They Might Be Giants was formed in the early 1980's by John Linnell and John Flansburg of Brooklyn, and originally premierred as "El Groupo de Rock `n Roll". A couple of months later they settled on their current name after seeing it in a list of movie titles. They released their self titled debut under Restless/Bar None Records, and then moved to Warner Bros./Electra with their third. They remained there until 1997. The main problem with catagorizing TMBG's music is trying to find peers. I suppose the closest bands to them would be Talking Heads, XTC, and Bare Naked Ladies (but don't tell any fan that!). Their musical style ranges from album to album taking in everything from punk, blues, typical rock, and folk. And all the while finding a way to do it with guitar (John F.) and accordian (John L.). In the early years of the group a synthesiser and drum machine were used as back up, but since 1994 they've toured with a live band with an ever changing line up. While never exactly hitting the top ten, they have had their moments of fame. "Birdhouse in Your Soul" from their 1990 album "Flood" did chart for a time in the UK, and "Istanbul, not Constantinople", and "Particle Man" were used on "Tiny Toon Adventures" for an MTV parody. Lyrically they run the gammut. Some songs seem to have absolutely no meaning beyond the mind of the listener while the song "Why Must I Be Sad" tells the story of a teen going through the darkness that in habits us all through Alice Cooper records. For the most part the music has an air of fun about it that alot of rock bands seem to miss. The popular opinion seems to unanimously be "nerd rock" though.
Something else to be taken into account are the fans. Fanatical at times, but usually friendly. While most fans of a group would kill for free MP3's of album tracks of their heroes, Giantheads see it not only as ripping the Johns off, but as a form of sacrelige. Many fans will travel hundreds of miles for a live show. Forgive the lack of info on live performanes, as I've YET to get to one myself!!
As of 2000 The Giants are providing music in a lot of places, such as providing the theme and incidental music for a new Fox sitcom called "Malcom in the Middle". Also on the plate are several songs on the upcoming Disney sequel to "Peter Pan". Last year they recorded "Dr. Evil" for the Austin Powers sequel, and provided all the music for The Daily Show's Millinium Special.
Discography (full length albums only)
Restless/Bar None Records
They Might Be Giants -(1986)
Misc T. (B-side/Remixes) -(1991)
Then: The Earlier Years (early stuff and rarities) -(1997)
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