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Istanbul [Single]

They Might Be GiantsAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, Single, 1990 --  
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They Might Be Giants are an original band from Brooklyn, New York founded by John Flansburgh and John Linnell and including Dan Miller on guitar, Danny Weinkauf on bass, and Marty Beller, the king of the drums. TMBG works continuously — writing, recording, or touring. They Might Be Giants have also been involved in numerous television and film projects.

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Istanbul + The Guitar
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 30, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Single
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000008LJ1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,214 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a recording June 12, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is the single version of "Instanbul(Not Constantinople)", which is one of They Might Be Giants most popular songs. In addition to the regular version of "Istanbul", there is also a pretty cool extended remix of that song. There are also three previously unavailable "b-sides". The great "James K. Polk" became a popular concert staple. (It was rerecorded several years later for the Factory Showroom album.) "Stormy Pinkness" is a short song that is nothing special. "Ant" is a pretty good song. Recommended to They Might Be Giants fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for a TMBG fan March 21, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Track 1: Istanbul is one of TMBG's best songs, but that's not why you'd buy this CD, since it is available on better all-around CDs (Flood and Dial-A-Song) and individually.

Track 2: James K. Polk - this version is not nearly as good as the regular version on Factory Showroom. I suppose most TMBG fans would be interested to hear it though.

Track 3: Stormy Pinkness - This is the reason I bought this CD, and I'm glad I have this version in addition to the live version from Dial-A-Song. However, the overall performance is not as good as the Dial-A-Song version.

Track 4: Ant - The beginning of this song has some weird xylophone stuff going on, which doesn't sound good at all to me. However, by the second verse it is effectively drowned out by some tasteful guitar. I enjoy listening to this song and its humorous lyrics. I can't make much of a comparison to the Indestructible Object version, as I don't own the latter; but if you prefer the earlier TMBG sound you will probably prefer this version.

Track 5: Istanbul (Brownsville Mix) - The introduction is pretty funny, but once it gets to the actual remix-y material it becomes unbearably annoying for me. Still worth having for the humor though.

Bottom line: If you are a TMBG fan and can get this for under $10, it is probably worth it. Musically, this isn't the best stuff TMBG has produced (with the exception of the title track), but it will be of interest to enthusiasts.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get it if you're a TMBG fan September 17, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I pretty much agree with the other reviewer: this is a must-have for hardcore TMBG fans, but not something a casual fan or someone just getting interested in the band really needs to get (at least not right away). I'd say that's generally the case with EP's. Anyway, I think "Istanbul" is a rather strange choice for a single, since TMBG didn't even write it. The remix of this song is excellent, though, containing samples from many different sources (but none from The Wizard of Oz, as far as I know). It's possibly the best remix of a TMBG song. "James K. Polk" is also available on Factory Showroom, but fans will probably want to hear this earlier version, with "la la" vocals instead of the singing saw during the bridge. "Ant" and "Stormy Pinkness" aren't exactly TMBG's best work, but they're enjoyable, and definitely worth having. If you have all of TMBG's albums, I would recommend getting this (and all of their other EP's) as well.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars previously unreleased songs in hiding September 12, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Istanbul (Not Constantinople) is arguably TMBG's most famous song. I am surprised that no one else has ever reviewed this single, despite it being out of print and "hard to find". But I digress...
Three of the five songs on this EP can not be found on any of TMBG's albums (*to the best of my knowledge). As such, this single is a must-have for TMBG collectors and die-hard fans, but a questionable purchase when someone with a marginal knowledge / appreciation of John & John considers hunting it down. It contains two versions of Istanbul - the original and a remix, which is sounds like a cross between a Janet Jackson song and a tv show theme song, with several cartoonish references to tornados. (Note: I originally compared this to a cross of Janet Jackson and the Wizard of Oz, but it seems I have confused people). The other songs are a mixed bag...
James K. Polk, 3:19 - cute song, steeped with historical facts surrounding it's namesake's 1844 Presidential run. Catchy lyrics, but the beat gets kind of repetitive after a bit.
Stormy Pinkness, 1:12 - short, slow-paced unusual TMBG fare. I didn't care for it.
Ant, 1:54 - addictive and upbeat (yet typical) TMBG fare with a guitar riff reminiscent of several songs from the Miscellaneous T album.
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