As you probably know by now, The Analog Kid lives for b-sides and non-album cuts. In this continuing series, I will share some of my favorite EPs and 12″ singles from over the years in their entirety. And since it’s digital, you don’t have to worry about correctly setting the turntable speed to  or 33⅓ or 45!

 

My college roommate (and lifelong pal) Brian brought home a vinyl copy of the first They Might Be Giants LP sometime in late 1988. I am pretty sure that he saw the video for “Don’t Let’s Start” on 120 Minutes, and he fell in love with the band immediately. We completely related to two geeky dudes making their own quirky music with a drum machine, as we happened to be doing the exact same thing at the time. Come to think of it, we didn’t even have the drum machine yet– we just had a couple of crappy microphones and a tape deck. That didn’t stop us from laying down classic originals like “Girls Suck” and “Rock And Roll Cheeze,” usually credited to the semi-fictitious Psychoduck & The Geese From Hell.

Let’s jump into Peabody’s WABAC machine, shall we?

wabac

“Rock And Roll Cheeze” (Miller/Maxwell)

 

You remember us from way back when

Released a couple of records, nearly broke the Top 10

It’s been so many years but it seems like yesterday

We keep putting out bad records– we just won’t go away!

 

We’re making rock and roll cheese (mediocrity rules!)

We’re making rock and roll cheese (cuz the public are fools!)

Rock and roll cheese!

 

[THE START OF THE SECOND VERSE ESCAPES ME– HELP ME, BRI! HELP!]

Our songs are really stupid but the high school girls dance

We’re livin’ on a prayer that we can get into their pants

 

We’re making rock and roll cheese (mediocrity rules!)

We’re making rock and roll cheese (cuz the public are fools!)

Rock and roll cheese!

 

Some call us heavy metal but our music’s really rust

We sing about dumb parents and about a primal lust

Our lyrics may be lousy but we think we’ve got the key

We’ve got monsters in our trousers that we want the world to see.

 

In case you’re crazy enough to actually want to hear our prehistoric recording of “Rock And Roll Cheeze,” I regret to inform you that I no longer have a copy. Brian might, though, so if you REALLY want to cause irreparable harm to your eardrums, just ask!

Anyway, back to the point: we LOVED They Might Be Giants. We loved the drum machine. We loved guitar solos played over the telephone. We loved that they set up a 900 number where you could hear a new song every day. John Linnell and John Flansburgh were doing what we were trying to do– they were just much, much better at it than we were. “Don’t Let’s Start” wasn’t even a hit on the charts or the radio, but it’s fair to say that it remains They Might Be Giants’ most popular song to this day. I’ve seen the Johns live multiple times over the years, and they have played “Don’t Let’s Start” at every single show I’ve been to.

You know what song They Might be Giants haven’t performed at any of my ten-plus shows? “We’re The Replacements,” the legendary b-side from the Don’t Let’s Start 12″ single. The ‘Mats were already one of my favorite bands by the time we discovered They Might Be Giants, and “We’re The Replacements” was the delicious cherry on top of the “Don’t Let’s Start” sundae. In a mere one minute and fifty seconds, They Might Be Giants managed to sum up everything that was great and mighty about the Replacements, and of course it was funny as shit as well. “We’re The Replacements” might just be my favorite b-side of all time– hey, where’s Tommy? Someone find Tommy and ask him if he agrees. Then we’ll have a party, but only if we can find the equipment.

HIIII–YIIIIII–YAHHHHHHH–YAHHHHHHHH.

Don't Let's Start [U.S. 12_]

They Might Be Giants: Don’t Let’s Start [U.S. 12″]

Bar/None Records, 1987

 

1. “Don’t Let’s Start [Single Mix]” (They Might Be Giants)

Don’t Let’s Start [Single Mix]

2. “We’re The Replacements” (They Might Be Giants)

We’re The Replacements

3. “When It Rains It Snows” (They Might Be Giants)

When It Rains It Snows

4. “The Famous Polka” (They Might Be Giants)

The Famous Polka

______________________________________________________

Bonus Tracks!

The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.

Let It Be

The Replacements: “Favorite Thing” (Westerberg)

From the album Let It Be

Twin Tone Records, 1984

Favorite Thing

Tim

The Replacements: “Left Of The Dial” (Westerberg)

From the album Tim

Sire Records, 1985

Left Of The Dial

About The Analog Kid

"I'm 5-foot-8, 123 pounds. I have, uh, brown hair, blue eyes. I enjoy surfing, backgammon and men who aren't afraid to cry."

One response »

  1. Bob Stinson says:

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