They Might Be Giants

Then: The Earlier Years

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Track Listing

    Track Title

    Time

  1. Everything Right Is Wrong Again 2:20
  2. Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head 2:12
  3. Number Three 1:27
  4. Don't Let's Start 2:35
  5. Hide Away Folk Family 3:21
  6. 32 Footsteps 1:36
  7. Toddler Hiway :25
  8. Rabid Child 1:31
  9. Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes 1:58
  10. (She Was A) Hotel Detective 2:10
  11. She's an Angel 2:37
  12. Youth Culture Killed My Dog 2:51
  13. Boat of Car 1:15
  14. Absolutely Bill's Mood 2:38
  15. Chess Piece Face 1:21
  16. I Hope That I Get Old Before I Die 1:58
  17. Alienation's for the Rich 2:25
  18. The Day 1:27
  19. Rhythm Section Want Ad 2:22
  20. We're the Replacements 1:50
  21. When It Rains It Snows 1:33
  22. The Famous Polka 1:33
  23. [Untitled Track] 2:33
  24. For Science 1:19
  25. The Biggest One 1:22
  26. Kiss Me, Son of God [Alternate Version] 1:49
  27. Mr. Klaw 1:19
  28. Critic Intro [*] 1:37
  29. Now That I Have Everything [*] 2:20
  30. Mainstream U.S.A. [*] 1:15
  31. Fake Out in Buenos Aires [*] 1:48
  32. Greek #3 [*] 1:29
  33. I Hope That I Get Old Before I Die [Original Version][*] 1:12
  34. I'm Def [*] 1:08
  35. Don't Let's Start [*][Demo Version] 1:14
  36. '85 Radio Special Thank You [*] 1:25
  37. Ana Ng 3:23
  38. Cowtown 2:21
  39. Lie Still, Little Bottle 2:06
  40. Purple Toupee 2:40
  41. Cage & Aquarium 1:10
  42. Where Your Eyes Don't Go 3:06
  43. Piece of Dirt 2:00
  44. Mr. Me 1:52
  45. Pencil Rain 2:42
  46. The World's Address 2:24
  47. I've Got a Match 2:36
  48. Santa's Beard 1:55
  49. You'll Miss Me 1:53
  50. They'll Need a Crane 2:33
  51. Shoehorn With Teeth 1:13
  52. Stand on Your Own Head 1:16
  53. Snowball in Hell 2:31
  54. Kiss Me, Son of God 1:54
  55. Hello Radio :55
  56. It's Not My Birthday 1:52
  57. I'll Sink Manhattan 2:32
  58. Nightgown of the Sullen Moon 1:59
  59. World's Address [Joshua Fried Remix] 5:42
  60. Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal 3:48
  61. The Lady Is a Tramp 1:20
  62. Birds Fly 1:25
  63. Kitten Intro [*] 1:43
  64. Weep Day [*] 1:50
  65. The Big Big Whoredom [*] 1:39
  66. I'm Getting Sentimental over You [Adaptation][*][Version] 1:59
  67. Become a Robot [*] 1:18
  68. Which Describes How You're Feeling [*] 1:24
  69. Swing Is a Word [*] :53
  70. Doris Cunningham [*] :12
  71. Counterfeit Fake [*] :39
  72. Schoolchildren Singing "Particle Man" [*] 2:05

Review

Then: The Earlier Years is a double-disc set containing all of They Might Be Giants' original, independent records -- the two albums They Might Be Giants and Lincoln, plus all of the B-sides and EP tracks that were compiled on Misc. T -- adding nearly 20 previously unreleased tracks. While the bonus tracks are of varying quality -- only "Now That I Have Anything" and demos of "Don't Let's Start," "Which Describes How You're Feeling," and "Hope That I Get Old Before I Die" are of interest to anyone but hardcore collectors -- the official releases remain surprisingly fresh, a combination of melodic skills, inventive arrangements, self-consciously clever lyrics, and bizarre, geeky humor. For most listeners, Then is the definitive They Might Be Giants, encapsulating all of their charm and quirkiness and capturing them at the height of their career. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi