Tuesday, July 19, 2016
THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS - THE BAND THAT LAUNCHED A LABEL
They Might Be Giants - Self-Titled (November 4, 1986)
They Might Be Giants - Lincoln (September 25, 1988)
Various Artists: Hello Radio: The Songs Of They Might Be Giants (July 8, 2008)
John Flansburgh and John Linnell grew up as friends in Lincoln, Massachusetts but only began to perform together when both relocated to Brooklyn - to the same apartment building, on the same day! - in 1981. Their clever, quirky, and often comical take on modern pop - performed on guitar, accordion, saxophone, and drum machine, accompanied by outlandish props like giant fezzes and large cardboard cut-out heads - soon attracted a cult following in the NYC club scene. When Linnell broke his wrist and Flansburgh's apartment was robbed, the duo had to stop performing for a time. They began reaching fans by advertising their phone number in local newspapers and offering free songs on an answering machine. "Dial-A-Song," as it was known, attracted the attention of Bar/None Records, which released the group's self-titled debut in 1986. College radio loved it and MTV put the video for "Don't Let's Start" in heavy rotation; Bar/None had its first hit album. In 1988, Bar/None released TMBG's second album, Lincoln (named after Linnell and Flansburgh's home town.) Lincoln included the hit single "Ana Ng," which reached No. 11 on the U.S. Modern Rock Chart.
In 2008, Bar/None invited a host of indie artists (including Frank Black, OK Go, The Wrens, and Jason Trachtenberg) to interpret their favorite TMBG songs on the compilation Hello Radio: The Songs Of They Might Be Giants.
Hello Radio: The Songs Of TMBG on Bar-None.com
Here is the some of the advertising that They Might Be Giants inspired back in the Eighties: