First release: Flood, 1990
(This is an ongoing countdown that will be updated through April. Click here for the full list.)
Flood was the record that started it all for so many TMBG fans, and still holds up as one of their best records from start to finish; but I’d wager half or more of those fans first encountered this song not on Flood, but on Tiny Tunes Adventures, in the form of the video above.
As for me, this was another of those songs they played at weekend dances at my summer nerd camp. Yep. Dances. I distinctly remember dancing around playing an air violin.
Another cover, this time of a 1953 song by the Four Lads, “Istanbul” is the They Might Be Giants song most likely to be recognized by your friends who don’t listen to They Might Be Giants. It’s just a fun song, honestly, and when played live it takes on many different incarnations. My all-time favorite was a long, moody version played live in Philadelphia (and I’m assuming other cities) that began with a virtuoso acoustic guitar solo by Dan Miller. The brassy version released on Severe Tire Damage is a close second.