06 April 2008


John Flansburgh and John Linnell are the core of They Might Be Giants. The two Johns met as teenagers and began writing music together while still in high school, though they didn’t become TMBG until years later.

Around 1981, they began using the name, and performing as a duo (with drum machine backing) around Brooklyn.

To help spread the word about their music, early on they began putting music on an answering machine, and advertising the number as They Might Be Giants’ Dial-A-Song. This phone number lasted for many years into their career, but alas is now defunct.

Their music has always been fun, quirky, and eclectic. These days they take breaks between their “regular” albums (for lack of a better term), to record children’s albums that are not only critically acclaimed best sellers, but are also wonderfully entertaining for the parents who no doubt will be subjected to playing after playing.

And then there’s the myriad of soundtrack work, but I’ll save that for another post.

Here’s a few of the hundreds of songs that haven’t been put on their albums (though most have been readily available on the net):

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They Might Be Giants - “Become a Robot” (demo) This is from a demo tape they passed around and sold at their shows back in 1985. A more polished version was later released on Then: The Earlier Years. (buy)
They Might Be Giants - “Stormy Pinkness” B-side of “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”.
They Might Be Giants - “Rocket Ship” (demo) A song that never made it any further than a demo, but has made its way around the net thanks to TMBG’s openness with sharing their music.
They Might Be Giants - “Welcome To the Jungle” This is not a Guns ’N’ Roses cover. This was a b-side of the single “The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)”.
They Might Be Giants - “Siftin’” B-side of “I Palindrome I”. Mostly instrumental. Mostly.
They Might Be Giants - “Yellow Submarine” (live Beatles cover) Recorded in Chicago in 1992, and released through a website on one of their Unlimited compilations. (a subscription based monthly comp. that ran for a year in 2001)
They Might Be Giants - “Why Does the Sun Shine?” (Tom Glazer cover) One of their better known songs, but it was only available as a single, until the release of A User’s Guide compilation. (buy)
They Might Be Giants - “25 O’clock” (Dukes of Stratosphere cover) Released on the XTC tribute album A Testimonial Dinner. The Dukes of Stratosphere are an alter ego of XTC.

They Might Be Giants discography:

They Might Be Giants, 1986 (buy)
Lincoln, 1988 (buy)
Flood, 1990 (buy)
Misc. T, 1991 (buy) (compilation of b-sides)
Apollo 18, 1992 (buy)
John Henry, 1994 (buy)
Factory Showroom, 1996 (buy)
Long Tall Weekend, 1999
Mink Car, 2001 (buy)
They Got Lost, 2002 (buy) (compilation of rarities)
No!, 2002 (buy) (children’s album)
The Spine, 2004 (buy)
Here Come the ABCs, 2005 (buy) (children’s album)
The Else, 2007 (buy)
Here Come the 123s, 2008 (buy) (children’s album)

For more info, and plenty more tunes, swing on over to This Might Be a Wiki.


JaCk said...

greetings from Italy :D

DeadBilly said...

Thanks for stopping by.