- Eels: E (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards); Butch (vocals, drums).
- Additional personnel: Grant Lee Phillips (electric guitar, banjo, background vocals); Stuart Wylen (guitar, alto & bass flutes, Fender Rhodes); Parthenon Huxley (guitar); Lisa Germano (violin); Cynthia Merrill (cello); Jim Jacobsen (clarinet, keyboards, bass); Bill Liston (saxophone); Jon Brion (organ, Chamberlin); John Leftwich (acoustic bass); T-Bone Burnett (bass).
- Producers: E., Jim Jacobsen, Mickey P., Michael Simpson, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
- Engineers include: Mickey P., E., Jim Jacobsen.
- Lyricist: E.
- Personnel: E (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Butch ? (vocals, drums); Stuart Wylen (guitar, alto flute, bass flute, Fender Rhodes piano); Parthenon Huxley (guitar); Grant-Lee Phillips (electric guitar, banjo, background vocals); Cynthia Merrill (cello); Jim Jacobsen (clarinet, keyboards); Bill Liston (saxophone); Jon Brion (organ, chamberlin); John Leftwich (upright bass).
- Audio Mixers: E; Michael Simpson; Greg Collins ; Jim Jacobsen; Jim Lang; Mickey P.
- Unknown Contributor Role: Elton Jones.
- Arranger: Jim Lang.
- ELECTRO-SHOCK BLUES is the ultimate example of artistic-statement-as-therapy-session. Written and recorded in the wake of the death of family and friends, the songs here are full of sorrow and bereavement, but redeemed by a self-conscious sense of black humor. The man formerly known as "E" is first and foremost a popster though, so no matter how downhearted things get (and with song titles like "Going to Your Funeral" and "The Medication is Wearing Off," this is no day at the beach) there are enough hooks to keep it all afloat. There's a sparseness to the arrangements that suits the stark nature of the subject matter, but the intimacy thus created allows ELECTRO-SHOCK BLUES to communicate that much more directly. Check your razor blades at the door.
Rolling Stone (10/29/98, p.76) - 3.5 Stars (out of 5) - "...E's anguished response to the deaths of several friends and to his becoming...the last living member of his family....introspective arrangements are occasionally relieved by blasts of noise or elegantly colored string, horn and keyboard touches..."
Entertainment Weekly (10/23/98, p.80) - "...BLUES is oddly moving and surprisingly accessible. Written after frontman E's mother was diagnosed with [cancer], it lays bare the horrors of terminal illness in songs that shift from clinical to disconsolate....You'll hum along even as you recoil in disgust." - Rating: A-
Q (9/02, p.104) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Even the acoustic tracks hold up well in the live setting..."
CMJ (1/11/99, p.5) - "...ELECTRO-SHOCK BLUES was one of 1998's most oddly powerful pop albums, demonstrating that weighty, tearful emotions, pretty melodies and groovy tempos can harmoniously complement one another..."