Hope That I Get Polled Before I Die: THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS 1982-2002 POLL - Voting, Campaigning, Discussing

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The two Johns have been delivering melody, fidelity and quantity direct from Brooklyn for 35 years, putting out more good songs in nearly any calendar year than most bands manage in a career. Let's definitively assess which from the first two decades are best!

https://i.imgur.com/fdd66TA.jpg

You can vote for up to ONE HUNDRED (100) songs, ranked in order. You must vote for at least 20.


ANY SONG that Johns Flansburgh and/or Linnell have played on, performed, written or produced can be voted for. Since songs migrate back and forth between solo, band, and Giants, there was no elegant way of hiving off, say, Mono Puff into a Side-Projects side-poll.

You can rank your favourite albums and EPs, too, but it's not required. Minimum of 5, maximum of 20.


Send your ballots to ilxpollster [at] gmail [Operator Dot] com by midnight on FRIDAY 6th OCTOBER.


If anyone has Giants-liking pals, or is on TMBG mailing lists or newsgroups or subreddits or w/e, feel free to spread this link around. The more voters, the merrier!

EDIT: full lists of eligible songs and releases appear in this post and below.

▫◌▫ (sic), Monday, 17 September 2018 19:51 (one month ago) Permalink

Long eligibility reminder posts will roll out across the day. I've tried to include every single song they've ever publicly released in a replayable form, for free or for purchase. So almost nothing that's promo-only, unless it's notable for chronology, and nothing that only appeared on the random-at-point-of-listening services like the Dial-A-Song phone line, or the Clock Radio winamp app.

If you want to campaign or vote for a specific arrangement or recording or remix or live version of any song, please do: I'll roll all versions together but note any write-in distinctions.


This was almost ready to go a few weeks ago when another poll jumped to the start of the queue; in the wait, I've found youtube links for as many of the non-studio-album songs as possible. (All of the albums are on Their youtube channel ParticleMen, though.) Feel free to yoink them or post other links to campaign for your lesser-known faves itt, but if there's no visual component, please keep 'em as links not embeds, so as not to clog the page-load up.

(If time and interest allow, I'll follow this first-21-years poll with a listening thread for the subsequent 16, possibly leading to a second poll. The band is currently on a year-long run of releasing a song a week, so best to give Them some space.)

▫◌▫ (sic), Monday, 17 September 2018 20:01 (one month ago) Permalink

sheesh this is gonna take me some time to work out

I'm guessing I know what the top 5 are gonna be, but the rest is gonna be interesting

frogbs, Monday, 17 September 2018 20:03 (one month ago) Permalink

so the room must listen to sic
filibuster vigilantly

guardians of the gums: i am tooth (voodoo chili), Monday, 17 September 2018 20:13 (one month ago) Permalink

PRE-HISTORY: 1980

John Linnell's band The Mundanes, in which he was too shy to sing, released a three-song seven-inch.

Make It The Same
Empty Boulevards
Funnier Than Love



1982: EL GRUPO de ROCK AND ROLL

John Flansburgh is in the Turtlenecks, who record a demo with at least two songs.

Indiana Wants Me
- this R. Dean Taylor Motown cover is eventually released on TMBG Unlimited in July 2001.

Alienation's For The Rich
- this Turtlenecks song is brought to his new band with John Linnell, and played at their first ever show in August 1982, under the name El Grupo de Rock And Roll
- the Turtlenecks demo is eventually released on TMBG Unlimited in July 2001.
- TMBG record their own version for their 1985 debut self-titled cassette, re-released (still only on cassette) in 1993; this version also on The Pink Album in 1986
- a live version is released on First Album Live! (2014), recorded in 2013

Cowtown
- written by Linnell for a trio that he and Flans were in before TMBG; the first song they learnt to play together, and performed at their first show
- demoed three times in 1985; the first was released on Podcast 46 in 2011, the second was on a handed-out demo tape only
- the third recording was used on the 1985 TMBG cassette album.
- re-re-re-recorded for Lincoln in 1988
- a circa 1985 live version, in a medley with Prince's 1999, was released on eMusic's TMBG Unlimited subscription service in July 2001

I'll Remember 3rd Street
- the first song written for TMBG, also performed at their first show
- recorded for their first demo tape in 1983 - this demo eventually released on Podcast 32A in 2008
- re-recorded for Apollo 18 in 1992 and retitled Space Suit

Cabbagetown
- also performed at their first show
- 1983 Dial-A-Song version eventually released on Unlimited in September 2001
- studio recording appeared as a B-side on the I Palindrome I CD5 in 1992, also on The Guitar CD5.

Penguine
- also performed at their first show
- 1983 Dial-A-Song version eventually released on Podcast 43 in 2011

Birds Fly
- the last 'known' song played at their first ever show
- performed on WFMU's Frank O'Toole Show in September 1987
- recorded as a B-side in 1989, but only used on the UK/.de Don't Let's Start compilation, later included on Miscellaneous T in 1991

▫◌▫ (sic), Monday, 17 September 2018 20:20 (one month ago) Permalink

1983-84: THE EARLIEST YEARS

The Johns adopt the They Might Be Giants name, begin gigging regularly, and launch the Dial-A-Song answering service.


I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You [after Tommy Dorsey's version]
- One of the first songs to be on Dial-A-Song. Later released on Then: The Earlier Years.

Swing Is A Word
- The other earliest known Dial-A-Song. Later released on Then: The Earlier Years.

Counterfeit Fake
- Dial-A-Song, later released on Then: The Earlier Years.

Now That I Have Everything
- the first song recorded on their first 1983 demo tape; played on Dial-A-Song in two versions, later released on Then: The Earlier Years, and Podcast 32A in 2008

Sally Boy Candy Bar
- recorded on their first 1983 demo tape; later released on Unlimited July 2001, and Podcast 32A in 2008

Hell Hotel
- demoed multiple times in 1983 and 1984, with one 1983 demo released on Podcast 32A in 2008
- another demo released on Podcast 47 in 2011
- re-recorded for 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette

Weep Day
- 1983 demo tape version played on Dial-A-Song, later released on Podcast 32A
- re-recorded version on Then: The Earlier Years

Indian Ocean
- recorded in the early 1980s, unreleased until Unlimited in August 2001. Later used on DialASong.com and Podcast 51.

Hiya Hi
- a Dial-A-Song bootlegged on cassette in 1994, released on Podcast 48 in 2011

Everything Right Is Wrong
- demoed in 1984, played on The Frank O'Toole Show
- recorded for Their debut single, the Wiggle Diskette flexi of 1985
- re-recorded for The Pink Album as Everything Right Is Wrong Again
- a live version is released on First Album Live!, recorded in 2013

It's Not My Birthday
- Dial-A-Song version from 1984 also played on WFMU's The Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987
- recorded for Lincoln in 1988 but not used; re-recorded for They'll Need A Crane 12" in 1989, later collected on Miscellaneous T
- live bathroom performance on WFMU's Music Faucet in 1993 released on Unlimited April 2001 [cf. Drinkin']

They Might Be Giants
- 1984 demo released on Unlimited in May 2001
- re-recorded for 1985 TMBG cassette album
- 1989 early work mix released on Unlimited in September 2001
- re-re-recording on Flood LP in 1990
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

▫◌▫ (sic), Monday, 17 September 2018 21:09 (one month ago) Permalink

Then: The Earlier Years was really an insane value, back in the day...two studio albums, the Misc T comp, and a bunch of mostly great rare tracks, all for only $9.99 (at my shop, at least). That '85 cassette album was really great, too. They had a really unique Zolo spark to 'em back then that sorta faded after the first album.

frogbs, Monday, 17 September 2018 21:17 (one month ago) Permalink

1985: MERCH NOT MERSH

Featuring their first releases: a 6" flexi ???, and a cassette-only album.

You'll Miss Me
- b-side of the Wiggle Diskette flexi
- re-recorded for 1985 They Might Be Giants cassette
- re-re-recorded for Lincoln LP 1988


The Big Big Whoredom
- a version recorded live circa 1985 with studio overdubs released on Unlimited July 2001
- studio version released on Then: The Earlier Years in 2007

Mainstream USA
- Dial-A-Song, later released on Then: The Earlier Years

(Put Your Hand Inside The) Puppet Head
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette, also on the Joshua Fried split 7" from Ferro-Botanica magazine
- re-recorded for the Put Your Hand Inside The Puppet Head video, used on 1993 reissue of 1985 cassette
- remixed for The Pink Album
- live version on First Album Live! from 2013

Number Three
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette, also on the Joshua Fried split 7" from Ferro-Botanica magazine
- remixed for The Pink Album
- re-recorded as Greek #3 for Then: The Earlier Years
- live version on First Album Live! from 2013

The Day
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette, also on the Joshua Fried split 7" from Ferro-Botanica magazine
- re-recorded for The Pink Album
- live version on First Album Live! from 2013

When It Rains It Snows
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette
- re-recorded for Don't Let's Start 12", collected on Miscellaneous T and Then
- live performance on WFMU's The Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987 released on Upsapalooza in 1995, rereleased on Unlimited March 2001

Don't Let's Start
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette
- demo version played on WFMU's The Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987
- 1985 version remixed on Then
- re-recorded for The Pink Album 1986
- remixed for single, remix replaced album version on Then
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94
- First Album Live! 2013

Nothing's Going To Change My Clothes
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette
- re-recorded as Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes on The Pink Album
- First Album Live! 2013

Hope That I Get Old Before I Die
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette, later released on Then: The Earlier Years
- re-recorded for The Pink Album as I Hope That I Get Old Before I Die, also used on reissue of the 1985 tape
- live 1992 medley of Hope That I & Cage And Aquarium released on Unlimited July 2001
- First Album Live! 2013

Biggest One
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette
- live version from 1985 released on Unlimited in July 2001
- re-recorded as The Biggest One on (She Was A) Hotel Detective EP, collected on Then

32 Footsteps
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette
- remixed for The Pink Album
- First Album Live! 2013

Boat Of Car
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette
- recording reworked for The Pink Album
- 1992 live version in Hamburg on Unlimited July 2001
- another 1992 live version on August Unlimited
- live version with TMBG's Mini-Brass performed on NPR's Studio 360 in 2003, released on Podcast 23A in 2007
- re-recorded with The Other Thing Brass Band c. 2003, released on Album Raises New And Troubling Questions 2011
- First Album Live! 2013


Chess Piece Face
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette
- re-recorded for The Pink Album
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94
- First Album Live! 2013

Rabid Child
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette
- remixed for The Pink Album
- First Album Live! 2013

Youth Culture Killed My Dog
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette
- re-recorded for The Pink Album
- First Album Live! 2013

(She Was A) Hotel Detective
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette
- re-recorded for The Pink Album
- Single Mix on single
- First Album Live! 2013

Toddler Hi-Way
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette, same version used as Toddler Hiway on The Pink Album
- First Album Live! 2013

Which Describes How You're Feeling
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette, later on The Statue Got Me High CD5, then Then
- re-recorded for Apollo 18 LP in 1992

Become A Robot
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette, later released on Then: The Earlier Years
- 1985 live version on Unlimited July

I'm Def
- 1985 "They Might Be Giants" cassette
- edited on The Statue Got Me High CD5, collected on Then


Kings Of The Cave [written for TMBG by The Mundanes' Jim Gillson]
- 1985 live recording released on Unlimited July 2001

1999 [Prince cover]
- 1985 live recording released on Unlimited July 2001

Rhythm Section Want Ad
- 1985 live recording released on Unlimited July 2001
- re-recorded for The Pink Album
- First Album Live! 2013

Happy
- recorded live 28/12/1985, released on Unlimited July 2001

▫◌▫ (sic), Monday, 17 September 2018 21:18 (one month ago) Permalink

"Then" was $30 or $40 in Australia, but still ludicrous value. They really made the most of the CD running time.

▫◌▫ (sic), Monday, 17 September 2018 21:21 (one month ago) Permalink

i made a lil spotify playlist for meself

https://open.spotify.com/user/polyphonique/playlist/3dZUmp1Wva08VOQwBfyzHl?si=jKUHsb7gRtWdVUTxZ1YEIg

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Monday, 17 September 2018 21:54 (one month ago) Permalink

1986: IN THE PINK

Their first year with a record contract sees their first album and their lowest number of new songs to date.

She's An Angel
- The Pink Album
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94
- Severe Tire Damage live version 1998
- First Album Live! 2013

Absolutely Bill's Mood
- The Pink Album
- First Album Live! 2013

Hide Away Folk Family
- The Pink Album
- First Album Live! 2013


Fake Out In Buenos Aires
- recorded for first LP, not released until Then: The Earlier Years

Snowball In Hell
- Dial-A-Song, also played on Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987
- re-recorded for Lincoln LP in 1988

▫◌▫ (sic), Monday, 17 September 2018 22:36 (one month ago) Permalink

1987: DOWNTOWN TOP RANKING

A busy year of Dial-A-Song also saw a lot of demos played on two widely-bootlegged WFMU appearances, which also included in-studio performances, and collaborating with NYC performance art types.

For Science
- demo played on WFMU's The Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987
- re-recorded for (She Was A) Hotel Detective EP; collected on Miscellaneous T, then Then

Somebody's Body
- Dial-A-Song, also played on Frank O'Toole in March, eventually released on Unlimited July 2001

The Famous Polka
- demo played on WFMU's The Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987
- re-recorded for Don't Let's Start 12"; collected on Miscellaneous T, then Then
- live version (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) released on Ritz Show 2001
- live version (New York, NY; 2004-10-01) released on tmbg.com in 2004 as b2b with Dr Worm, then as separate tracks on Almanac (2004)

The World's Address
- demo (sung by Linnell) played on WFMU's The Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987
- re-recorded for Lincoln LP 1988
- Joshua Fried Remix on UK/.de Don't Let's Start LP 1989; collected on Miscellaneous T, then Then

We Just Go Nuts At Christmastime
- Dial-A-Song versions bootlegged on cassette in the '90s, performed on WFMU's The Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987

Why Does The Sun Shine? [Space Songs cover]
- performed on WFMU's The Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987
- studio version on Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas) EP 1993
- radio session Where Your Eyes Don't Go - Why Does The Sun Shine? Medley performed on WFMU's Music Faucet in 1991, later released on Unlimited and Podcast 33A (Sun only)
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94
- Severe Tire Damage 1998
- live version (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) released on Ritz Show 2001
- re-recorded for Here Comes Science 2009
- live version on At Large 2011

Kiss Me, Son Of God
- performed on WFMU's The Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987
- recorded for (She Was A) Hotel Detective EP; collected on Miscellaneous T, then Then
- re-recorded with strings for Lincoln LP 1988
- live Istanbul / Kiss Me, Son Of God Medley from 1992 released on Unlimited August 2001

Kitten Intro
- demo played on WFMU's The Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987, released on Then: The Earlier Years 1997

Lie Still, Little Bottle
- demo played on WFMU's The Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987, Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette c. 1995
- re-recorded on Lincoln LP

Mr. Klaw
- played on WFMU's The Frank O'Toole Show in March 1987
- recording reworked later for (She Was A) Hotel Detective EP; collected on Miscellaneous T, then Then

We're The Replacements
- b-side on Don't Let's Start 12"; collected on Miscellaneous T, then Then

Shoehorn With Teeth
- performed live on the Frank O'Toole Show in September
- recorded for Lincoln LP 1988
Don't I Have The Right?
- written for Iris Rose to sing in a Watchface performance troupe project, Flansburgh demo released on Watchface website in 2016
- two Dial-A-Song versions bootlegged on cassette in 1994-95, re-recorded by Mono Puff for Unsupervised 1996

Plain As the Lie on Your Lips
- written for Iris Rose to sing in a Watchface performance troupe project, Linnell demo released on Watchface website in 2016

FRIEDA: Disco Lover
- single by TMBG associates & live collaborators, features JF on guitar
FRIEDA: Plastic Rap
- B-side also features JF on guitar

▫◌▫ (sic), Monday, 17 September 2018 23:40 (one month ago) Permalink

wow, 100 songs is a lot. looking forward to digging into their back catalogue properly for the first time in years though

ufo, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:07 (four weeks ago) Permalink

man these later albums ... pretty rough going

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:11 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Mink Car and No! are the last albums eligible! (plus the McSweeneys thing)

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:41 (four weeks ago) Permalink

ah, i missed that. okay

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:47 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I think Nanobots is my favorite of the post-2002 stuff

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:49 (four weeks ago) Permalink

wow, 100 songs is a lot

I don't expect many people to go over 20, and maybe three to get close to 100. But there are over 400 songs to pick from, not counting versions and rewritings! Here are a few, including 12 different commercial versions of their most successful cover -

1988: PURPOLL TOUPEE

The end of the Bar None / Restless years.

Istanbul (Not Constantinople) [The Four Lads cover]
- first performed March 1988. Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette in 1994. studio version on Flood LP
- live version recorded at Rote Fabrik in Zurich, Switzerland March 1990 released on Unlimited November 2001
- Bedford/Stuyvesant Mix on Istanbul remix 12"
- Brownsville Mix on Istanbul remix 12"
- Park Slope Mix on Istanbul remix 12"
- Williamsburg Mix on Istanbul remix 12" 1990
- live Istanbul / Kiss Me, Son Of God Medley from 1992 released on Unlimited August 2001
- live version on Severe Tire Damage 1998
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version from 2011 released on At Large in 2012
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015
- re-recorded as Electronic Istanbul (Not Constantinople) on Album Raises New And Troubling Questions

[Untitled]
- extracts from a long conference-call conversation inadvertently left on the Dial-A-Song machine, placed over library music and played on The Frank O'Toole Show, then a hidden track on (She Was A) Hotel Detective EP, Miscellaneous T, Then and more
- new, short version backed with original music on Podcast 7A in 2006

Hello Radio
- recorded for Lincoln and promoed, but not released until Miscellaneous T in 1991, collected on Then: The Earlier Years in 1997

Ana Ng
- Lincoln LP (a Dial-A-Song version also exists)
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94 (this version edited & with one vocal overdub on Severe Tire Damage in 1998)
- live version from 2011 released on At Large in 2012

Cage & Aquarium
- Lincoln LP
- live 1992 medley of Hope That I Get Old & Cage And Aquarium released on Unlimited July 2001

Pencil Rain
- studio version on Lincoln LP (earlier Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette in 1994)
- live version from 2011 released on At Large in 2012

Piece Of Dirt
- Lincoln LP
- live Piece Of Dirt / Lucky Ball And Chain Medley (at Metro Chicago 10/11/1992) released on Unlimited August 2001
- re-recorded by The Avatars Of They on youtube 2015

Purple Toupee
- Lincoln LP (Dial-A-Song version also exists, bootlegged on cassette in 1994)
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94

Santa's Beard
- Lincoln LP, also on Holidayland EP released for Christmas 2001 (earlier Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette c. 1995)
- live version from 2011 released on At Large in 2012

They'll Need A Crane
- Lincoln LP

Where Your Eyes Don't Go
- Lincoln LP (demo also previously played on Frank O'Toole Show in March)
- live Where Your / Why Does Medley performed on WFMU's Music Faucet 1991, later released on Unlimited April 2001 and Podcast 44 (Eyes only)
- mid-90s BBC session on Podcast 33A

I've Got A Match
- Lincoln LP (earlier Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette in 1994)

Mr. Me
- demo version with "live" drums released on Unlimited July 2001
- studio version on Lincoln LP
- re-recorded by TMBG's Other Thing Brass Band in 2003, released on tmbg.com 2004, collected on TMBG's Other Thing Brass Band EP 2011
- Live At XM Studio version featuring The Velcro Horns (possibly from 2005) on tmbg.com in 2007

Nightgown Of The Sullen Moon
- B-side on Ana Ng UK 12"; collected on Miscellaneous T, then Then

I'll Sink Manhattan
- B-side on They'll Need A Crane CD5; collected on Miscellaneous T, then Then

Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A Deal
- recorded as a B-side, but only used on the UK/.de Don't Let's Start compilation, later included on Miscellaneous T in 1991 (Dial-A-Song version also bootlegged on cassette)

Lady Is A Tramp [Rodgers & Hart]
- recorded as a B-side, but only used on the UK/.de Don't Let's Start compilation, later included on Miscellaneous T in 1991

Road Movie To Berlin
- first played live in 1988; Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette in 90s, released on Podcast 32A in 2008
- Flood LP
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

ANNABOUBOULA - I'm Not A Little Girl
- song on In The Baths of Constantinople LP features JL on accordion

ANNABOUBOULA - Let's Go To Jail
- song on In The Baths of Constantinople LP features JL on organ

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:51 (four weeks ago) Permalink

oh man. i definitely have opinions on this. and possibly could hit 100 songs if i try! imho though everything through apollo 18, including b-sides, is all essential, canonical and great. there's good stuff in john henry, factory showroom and severe tire damage ("doctor worm" should not be overlooked in this poll) but i still think the sonic reinvention, even if it probably made playing music more fun for them, made them a less interesting band on record.

got the scuba tube blowin' like a snork (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:53 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Can I vote for each Fingertips track invidually

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:57 (four weeks ago) Permalink

We have polled the individual segments of Fingertip THREE TIMES already, but anyone who wants to rank them in a side-ballot is more than welcome. Given the past and Their adoption of the miniatures as a medley in the Band Of Dans-onward era, though, it's one track for the purposes of the main poll.

2004: Rank: TMBG "Fingertips"
2007: fingertips
2008: They Might Be Giants, Fingertips

I keep reading the title of this month's US Politics thread to the tune of "I'm having a heart attack," incidentally.

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 01:07 (four weeks ago) Permalink

oh damn

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 01:09 (four weeks ago) Permalink

possibly could hit 100 songs if i try! imho though everything through apollo 18, including b-sides, is all essential

Just listing these gets you to 155 songs (counting collabos and a few songs recorded then but not released until later) btw.

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 01:16 (four weeks ago) Permalink

1989: The number. Another summer. Get down.

THE MAJOR-LABEL YEARS begin.

Birdhouse In Your Soul
- Dial-A-Song version from 1989 bootlegged on cassette 1994, studio version with new lyrics first on Birdhouse 7" in 1989; same version on Flood LP 1990
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94 (reused on Severe Tire Damage)
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) released on Ritz Show in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

Hot Cha
- Birdhouse 7"; same version on Flood LP 1990
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

Ant
- original Dial-A-Song version released on Unlimited July 2001
- studio version on Birdhouse CD5
- re-re-recorded in 2003 for Indestructible Object 2004, collected on TMBG's Other Thing Brass Band EP 2011

Lucky Ball & Chain
- Dial-A-Song version from 1989, studio version first on Flood LP
- live Piece Of Dirt / Lucky Ball And Chain Medley (at Metro Chicago 10/11/1992) released on Unlimited August 2001
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

Hearing Aid
- Dial-A-Song version from 1989, studio version first on Flood LP
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

Whistling In The Dark
- played live in 1989, Dial-A-Song version exists, studio version on Flood LP
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

Stormy Pinkness
- live version with Love chant recorded March 1989 in Germany released on Unlimited January 2001, also 20 Years best-of comp in 2002
- studio version on Istanbul 12" 1990 (Dial-A-Song version also bootlegged on cassette c. 1995)


Tiny Doctors
- writing demo circa 1989 released on Unlimited November 2001

Particle Man ** FIFTEEN VERSIONS
- writing demo (on banjo!) released on Unlimited November 2001
- studio version on Flood LP 1990
- Other Thing version recorded at Kampo Studios in 2003, released on TMBG's Other Thing Brass Band EP 2011
- "Live At XM Studio" ['psychedelic' version with Beatle accents] recorded at Nola Recording in 2005, released on Podcast 1A in 2005, and DAS Direct in 2015
- Live At 120 Minutes duo version circa 1990 released on MTV's 120 Minutes Live 1998
- Frank Black & TMBG live version released on Live Thursday June 24, 1993 10pm EST
- Live At Mountain Stage version on The Best Of Mountain Stage Live Volume Five, 1993
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94
- mid-90s BBC radio session version released on Podcast 33A in 2008
- live version on Severe Tire Damage 1998 (not the NYC 1994 version)
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) released on Ritz Show in 2001
- Particle Mo live version (Particle Man performed with Corn Mo, Raleigh, NC; 2004-09-27) released on Almanac 2004
- radio session on Ann Arbor's 107one (WQKL, 107.1-FM) released on Live From Studio A2, Volume Two in 2009
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015


Hi Honey I'm Home
- Dial-A-Song released on Unlimited July 2001

7-11
- Dial-A-Song released on Unlimited July 2001

Maybe I Know [Lesley Gore cover]
- performed on MTV 1989, and on John Peel Session in 1990
- 1996 wax cylinder recording released on Unlimited August 2001
- re-recorded studio version on Long Tall Weekend 1999

The Bloodboat
- dating from the late '80s, released on Unlimited November 2001

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 01:49 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Oops at **. Fifteen is the most versions they've released of any song - Particle Man's 12 is the runner up, but 3rd and 4th place holders might surprise you.

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 01:53 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Oh I’m hitting 100

frogbs, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 01:55 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Haven't heard all that much post-Flood tbh, and not for quite some time, but it turns out I still dig way more than 20 from what's been listed already...

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 02:06 (four weeks ago) Permalink

That's the spirit!

(Istanbul's 12 versions. Duh. I'm onto my fifth spreadsheet and third .txt of cataloguing and annotating these.)

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 02:10 (four weeks ago) Permalink

agreed w/ those praising Then upthread, what a wonderful wonderful christmas gift that was. i already had Miscellaneous T but not either of the first two albums. i later dug into more of the obscurities/dial-a-song exclusives but the ones they put on there are the best i think. "swing is a word!" "weep day!" "i'm def!"

absolute career peak imo is the They'll Need A Crane EP. "nightgown of the sullen moon" is in my top ten for sure.

got the scuba tube blowin' like a snork (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 03:28 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Nightgown Of The POLLen Moon considered and rejected for thread title

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 04:35 (four weeks ago) Permalink

1990: après Ils, le déluge

James K. POLL, the Napoleon of the borad.

Twisting
- previously a Dial-A-Song with different lyrics, re-recorded for Flood LP
- Live in 1992 version on Unlimited August 2001
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) released on Ritz Show in 2001
- live version at the Blue Note, Columbia MO on 13/07/2004 released on tmbg.com
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

Letterbox
- played live since 1985, recorded for Flood LP
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) released on Ritz Show in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

Your Racist Friend
- multiple versions previously on Dial-A-Song, recorded for Flood LP
- Sampladelic Remix (by Super DJ Dmitry & Jungle DJ Towa Towa of Deee-Lite) on promo 12" and Don't Let's Start reissue 1990
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

Theme From Flood
- Flood LP
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

Dead
- Dial-A-Song version exists, studio version first on Flood LP
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015



Sapphire Bullets Of Pure Love
- Dial-A-Song version exists, studio version first on Flood LP
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

Someone Keeps Moving My Chair
- Flood LP
- Live in 1992 version on Unlimited August 2001
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

We Want A Rock
- Dial-A-Song version exists, studio version first on Flood LP
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

Women & Men
- Dial-A-Song version exists, studio version first on Flood LP
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

Minimum Wage
- Flood LP
- live version on Flood Show 30/11/2000 released in 2001
- live version (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) released on Ritz Show in 2001
- live version on Flood Live In Australia (a Reverse Flood Show in May 2013) released in 2015

James K. Polk
- originally a Dial-A-Song, studio version on Istanbul 12"
- re-recorded for Factory Showroom LP 1996, remixed lightly on 20 Years best of
- 1996 wax cylinder version released on Unlimited January 2001

Outboard Part Of Man
- Dial-A-Song version from 1990 released on Unlimited July 2001

One More Parade [Phil Ochs cover]
- on Elektra's 40th anniversary album Rubaiyat

Concrete And Clay [Unit 4+2 cover, recorded at Clive Langer's behest for a Christmas single in the UK that didn't happen]
- Dial-A-Song bootlegged on cassette in 1994, released on Unlimited July 2001, compiled on Four Covers From TMBG 7" 2012


SUZANNE VEGA - Tired Of Sleeping
- album track from Days Of Open Hand features JL on accordion

Walk On Water
- Otis Ball album track from I'm Gonna Love You 'Til I Don't features BVs by the Johns.

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 04:44 (four weeks ago) Permalink

At some point in the... late 90s? Early 00s? i was collecting a lot of these dial-a-song TMBG rarities in MP3 form. i wish i'd kept 'em all. i want to say most of them came from an exhaustive fansite, possibly tmbg.org? which, saints be praised, is still online and virtually unaltered, down to the little Win95-era icons for "chords," "lyrics," "interpretations".... a beauty. anyway i had all these mp3s, most of 'em i chucked years ago for some reason. a lot of the songs eventually turned up in reworked and, to my ears, too-polished versions. but i can no longer really hear in my head the non-rockin' "robot parade." that distorted, super lo-fi over-the-phone bootleg of "concrete and clay" was cool though iirc.

got the scuba tube blowin' like a snork (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 05:00 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Realise it's futile to attempt rehabilitation of TMBG with people who are allergic, but Robert Quine's guitar on John Henry was a real high point of their post-Apollo 18 rock phase.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L58duIzaMqc

everything, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 05:11 (four weeks ago) Permalink

1991

The quietest year in TMBG history, with only one song released.

Nick Hill with John Linnell - The Edison Museum
- written by Linnell and Brian Dewan for Thomas Edison tribute album Edisongs (1% Inspiration From WFMU). LP re-released on CD in 2003.
- Dial-A-Song version released as free WAV download on tmbg.com in 1997
- original recording reworked for TMBG's Long Tall Weekend in 1999; this edit also used on No! in 2002
- 1996 wax cylinder recording (in the Edison Museum!) w/ Nick Hill singing released on Unlimited January 2001

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 08:36 (four weeks ago) Permalink

god this band made (makes) a lot of music. listening to every version seems futile, but listening to every song in *some* version before submitting a ballot seems doable. would love to find some surprises

Vinnie, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 08:56 (four weeks ago) Permalink

is this eligible?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf0Amcgxot8

guardians of the gums: i am tooth (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 13:42 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I'm afraid that came out 2,743 days too late to qualify. Please hold your voting for the next poll.

1992: I POLLINDROME I

For the first time, They release a new album on which almost all the songs are making their recorded debut.

The Statue Got Me High
- The Statue Got Me High CD5, then Apollo 18
- Live in 1992 version released on Unlimited August 2001
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94


She's Actual Size
- two DAS versions include one with mostly different lyrics and completely different music; studio version on The Statue Got Me High CD5, then Apollo 18
- reggae version Larger Than Life (a Joshua Fried remix) on I Palindrome I and The Guitar CD5s
- live version on Severe Tire Damage 1998
- live version (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) released on Ritz Show in 2001
- New Live Version (Fillmore 16/7/2002) on 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants best of 2002

I Palindrome I
- two different demos on Dial-A-Song, inc. a half-asleep rambling sketch re-released as a quicktime on dialasong.com circa 1998, both bootlegged on cassette in the 90s: this is a different song by Flans, who abandoned it and handed the title over to Linnell.
- Linnell version on Apollo 18 LP
- live version from 1992 released on Unlimited August 2001
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94
- live version from Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY 2004-07-30 released on The Spine Hits The Road 2004, almost immediately rereleased on Almanac



My Evil Twin
- Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette in 1994; studio version on Apollo 18 LP

See The Constellation
- two early Dial-A-Song versions (inc Flans solo) as "My Lone Constellation," both bootlegged on cassette; studio version on Apollo 18 LP

Hall Of Heads
- Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette c. 1995; studio version on Apollo 18 LP

Hypnotist Of Ladies
- Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette c. 1995; studio version on Apollo 18 LP
- live version (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) released on Ritz Show in 2001

If I Wasn't Shy
- Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette c. 1995; studio version on Apollo 18 LP
- live version in Hamburg 1992 released on both July and September 2001's Unlimited

Turn Around
- Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette in 1994; studio version on Apollo 18 LP
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94

Mammal
- demo version released on Podcast 43 in 2011; Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette c. 1995
- studio version on Apollo 18 LP
- Frank Black & TMBG live version released on Live Thursday June 24, 1993 10pm EST

Spider
- early mix on Dial-A-Song, bootlegged on cassette c. 1995; final studio version on Apollo 18 LP
- live version on Severe Tire Damage 1998
- live version as medley with The Guitar (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) released on Ritz Show in 2001

Dig My Grave
- Apollo 18 LP
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94

Dinner Bell
- Apollo 18 LP

Narrow Your Eyes
- Apollo 18 LP

Fingertips
- Apollo 18 LP
- live version (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) released on Ritz Show in 2001
- live version at Pearl St in Northampton Mass, 2001, on Unlimited November
- live version at The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA on The Spine Hits The Road 2004
- live version from NYC on Almanac 2004, reused on Podcast 2A and 45

Siftin'
- B-side on I Palindrome I CD5

Moving To The Sun
- Reflex Magazine Flexi #23, then The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) CD5

Welcome To The Jungle
- Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette 1994, studio version on The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) CD5

I Blame You
- originally a Dial-A-Song called Free Bird's Rebirth, two different versions of which were bootlegged on cassette in 1994-95; rewritten with new lyrics on The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) CD5


The Guitar
- Apollo 18 LP
- Williamsburgh Extended Mix on The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) CD5
- Outer Planet Mix by Coldcut on The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) CD5
- Even Further Outer Planet Mix by Coldcut on The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) CD5
- UK Single Edit on The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) 7"
- live version as medley with Spider (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) released on Ritz Show in 2001



Frankenstein [Edgar Winter Group]
- played live since 1992, Live NYC 1994 version released on Unlimited July 2001

Yellow Submarine [Live cover of the Beatles song, but with inaccurately recalled lyrics]
- played once, in Chicago 1992, released on Unlimited July 2001

Rocket Ship
- 1992 demo (abandoned as the chorus was cannibalized to make Spiraling Shape) released on Unlimited August 2001

John Linnell also played baritone sax on the self-titled JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION album this year (with Kurt Hoffman on tenor), but I don't know which tracks. Both players may also appear on A Reverse Willie Horton (1991) or Crypt-Style! (1992), as all of these are made up of mostly the same tracks from the same recording sessions. [Sessions produced separately by Steve Albini and Kramer.]

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 16:50 (four weeks ago) Permalink

1993: I SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO POLL

The new live band back Frank Black (and Flans makes his videos), each John works on side-projects, the Hello CD Of The Month Club launches, demos for Their first full-band album leak Elektra's grip, plus the first stand-alone EP AND the one-and-only straight-up A-side/B-side single of Their career are released.

Spy
- while the Dial-A-Song demo version was bootlegged on cassette by 1994, (and released on Unlimited Novmeber and Dial-A-Song Direct in 2015)...
- the first public version of this was performed live by Frank Black with TMBG on his Live Thursday June 24, 1993 10pm EST radio album.
- studio version on Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas) EP
- re-recorded for John Henry LP
- live version (Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001) as medley with Mr Tambourine Man released on Ritz Show in 2001

Fu Manchu
- studio version on Frank Black self-titled LP features JL on saxophone
- live version on Live Thursday June 24, 1993 10pm EST features TMBG (JL on baritone saxophone, JF on guitar & vocals, Tony Maimone on bass, Kurt Hoffman on tenor sax), plus Eric Drew Feldman on keys and Joey Santiago on guitar

Tossed
- studio version on Frank Black LP features JL on saxophone
- live version on Live Thursday June 24, 1993 10pm EST features TMBG (JL on baritone saxophone, JF on guitar & vocals, Tony Maimone on bass, Kurt Hoffman on tenor sax), plus Eric Drew Feldman on keys and Joey Santiago on guitar

Adda Lee
Czar
Every Time I Go Around Here
I Heard Ramona Sing
Los Angeles
Parry The Wind High, Low
Ten Percenter
Theme From One Step Beyond
This Is Where I Belong [The Kinks cover]
- all performed on Live Thursday June 24, 1993 10pm EST by Frank Black with the above TMBG / EDF / Joseph Alberto Santiago lineup.

Drinkin'
- performed a week after composition on WFMU's Music Faucet in 1993 - episode broadcast live from the balcony of host Nick Hill's apartment, this performance made in the bathroom Hill shared with Linnell. Flans on guitar by the sink, JF on bass sax "within the reverberant bathtub." Released on Unlimited November 2001
- studio version on Long Tall Weekend 1999, edited version on TMBG vs McSweeneys

Sodium Mask
- on Hello The Band EP (by Hello The Band: JF & Joshua Fried)

(Since You Joined) The Corporation
- onHello The Band EP

Town To Town
- on Hello The Band EP

Hello Hello [Gary Glitter cover]
- Hello The Band EP
- remixed for Mono Puff's Unsupervised album 1996

Lullaby To Nightmares
- on Hello The Band EP
- re-recorded for John Henry 1994 but not used, edited for Long Tall Weekend 1999, full recording released on Podcast 27A 2007

Whirlpool [Meat Puppets cover]
- B-side on Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas) EP

Jessica [The Allman Brothers Band cover]
- B-side on Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas) EP

O, Do Not Forsake Me
- original songwriting demo from Dial-A-Song, bootlegged on cassette in 1994, released on Unlimited March 2001
- studio version on John Henry LP 1994
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94

Maine
- Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette in 1994, released as WAV on www.tmbg.com/dial/ circa 1997
- studio version on John Linnell's "State Songs" Hello EP 1994
- remixed with overdub for State Songs album 1999

Rock Club
- Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette in 1994 as "We Love All The People"; republished on dialasong.com circa 1998 and Podcast 35A in 2008
- re-recorded for Dial-A-Song Direct subscription service 2015

King Of Wingo
- Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette in 1994, republished on dialasong.com circa 1998

A Self Called Nowhere
- leaked 1993 demo eventually released on Podcast 27A in 2007; Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette in 1994
- studio version on John Henry LP

Why Must I Be Sad?
- leaked 1993 demo on Podcast 27A in 2007
- studio version John Henry LP

No One Knows My Plan
- leaked 1993 demo on Podcast 27A in 2007
- studio version on John Henry LP
- instrumental was opening theme for Cartoon Planet 1995

I Should Be Allowed To Think
- 1993 demo first heard on Podcast 27A in 2007 (earlier Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette 1994)
- studio version on John Henry LP

Extra Savoir-Faire
- 1993 demo first heard on Podcast 33A in 2008
- studio version on John Henry LP
- acoustic version performed on Blender 1.1 CD-ROM in 1995

Unrelated Thing
- 1993 demo on Podcast 33B in 2008
- studio version on John Henry LP
- acoustic version performed on Blender 1.1 CD-ROM in 1995

Subliminal
- 1993 demo on Podcast 35A in 2008 (a Dial-A-Song version also bootlegged on cassette in 1994)
- studio version on John Henry LP

Out Of Jail
- 1993 demo on Podcast 27A in 2007
- studio version on John Henry LP

About Me
- recorded circa 1993 with John Henry demos, released on Severe Tire Damage

Wreck It Apart
- Dial-A-Song bootlegged on cassette in 1994, released as WAV on www.tmbg.com/dial/ circa 1997

O Tannenbaum [traditional]
- O Tannenbaum 7", re-released on Unlimited October and Holidayland EP 2001

Christmas Cards
- B-side of O Tannenbaum 7"

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 17:46 (four weeks ago) Permalink

1994: JUDAS!

alt.music.tmbg nerds boycott shows when they realise a full band has recorded the John Henry album, which is Their highest-charting record (at #64) until 2011.

Nevada
- John Linnell's "State Songs" Hello EP
- re-recorded for State Songs LP 1999

Pennsylvania
- State Songs Hello EP
- re-recorded for State Songs LP

Oregon
- State Songs Hello EP
- remixed for State Songs LP

South Carolina
- State Songs Hello EP
- remixed for State Songs LP

Snail Shell
- Back To Skull EP (Dial-A-Song version also exists)
- remixed by The Dust Brothers as Snail Dust on Back To Skull
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94

Ondine
- on Back To Skull EP (Dial-A-Song and demo versions also exist)

She Was A Hotel Detective
- on Back To Skull EP (NB: this is a completely different song to (She Was A) Hotel Detective.)

Mrs Train
- Back To Skull EP

Subway Token To Brooklyn
- Dial-A-Song version released as WAV on dialasong.com circa 1997
- re-recorded as Token Back To Brooklyn in the Factory Showroom "track 0' pre-gap 1996 (collected on Long Tall Weekend 1999 and They Got Lost 2002)

The Summer Breeze
- Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette c. 1995, released as WAV on dialasong.com circa 1997
- re-recorded with full band for Dial-A-Song Direct in 2015

Your Own Worst Enemy
- Dial-A-Song version bootlegged on cassette c. 1995, released as WAV on dialasong.com circa 1997
- re-recorded for Factory Showroom 1996

AKA Driver
- John Henry LP
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94

Destination Moon
- John Henry LP (Dial-A-Song version also exists, bootlegged on cassette in 1994)

Dirt Bike
- John Henry LP
- re-recorded with horns 2003, released on tmbg.com 2004, compiled on TMBG's Other Thing Brass Band EP 2011

Sleeping In The Flowers
- John Henry LP (two Dial-A-Song versions also exist, bootlegged on cassette in 1994-95, and the 1993 demo was leaked, but none of these have been legitimately released)
- remixed Radio Edit on Sleeping In The Flowers promo 1995
- Live!! New York City 10/14/94

The End Of The Tour
- John Henry LP
- instrumental was closing theme for Cartoon Planet 1995
- live at Mr. Small's Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA on The Spine Hits The Road 2004
- live in Atlanta, GA; 2004-09-25 on Almanac 2004

Thermostat
- John Henry LP

Window
- John Henry LP

Meet James Ensor
- John Henry LP (two demo versions and a Dial-A-Song also exist)
- acoustic version on Revolution Radio, Minneapolis, MN released on REV 105 Radio Archive, Volume 1 1995, reused on Severe Tire Damage 1998

The Joker [Steve Miller Band]
- Live in NYC 1994 released on Unlimited July 2001

When Tornadoes Take Over The World
- a Dial-A-Song bootlegged on cassette c. 1995, mp3 on tmbg.com in 2003

So Long, Mockingbird
- Dial-A-Song version (Flans solo a capella) released as WAV on www.tmbg.com/dial/ circa 1997
- re-recorded as group a capella on "John Flansburgh's Mono Puff" Hello EP 1995
- re-re-recorded as band version on Mono Puff's Unsupervised 1996

Nixon's The One
- Dial-A-Song released as WAV on www.tmbg.com/dial/ circa 1997, bootlegged on cassette 1994
- re-recorded for "John Flansburgh's Mono Puff" Hello EP 1995,
- longer mix on Unsupervised 1996

Operators Are Standing By
- Dial-A-Song bootlegged on cassette in 1994, studio version on dialasong.com c 1998, then Long Tall Weekend 1999

You're Watching…
- early version bootlegged on cassette in 1994 as Not Too Clear, Not Too Long, re-recorded on dialasong.com c. 1998

Wreck It Apart
- Dial-A-Song bootlegged on cassette c. 1995, released as WAV on www.tmbg.com/dial/ circa 1997

White Sport Coat [Marty Robbins cover]
- track on the Meat Puppets' Backwater EP features the Johns on BVs

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 19:36 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I'm a little confused about what all this detail of various versions is in service of. Are we supposed to specify what version we're voting for?

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 19:38 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I have so many MP3s by these guys, like well over 1000, and even still I've never heard of like a third of these

frogbs, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 19:39 (four weeks ago) Permalink

This is gonna be incredible, thanks for all this work, sic!!

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 19:41 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I'm a little confused about what all this detail of various versions is in service of.

1) fun!
2) ppl might be reminded of a particular way they encountered a given song
3) to track the songs/band chronologically, not by release: it's fascinating to see how long they mess around with songs before putting the "final" version together, and curious to see how some things get reworked and rebuilt even after that. Also to remove the hegemony of the album, and possibly to lead folks to songs they might not have known or 'remembered' by just wikipedia-ing the last TMBG album they bought.
4) it's a way of keeping the thread active for a while so ppl can notice it tbh

Are we supposed to specify what version we're voting for?

No, but:

If you want to campaign or vote for a specific arrangement or recording or remix or live version of any song, please do: I'll roll all versions together but note any write-in distinctions.

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 20:10 (four weeks ago) Permalink

oops: Snail Shell is also on John Henry.

▫◌▫ (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 20:16 (four weeks ago) Permalink

had no idea so much of Linnell's solo album was written in '94

gonna be interesting to see the McSweeney stuff, I always wondered where some of that came from

frogbs, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 20:22 (four weeks ago) Permalink

spoilers: it looks like only a handful of the McSweeneys songs existed before that, though several of the pieces written for or prompted by it have had a longer life.

I figured Maine as being the earliest State Song, and pegged it as 1993 because of this Dial-A-Song bootleg:

http://tmbw.net/wiki/images/c/c6/PODAS.jpg

The Big Steamy Thing (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 20:39 (four weeks ago) Permalink

1995

The second-quietest year in TMBG history to date.

Dr. Kildare [cover of The Skatalites arrangement, lyrics by Flans]
- "John Flansburgh's Mono Puff" Hello EP
- re-recorded for Mono Puff's Unsupervised album 1996

Tryptophan
- "John Flansburgh's Mono Puff" Hello EP; also on Devil Went Down To Newport single as Tryptophane

Unsupervised, I Hit My Head
- "John Flansburgh's Mono Puff" Hello EP
- re-written (with more verses) & re-recorded on Unsupervised 1996

What Bothers The Spaceman?
- originally Dial-A-Song, re-recorded for "John Flansburgh's Mono Puff" EP
- re-re-recorded for Unsupervised 1996

Sensurround
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - The Movie OST, later on dialasong.com
- re-recorded on S-E-X-X-Y CD5

25 O'Clock [Dukes Of Stratosphear cover]
- A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs Of XTC

Careless Santa
- by Mono Puff on "Hello Family Santa Special" Hello EP; also on Mono Puff's Unsupervised 1996 and collected on TMBG's Holidayland 2001

The Big Steamy Thing (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 21:14 (four weeks ago) Permalink

1996

A jumbo year including their final major-label album, the third-place-getter for most versions of a song, Linnell's second solo EP and almost two full albumsworth of Mono Puff in two lineups and four CDs.

S-E-X-X-Y

- Factory Showroom LP
- Radio Edit (a remix) on S-E-X-X-Y CD5
- Tee's Freeze Mix by Todd Terry on S-E-X-X-Y remix 12"
- Tee's In House Dub by Todd Terry on S-E-X-X-Y remix 12"
- Tee's Radio on S-E-X-X-Y CD5
- Tee's Cappella on S-E-X-X-Y remix 12"
- The Warren Rigg Microwave Mix on S-E-X-X-Y CD5
- The Warren Rigg Instrumental on S-E-X-X-Y remix 12"
- live version on Severe Tire Damage 1998
- Total Remix by Kendal Mintcake released on tmbg.com in 2003

Till My Head Falls Off
- Factory Showroom LP
- live version on Severe Tire Damage 1998

How Can I Sing Like A Girl?
- demo released on Podcast 46 in 2011
- Factory Showroom LP
- 2011 live version on At Large 2012

Exquisite Dead Guy
- Factory Showroom LP
- Live version with brass section released as freebie on eMusic 2000

Metal Detector
- Factory Showroom LP
- live version with TMBG's Mini-Brass performed on NPR's Studio 360 in 2003, released on Cast Your Pod To The Wind in 2007
- brass studio version with TMBG's Other Thing recorded c. 2003, released on Podcast 5B 2006, compiled on TMBG's Other Thing Brass Band EP 2011

New York City [Cub cover]
- Factory Showroom LP

XTC vs. Adam Ant
- Factory Showroom LP
- live version on Severe Tire Damage 1998

Spiraling Shape
- adapted from Rocket Ship as a Dial-A-Song c. 1995, bootlegged on cassette; re-recorded for Factory Showroom
- 1999 live version released as freebie on eMusic 2000

Pet Name
- Factory Showroom LP

I Can Hear You
- wax cylinder recording on Factory Showroom LP
- re-recorded, again on wax cylinder, for The Daily Show's Greatest Millennium special in December 1999

The Bells Are Ringing
- Factory Showroom LP (Dial-A-Song version also exists)

Rat Patrol
- Dial-A-Song c.1994, bootlegged on cassette c. 1995; band version from a leaked Factory Showroom Sessions internal promo released on Long Tall Weekend 1999, collected on They Got Lost 2002

Certain People I Could Name
- on leaked Factory Showroom Sessions promo cassette as Certain People, released on Long Tall Weekend 1999, collected on They Got Lost CD 2002 and Idlewild 2014

Counterfeit Faker
- Factory Showroom Sessions version released on Long Tall Weekend 1999

They Got Lost
- titled TMBG Got Lost on leaked Factory Showroom Sessions, released as They Got Lost on Long Tall Weekend 1999
- re-recorded for Severe Tire Damage as live recording with studio vocals

Older
- titled You're Older on leaked Factory Showroom Sessions, released as Older on Long Tall Weekend 1999
- recorded for ABC's Brave New World in 2000, video released on Gigantic: A Tale Of Two Johns
- re-recorded on Mink Car 2001
- live version from Ritz Theatre, Raleigh NC, 28/3/2001 on Ritz Show 2001

On The Drag
- original demo was on Dial-A-Song in 1998, first studio version on Factory Showroom Sessions, re-recorded for Working Undercover For The Man EP 2001;

Reprehensible
- Factory Showroom Sessions version on Long Tall Weekend 1999

Unforgotten
- B-side on S-E-X-X-Y CD5

We've Got A World That Swings [lyrics by Lil Mattis, music by Louis Yule Brown, performed by Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor]
- B-side on S-E-X-X-Y CD5

Darlin' Allison
- written by Gordon Gano & performed by They for the soundtrack of indie film Hitting the Ground, released on Gano's Hitting The Ground album in 2002

The Devil Went Down To Newport (Totally Rocking) [The Clamdiggers cover]
- Mono Puff's Unsupervised CD and The Devil Went Down To Newport CD5
- re-recorded as The Devil Went Down To Newport (Totally Remade) for B-side of single

Oddball [Frank Black cover]
- B-side on The Devil Went Down To Newport CD5

Guitar Was The Case
- Mono Puff's Unsupervised

Don't Break The Heart [Amy Rigby cover]
- Mono Puff's Unsupervised

Distant Antenna
- Mono Puff's Unsupervised

To Serve Mankind
- Mono Puff's Unsupervised


Preamble: Fernando Wood (1855-58, 1860-62)
Processional [1]
DeWitt Clinton (1803-07, 1808-10, 1811-15)
Processional [2]
John Purroy Mitchel (1914-17)
Will You Love Me In December As You Do In May? [lyrics by James J. Walker, music by Ernest Ball]
Processional [3]
Fiorello LaGuardia (1934-45)
David Dinkins (1990-93)
House Of Mayors
- John Linnell's "House Of Mayors" Hello EP

Mr. Hughes Says
- Mono Puff's "The Hal Cragin Years" Hello EP, also on It's Fun To Steal 1998

Imaginary Friend
- Mono Puff's "The Hal Cragin Years" Hello EP, also on It's Fun To Steal

Dedicated
- Mono Puff's "The Hal Cragin Years" Hello EP, also on It's Fun To Steal

What Everybody Knows
- Mono Puff's "The Hal Cragin Years" Hello EP, also on It's Fun To Steal as I Just Found Out What Everybody Knows

Backstabbing Liar
- Mono Puff's "The Steve Calhoon Years " Hello EP; re-recorded for It's Fun To Steal & appeared on 1997 advance cassette; final 1998 album used the EP version but slightly sped up

Poison Flowers
- Mono Puff's "The Steve Calhoon Years " Hello EP, also on It's Fun To Steal

Night Security
- Mono Puff's "The Steve Calhoon Years " Hello EP, also on It's Fun To Steal

Hillbilly Drummer Girl [Young Fresh Fellows cover]
- Mono Puff's "The Steve Calhoon Years " Hello EP, also on It's Fun To Steal

The Big Steamy Thing (sic), Tuesday, 18 September 2018 22:53 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Random synaptic firings:

Did Raymond Scott ever get a co-writing credit for "Rhythm Section Want Ad"?

There is some kind of toy called a hideaway folk family--it's maybe little carved figurines and a house, or maybe it's nesting dolls or something. I can't remember! and Google is not helping!

"Cage & Aquarium" - It kinda blew my mind when I figured out that "This is the spawning of the cage and aquarium" was a fucked up "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius"

"Lie Still Little Bottle" - STICK!!

"Fingertips" live just does not work for me. I'd love it if they scattered pieces of it through a set, but played altogether it's just flat

Having heard the early accordian-and-guitar arrangement of "Why Does the Sun Shine?" at early live shows, the twinkly kiddie version they finally released sucked

"South Carolina" from State Songs will definitely be in my top 10

Did Cynthia Nixon ever use Flansburgh's "Nixon's the One" during her governor's campaign?

All of the Back to Skull EP non-LP tracks are great: "Ondine," "She Was A Hotel Detective," "Mrs. Train"

Don't sleep on John Henry - "Destination Moon," "A Self Called Nowhere," "No One Knows My Plan," "Meet James Ensor," "Subliminal"

On the other hand, sleep on Factory Showroom - This was a big disappointment. The "S-E-X-X-Y" b-side "Sensurround" is better than anything on the album.

Hideous Lump, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 03:37 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Having heard the early accordian-and-guitar arrangement of "Why Does the Sun Shine?" at early live shows, the twinkly kiddie version they finally released sucked

Don't worry! I'm sure many more people heard the rock version on Severe Tire Damage, and it's likely that's been superseded by the fast non-twinkly version they released for real kiddies.

Did Cynthia Nixon ever use Flansburgh's "Nixon's the One" during her governor's campaign?

Love this.

On the other hand, sleep on Factory Showroom - This was a big disappointment. The "S-E-X-X-Y" b-side "Sensurround" is better than anything on the album.

Check out the original version up there, which I didn't know about until preparing this poll!

The Big Steamy Thing (sic), Wednesday, 19 September 2018 06:19 (four weeks ago) Permalink

^ Agreed. I was surprised to find than even Lincoln, which probably contains some of their highest highs, contains more than a few tracks I just didn't want to sit through at all nowadays. (That said, I think I already remembered it as the patchiest of the first few LPs, so...)

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 4 October 2018 03:30 (one week ago) Permalink

yeah i fucked up with the REM poll by using the album poll thread results as the basis for a short list of eligible songs. it was kinda early in the days of these things, but not really early enough that i should have thought that was a good idea. the countdown is still a pretty dope REM playlist tho imho.

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 4 October 2018 03:49 (one week ago) Permalink

even Lincoln, which probably contains some of their highest highs, contains more than a few tracks I just didn't want to sit through at all nowadays

haha yeah I now have "Cage and Aquarium" stuck in my head and I really dislike that song.

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Thursday, 4 October 2018 06:36 (one week ago) Permalink

this is the dawning of the

Stab my hinge, get hit (sic), Thursday, 4 October 2018 07:03 (one week ago) Permalink

i think apollo 18 might be their most consistent album, but it doesn't quite reach the same heights as the previous ones

ufo, Thursday, 4 October 2018 07:41 (one week ago) Permalink

Flood is definitely most consistent for me, even the totally throwaway songs are great

Vinnie, Thursday, 4 October 2018 09:39 (one week ago) Permalink

finalizing a ballot now. ranking is hard.

nba jungboy (voodoo chili), Thursday, 4 October 2018 14:50 (one week ago) Permalink

he ended up sad!

nba jungboy (voodoo chili), Thursday, 4 October 2018 14:50 (one week ago) Permalink

finalizing a ballot now. ranking is hard.

I've got 70-some selected and not sure where anything goes after #1

Stab my hinge, get hit (sic), Thursday, 4 October 2018 16:48 (one week ago) Permalink

sent a 40+ track ballot

nba jungboy (voodoo chili), Friday, 5 October 2018 14:27 (one week ago) Permalink

oh shit this is today

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Friday, 5 October 2018 14:33 (one week ago) Permalink

Back in 2001, I didn't have enough hard drive space to keep more than a couple of months of TMBG Unlimited, so I shared my login with another They-listener who burnt the 128kbps files as audio CDs. After finding a torrent last week, it took almost as long to work out which songs were still exclusive to the service, tag them and make Live and Studio playlists as it did to listen through everything.

Currently listening to State Songs for the first time ever. Doubt that I'm going to listen closely enough to the McSweeney's album or People Are Wrong! to add any of their pieces to my ballot.

Stab my hinge, get hit (sic), Friday, 5 October 2018 16:11 (one week ago) Permalink

the McSweeny's disc has some pretty good parts - lots of tasty instrumental bits and experimental stuff. "I Am 40" really feels like one of those great demos that should've become a proper single but somehow didn't. I also like the Doughty song a lot. not exactly something I wanna listen to in full anymore but every TMBG fan should hear it once at least

frogbs, Friday, 5 October 2018 16:22 (one week ago) Permalink

Sent in my ballot! 99 songs! This has been a hectic week with work stuff and getting a cold so I didn't give it my normal obsessive combing-over... but I feel like the stuff I like more is definitely towards the top and it's a great lineup of material, with room for some more oddball tracks that would never have even made it into my Excel sheet if I'd known I was going to be working towards a 20- or 40-track ballot. Woo!

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 6 October 2018 02:26 (one week ago) Permalink

also surprised myself to realize that i rank apollo 18 below factory showroom. kinda figured the first four would be an untouchable bloc but looking at the tracklist, there's an awful lot i've never really gone for, like "the guitar" and "she's actual size" and "if i wasn't shy." maybe the moment in which the Flans I Dislike emerges. "space suit" and "i palindrome i" are fucking masterpieces though.

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 6 October 2018 02:36 (one week ago) Permalink

i like the guitar

nba jungboy (voodoo chili), Saturday, 6 October 2018 02:42 (one week ago) Permalink

the lower reaches of my bracket are packed with some of the most novel of their novelties

nba jungboy (voodoo chili), Saturday, 6 October 2018 02:43 (one week ago) Permalink

You got mine, right sic?

Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, 6 October 2018 02:45 (one week ago) Permalink

almost done with my ballot, it should be somewhere around 40 songs i think. definitely surprised by how well Factory Showroom ended up in mine

ufo, Saturday, 6 October 2018 02:54 (one week ago) Permalink

Wish I could say I'd managed to listen to every single eligible song in time -- I didn't -- and to be honest I didn't end up listing any new-to-me true obscurities. But I did put on some songs from Mink Car, an album I didn't like at all when it came out and forgot about, only to find now on relisten that there are some tunes on there I've been humming in my head for years without knowing where they were from.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, 6 October 2018 03:18 (one week ago) Permalink

I'll start compiling ballots before midnight but if any drift in over the weekend, that's fine. Especially from the Antipodean contingent!

I think only two ppl have ranked albums so far, so I might do a full 20 myself just to make it interesting.

(got yours eephus!)

I baste my thigh, gent (sic), Saturday, 6 October 2018 03:28 (one week ago) Permalink

Ballot sent!

My #s 1 through 10 are pretty solid, after that is chaos.

Turns out I really don't like "Factory Showroom"--not one song made my 75-song ballot.

Hideous Lump, Saturday, 6 October 2018 06:02 (one week ago) Permalink

I came to like quite a bit of Factory Showroom myself, and voted for a couple of tracks. I'd given it only scant attention previously. Meanwhile John Henry remained quite impenetrable on this zillionth attempt to come to terms with it.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Saturday, 6 October 2018 07:34 (one week ago) Permalink

I take it frogbs is the voter who probably wouldn't use that email address for a job application?

Shy Betting Mega Hit (sic), Saturday, 6 October 2018 18:27 (one week ago) Permalink

I have straight up not had time to order/send mine and wont for a day or 2. Am I too late?

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Monday, 8 October 2018 03:07 (one week ago) Permalink

lmao how'd you know

frogbs, Monday, 8 October 2018 03:49 (one week ago) Permalink

I’m holding on in the hope that you and AA can get ‘em in soon!

Shy Betting Mega Hit (sic), Monday, 8 October 2018 03:50 (one week ago) Permalink

xpost 2 Trayce

Shy Betting Mega Hit (sic), Monday, 8 October 2018 03:51 (one week ago) Permalink

xpost 2 Trayce

Shy Betting Mega Hit (sic), Monday, 8 October 2018 03:51 (one week ago) Permalink

BUMP for Australians and any other stragglers

My Gig: The Thin Beast (sic), Tuesday, 9 October 2018 09:37 (one week ago) Permalink

how many ballots do we have?

nba jungboy (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 9 October 2018 13:26 (one week ago) Permalink

15.

My Gig: The Thin Beast (sic), Tuesday, 9 October 2018 17:18 (one week ago) Permalink

can't check r/n but was this hyped up in existing tmbg threads? feel like there have to be at least a few other fans on ILM who might have missed the call.

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 9 October 2018 17:31 (one week ago) Permalink

I did my part, and I pretty much never even post!

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Tuesday, 9 October 2018 17:50 (one week ago) Permalink

I was delighted to see your ballot!

My Gig: The Thin Beast (sic), Tuesday, 9 October 2018 18:09 (one week ago) Permalink

I only plugged on the most-recently-active TMBG thread, I'll throw a link on the catch-all-iest one.

My Gig: The Thin Beast (sic), Tuesday, 9 October 2018 18:11 (one week ago) Permalink

If anyone has AA on sosh mēds, can they nudge him? I ILXmailed on the weekend but that may have been dead for years iirc

/pfunkboy

My Gig: The Thin Beast (sic), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 01:36 (one week ago) Permalink

Just threw together and sent in a ballot, if you can use it!

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 03:13 (one week ago) Permalink

got it

My Gig: The Thin Beast (sic), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 17:58 (one week ago) Permalink

ballot sent

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 10 October 2018 19:40 (one week ago) Permalink

send another seven songs, Shakey!

My Gig: The Thin Beast (sic), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 19:40 (one week ago) Permalink

I trust you received one from me about a week ago?

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Wednesday, 10 October 2018 20:59 (one week ago) Permalink

Yep 👍🏼

My Gig: The Thin Beast (sic), Wednesday, 10 October 2018 21:16 (one week ago) Permalink

fuck sorry

calamity gammon (Autumn Almanac), Sunday, 14 October 2018 04:38 (three days ago) Permalink

c'mon Melbourne

My Gig: The Thin Beast (sic), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 01:02 (yesterday) Permalink

the list is there (30+) but i legit have not had time to put it in order

calamity gammon (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 08:17 (yesterday) Permalink

done genuflect.jpg

calamity gammon (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 08:45 (yesterday) Permalink

dead set i thought you had given up on me in the intervening centuries

calamity gammon (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 08:45 (yesterday) Permalink

Trayce, you still have a day to get it in because I'm going to Canada tomorrow to see An Evening With They Might Be Giants.

My Gig: The Thin Beast (sic), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 08:57 (yesterday) Permalink

i have asked sic if i can start start a new artist poll. see, i have a very short window where i can run a poll right now but i have to open for voting now too. i don't want to just open a new poll with this poll still open and have asked sic if it's all right to open a new poll? i will ask him again here, this poll has been open for over a month already.

Bee OK, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 23:58 (yesterday) Permalink


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