steve Turner's favourite effects pedals, their disappointing debut album Superfuzz Bigmuff was released in 1988. Regardless of it's shortcomings, the album proved itself to be a seminal release in the 1980s, setting the blueprint for what would become the Grunge movement only a few years later, a style that would become bastardized to represent snooze influenced sub-Metal Rock N' Roll. But Mudhoney, to their credit, managed to maintain a quality above their later contemporaries by being the first, fresh and new, especially with tracks like No One Has and Need, not to mention their cover of Sonic Youth's Halloween as a split single, with Sonic Youth covering Touch Me I'm Sick on the reverse. Given all this progress, their debut self-titled album proper was a disappointment in 1989 except for the tracks This Gift, and Here Comes Sickness making it worth the price.
By 1991 Mudhoney had modified their sound slightly to release the Let It Slide EP as only a test of their top 40 U.K. hit follow-up album Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge that same year. The EP, especially, harked back tom their Superfuzz days, this time with a more retro garage-Punk feel, especially on tracks like Paperback Life and Ounch Of Deception; the album itself featuring also harmonica and harmonized organ to the guitar fuzz.
Following Nirvana into the big leagues by signing a deal with Reprise' after a financial dispute with Sub Pop', Mudhoney would release the lackluster Piece Of Cake in 1992. The album showed the kinks in their armor for it was the first in a series of big corporate productions they fell victim to with their rough edges smoothed by big production gloss of the follow-up mini-album Five Dollar Bob's Mock Cooter Stew in 1993. It was a competent recording, but it took the spontaneity of old on the follow-up My Brother The Cow (1995; at 70 U.K.) for them to return to form.
Mudhoney then went on hiatus while Arm went on tour with his side-project Bloodless, while Turner turned to business matters with his own label Super Electro' (Mudhoney got dual output for the imprint), and Peters guessed for solo Mike Johnson (of Dinosaur Jr.).
In 1996 they were back in form to release Tomorrow Hit Today, a release that disappointed their hardcore fan base.