E2 61257 Apollo 18
Produced by They Might Be Giants
Released on March 24, 1992
US CHART POSITION #99
Find it at GEMM
E2 61257 cover
[high resolution scan]

K RONOMYTH 4.0: APOLLO 18 FOREVER. Here’s another eighteen dollars of insanity insurance that amps up the rock factor and includes a 20-song sampler (“Fingertips”) that sounds like a TMBG album on speed. This is the best Giants album I’ve heard so far because it finds the right balance of rock ‘n droll. I could take or leave a good half of Flood, but I’ll hold onto most of Apollo 18 with both hands: “I Palindrome I,” “My Evil Twin,” “Narrow Your Eyes,” “The Statue Got Me High,” “Turn Around.” A lot of these tracks could pass for actual rock songs rather than demented skits; consider that the skittish “Which Describes How You’re Feeling,” which would describe most of Flood, is the exception on Apollo 18. I get the impression that the Johns’ musical ability had finally caught up with their affection for the dBs, etc., and here they manage to emulate their idols without losing their own unique Might Beisms (TMdBG). The album is also notable for its International Space Year plug, the band having been elected as “musical ambassadors” by NASA (mostly by accident). The honorary title may have led to the closing instrumental “Space Suit,” which is one of those wordless melodies that stays with you over time like Paul McCartney’s “Singalong Junk.” With this album, TMBG began to behave like an actual rock band, going on tour with supporting musicians and featuring the guys-standing-in-front-of-the-drum-set thing that seemed to be all the rage with those other rock bands. You could see Apollo 18 as a transitional album between the early accordion/synthesizer stuff and the later, still silly studio rock of John Henry and after, but mostly it’s about the songs and how well executed they are. If you’re curious about the Giants, I’d make an encounter with Apollo 18 your primary mission.

E2 61257 gatefold sleeve
E2 61257 gatefold sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  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)    (They Might Be Giants/George Weiss/Luigi Creatore/Hugo Peretti)
  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

    All songs written by They Might Be Giants unless noted

CREDITS

JOHN FLANSBURGH --
JOHN LINNELL --
Amy Allison -- vocal (30
Laura Cantrell -- vocal (8)
Julie Cohen -- vocal (11)
Brian Dewan -- vocal (22,27)
Mark Feldman -- violin (1,11)
Nicholas Hill -- vocal (19)
Frank London -- trumpet (8)
Elma Mayer -- vocal (20,25)
Peter Stampfel -- banjo & vocal (18,36)
Jim Thomas -- drums (3)
Garo Yellin -- cello (1)
Paul Angelli -- engineer, mixing (17-37)
Alan Winstanley -- mixing
Patrick Dillett -- mixing (17-37)
Rolf Conant -- design

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REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US March 24, 1992 Elektra CD/CS E2 61257/-4  
UK 1992 Elektra CD 61257-2  
CAN 1992 Elektra CS 96 12574  

 

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