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Then: The Earlier Years

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Album 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.

Customer Reviews

This is classic

This album is hilarious, fun, and creative. It actually has quite a few solid real songs, but the mock songs or skits or whatever you want to call them are the highlights. Definitely worth $20.


Formed: 1983 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Combining a knack for infectious melodies with a quirky sense of humor and a vaguely avant-garde aesthetic borrowed from the New York post-punk underground, They Might Be Giants became an unlikely alternative rock success story as they reinvented themselves throughout their career. Musically, John Flansburgh and John Linnell borrowed from everywhere, but this eclecticism was enhanced by their arcane sensibilities. The duo referenced everything from British Invasion to Tin Pan Alley, while making...
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