They Might Be Giants / Elektra album 2CD reissues, including “Flood”


Edsel Records are reissuing the four Elektra albums released by US alternative band They Might Be Giants, in December this year.

The band consists of John Flansburgh (guitar) and John Linnell (accordian and saxophone) and their first two albums – They Might Be Giants and Lincoln – are alternative classics from the mid/late eighties, featuring memorable tracks such as Don’t Let’s Start, (She Was A) Hotel Detective, Youth Culture Killed My Dog, Ana Ng, They’ll Need A Crane and The World’s Address.

Those records were issued on various indie labels around the world, but the third album Flood (1990) was their first on a major. In the UK, they somehow had a top ten hit single with Birdhouse In Your Soul, but this chart success wasn’t to be repeated, leaving them with the dreaded ‘one hit wonder’ label. Forget that though, since Flood is one of the band’s very best albums. The silliness and quirky songs are in tact (Someone Keeps Moving My Chair, Hearing Aid) but there’s a dash of maturity thrown in for good measure with tracks like Dead and Your Racist Friend.


These new reissues are packaged as two-albums-in-one (‘two-fers’) and Flood is joined by it’s follow-up, 1992’s Apollo 18. That album lacked the consistency of Flood, and featured lead single The Statue Got Me High, which wasn’t a hit despite an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show.

Edsel are just reissuing four albums, so the second and final combo release has 1994’s John Henry – an album which saw the band use proper musicians to fill out their sound, rather than being reliant on drum machines and backing tracks – paired with Factory Showroom from 1996. This was They Might Be Giants’ last album for Elektra.

Each CD in this reissue campaign comes with a selection of bonus tracks, largely remixes and B-sides/extra tracks of the day.

They Might Be Giants reissues are out on 2 December 2013.

Flood/Apollo 18

John Henry/Factory Showroom

Track listings


  • 1. Theme from Flood
  • 2. Birdhouse in Your Soul
  • 3. Lucky Ball & Chain
  • 4. Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
  • 5. Dead
  • 6. Your Racist Friend
  • 7. Particle Man
  • 8. Twisting
  • 9. We Want a Rock
  • 10. Someone Keeps Moving My Chair
  • 11. Hearing Aid
  • 12. Minimum Wage
  • 13. Letterbox
  • 14. Whistling in the Dark
  • 15. Hot Cha
  • 16. Women & Men
  • 17. Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love
  • 18. They Might Be Giants
  • 19. Road Movie to Berlin

Bonus tracks

  • 20. Ant
  • 21. James K. Polk
  • 22. Stormy Pinkness

Apollo 18

  • 1. Dig My Grave
  • 2. I Palindrome I
  • 3. She’s Actual Size
  • 4. My Evil Twin
  • 5. Mammal
  • 6. The Statue Got Me High
  • 7. Spider
  • 8. The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)
  • 9. Dinner Bell
  • 10. Narrow Your Eyes
  • 11. Hall of Heads
  • 12. Which Describes How You’re Feeling
  • 13. See the Constellation
  • 14. If I Wasn’t Shy
  • 15. Turn Around
  • 16. Hypnotist of Ladies
  • 17. Fingertips
  • 18. Space Suit

Bonus tracks

  • 19. The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) (Williamsburgh Remix)
  • 20. The Guitar (Outer Planet Mix)
  • 21. Welcome to the Jungle
  • 22. I Blame You
  • 23. Moving to the Sun
  • 24. The Guitar (Even Further Outer Planet Mix)

John Henry

  • 1. Subliminal
  • 2. Snail Shell
  • 3. Sleeping in the Flowers
  • 4. Unrelated Thing
  • 5. AKA Driver
  • 6. I Should Be Allowed to Think
  • 7. Extra Savoir – faire
  • 8. Why Must I Be Sad?
  • 9. Spy
  • 10. O, Do Not Forsake Me
  • 11. No One Knows My Plan
  • 12. Dirt Bike
  • 13. Destination Moon
  • 14. A Self Called Nowhere
  • 15. Meet James Ensor
  • 16. Thermostat
  • 17. Window
  • 18. Out of Jail
  • 19. Stomp Box
  • 20. The End of the Tour

Bonus tracks

  • 21. Ondine
  • 22. She Was a Hotel Detective
  • 23. Mrs. Train
  • 24. Snail Dust (Dust Brothers Remix)
  • 25. Why Does the Sun Shine? (The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas)
  • 26. Jessica
  • 27. Whirlpool
  • 28. Spy [Live]

Factory Showroom

  • 1. Token Back to Brooklyn
  • 2. S – E
  • 3. Till My Head Falls Off
  • 4. How Can I Sing Like a Girl?
  • 5. Exquisite Dead Guy
  • 6. Metal Detector
  • 7. New York City
  • 8. Your Own Worst Enemy
  • 9. XTC Vs. Adam Ant
  • 10. Spiralling Shape
  • 11. James K. Polk
  • 12. Pet Name
  • 13. I Can Hear You
  • 14. The Bells Are Ringing

Bonus tracks

  • 15. S – E
  • 16. Sensurround
  • 17. Unforgotten
  • 18. We’ve Got a World That Swings
  • 19. S – E



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Some observations regarding this release.

They are missing the ‘Istanbul (Not Constantinople) Brownsville Mix’ from the CD5. There is room on the disc for it.
Also would have been great to get the US Promo 12″-only mixes:
Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (Bedford/Stuyvesant Mix) 2:30
Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (Park Slope Mix) 2:45
Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (Williamsburg Mix) 2:34
Also missing the ‘Racist Friend’ Sampla-Delic Remix remix by Dee-Lite which was on a US promo 12″ and included on an Elektra promo CD comp.

Apollo 18:
Only includes tracks from ‘The Guitar’ CD single. Missing ‘The Guitar (Williamsburgh Extended Mix)’ from the 12″. Missing ‘I’m Def’ from ‘The Statue Got Me High’ and also ‘Cabbagetown’, ‘Siftin” and ‘Larger Than Life Joshua Fried’s Remake of “She’s Actual Size”‘ from the ‘I Palindrome I’ single.

Would have been a great opportunity to release the ‘O Tannenbaum’ 7″ tracks on cd (‘O Tannenbaum’/’Christmas Cards’)

John Henry release includes all non-LP tracks from Back To Skull and Why Does the Sun Shine EPs.

Factory Showroom appears to include the standard US CD5 tracks from the S-E-X-X-Y single. Would be nice to see the Tee’s Radio mix (US Promo), the Tee’s Freeze Mix from the Aussie CD5 and the vinyl-only tracks from the 12″:
A2 S-E-X-X-Y (Tee’s In House Dub) 5:58
A3 S-E-X-X-Y (Tee’s Capella) 4:55
B2 S-E-X-X-Y (The Warren Rigg Instrumental) 7:52


So are these remastered as well? Like in better quality or is just just a rerelease?

Mike F

@Tracey & Paul. I’ve never liked Lincoln as an album!

Reeve Wilkie

I wonder where the Joe Henry cover girl is these days and how does she feel being immortalized in this “up skirt” styled pose?

Michael Larson

I don’t think anyone looking at the John Henry album cover was thinking “up skirt,” Reeve. I wasn’t, and I was 15 at the time. But I was listening to a song called “Snail Shell” sung from a snail’s point of view.


Eric, what Paul says. Get the pink album and Lincoln if you’re going to investigate further. They’re great! And Disco, you might rethink that… Most of the people I know who like TMBG have tons of albums and very eclectic taste.


I place them in the same category as Dave Matthews Band: music for people who don’t like music. Every person I’ve ever known who has liked this band owns only about 18 total CDs.


I say the same thing about Queen.




It could be argued that Boss Of Me eventually rid them of the One Hit Wonder tag.

TMBG are a band I also mean to investigate properly….I’ve only a single-disc compilation and a couple of the albums.


Cheers Paul. I have the original Flood and a much later album from the 00’s. Did Boss Of Me really onyl scrape into the Top 40? I was sure it hit the giddy heights of #21 or something!