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You Can Play These Songs with Chords

Death Cab for CutieAudio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $14.40 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 18 Songs, 2013 $5.99  
Audio CD, 2002 $14.40  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. President of What? 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Champagne From A Paper Cup 2:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Pictures In An Exhibition 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Hindsight 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. That's Incentive 2:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Amputations 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Two Cars 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Line of Best Fit 5:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. This Charming Man 2:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. TV Trays 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. New Candles 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Tomorrow 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Flustered / Hey Tomcat! 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. State Street Residential 5:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Wait 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Prove My Hypotheses 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Song For Kelly Huckaby (Facts Version) 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Army Corps Of Architects 4:43$0.99  Buy MP3 

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The New Year from Live at the Mt. Baker Theatre DVD


By their seventh studio album, many bands are running out of creative steam and original ideas. But in the case of Death Cab for Cutie, nothing could be further from the truth. Codes and Keys is singular in the quartet’s catalog when it comes to sonic exploration and lyrical ambition. If anything, the band has never sounded more excited to experiment with textures, words, sounds and even ... Read more in Amazon's Death Cab for Cutie Store

Visit Amazon's Death Cab for Cutie Store
for 23 albums, 10 photos, videos, discussions, and more.

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Frequently Bought Together

You Can Play These Songs with Chords + We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes + The Photo Album
Price for all three: $39.29

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 22, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Barsuk
  • ASIN: B00006L3PW
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,429 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death Cab album for die hard fans July 26, 2003
By Brian
Format:Audio CD
This album is a collection of rarities and b-sides and I would not reccomend it to the first time death cab buyer your best bet is to pick up the photo album the biggest plus to this album is the smiths cover of this charmning man which is done semi tastefully aside from a few lyrical miffs.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only if You're a Death Cab fan February 17, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I've read and heard far too many reviews of this album that don't give it the credit it deserves, so hear goes.
Honestly, this is an incredible album, but you have to be a Death Cab fan to appreciate it. Yes, this is their first demo and their B-sides. So don't complain if you buy it and aren't pleased because it's not "up to their usual quality"
But this album gives you insight into Death Cab that you aren't going to find anywhere else. So if you care about this band and actually appreciate their music in a moving sense, it's incredible. Some of the B-sides on this album are more incredible than the original songs. Also, it's amazing to hear the differences between the songs that made it onto latter recordings and those which were laid down for You Can Play These Songs With Chords.
So stop complaining. If you didn't like this album, you don't really like Death Cab. If you do, however, this is a rare treasure. Buy it, but only if you're a real fan. You know who you are.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death Cab presents excellent B-sides/demo collection January 1, 2003
Format:Audio CD
A preliminary note: like the other reviews mention, You Can Play These Songs With Chords isn't the best place for a new Death Cab fan to start. Regardless, it is an excellent collection of songs that pinpoints a band from their infancy to most recent.
The opening eight tracks are a re-release of the demo recordings singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard did in 1997 (released with the same title as this compliation). Playing all of the instruments himself, the bulk of these demos resurfaced a short while later on Death Cab's first proper album, Something About Airplanes (then played with a full band). For the most part, the sound quality is awfully lo-fi, which recorder/future DCFC guitarist Chris Walla was obviously aiming for. As for the music, most of the songs are close enough to the final product, which is two-thumbs-up material. The few demos that didn't make it, like "Hindsight" and "That's Incentive" (with its limber bassline) show that not all songs cut were bad.
The rest of the material is a collection of B-sides from DC's history. Some, like "TV Trays" and the original version of "Song for Kelly Huckaby," are on the verge of being subpar. Others, like the pretty "Army Corp of Architects," the quasi-Built to Spill-ish "Prove My Hypotheses" and the Something About Airplanes misfire "State Street Residential," are some of the best tracks the band has recorded. Some, like the hilarious cover of the Smiths' "This Charming Man" and the 'European Dance Hit' "Tomorrow," just don't fit into any catagory.
For the most part, this is a great collection of songs Death Cab fans will be eager to get ahold of. For the newcomer, this may prove to be a confusing assortment of tracks.
Oh, side note: the CD insert is a great help: I was always interested in who plays on songs, and this delievers in addition to the amusing notes provided by the band members.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album for fans or newbies April 1, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I'm fairly familiar with DCFC, having seen them live three times and hearing most of their songs.
This is one of my favorite Death Cab albums. It's raw and fun. It feels like the band is having fun as they play the music. It has a garage jam session feel yet sounds great. If you like Death Cab, you should have this album.
Whether or not you've heard this band before, I strongly reccommend this album!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Proving once again that demos can rock October 29, 2002
By Ian L.
Format:Audio CD
Death Cab for Cutie is a band known for both its mellow, down to earth beats and for it's incredible, easy to relate to lyrics. They are also known to rock out on occasion, on such past tracks as "Company Calls" from the "We Have The Facts And We're Voting Yes" LP. Here, with "You Can Play These Strings With Chords," the band offers its fans a rare look into its early days, putting their original 8 track demo tape onto a CD. Now, while many may consider this as merely filler until their next album is released in 2003, it is much more than that. While by no means a masterpiece, it is a wonderful window into the band's beginnings. They excel the most with songs not recorded on their first album, as I am a big fan of the re-recording of "Pictures in an Exhibition," while this version seems to be missing something. On "Hindsight," "Two Cars," and "That's Incentive" however, we see that not all demos are bad things, as if not for this album these excellent tracks may very well have been lost to the fans of this wonderful band.
The B-Sides are another great added bonus. The only B-side Songs I had heard before this CD were "Wait," "Song for Kelly Huckaby(an extra on my Facts import)," and "Army Corps For Architects." By far, the best song here is "Army Corps," churning out sweet melodies and lyrics which are noticeably absent form most other music these days. This album helps me see how much better the "underground" music is as compared to "mainstream" as not once have Death Cab been on radio in NYC, yet they deserve all that and more. So, when you feel ready to buy this CD, buy "Facts" or "Something About Airplanes" first. It will get you ready for this, and what is to come from the band known only as Death Cab For Cutie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Death Cab for Cutie's early tracks
For 18 tracks, you can't beat this early Death Cab for Cutie demo. It gives you what Death Cab sounded like, pre-Transatlanticism, when they were just starting out. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Alecazam
1.0 out of 5 stars Some Songs are Best Left on the Cutting Room Floor
Just because you become mildly succesful doesn't mean you have to release every studio noodle your band has performed. Please don't release subpar music to make money.
Published on March 13, 2012 by Mark McLaughlin
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a listen, or two, or three
Most of the tracks on this offering are lo-fi and just full of washed-out, Pacific Northwest, dreary-day angst. Read more
Published on May 31, 2007 by keeverdc
5.0 out of 5 stars DCFC really does have something for everybody.
This album takes you on a ride just as the other dcfc albums are mesmerised from track 1 until the end. Read more
Published on May 16, 2006 by Amir
5.0 out of 5 stars DCFC's Best Album
I might get a lot of negative responses from this review, but in my opinion this is the best album Death Cab has produced. Read more
Published on March 24, 2005 by Jason Persson
4.0 out of 5 stars An Acquired Taste
I evidently didn't listen to the advice given here when I bought this CD as my first Death Cab for Cutie purchase. Read more
Published on November 27, 2004 by JC
4.0 out of 5 stars a cute album
death cab for cutie's "you can play these songs with chords" is the cutest album ever, musically speaking. Read more
Published on August 1, 2004 by deus ex mecca
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Typical Death Cab
What the heck was Ben Gibbard thinking?!?! The cover of the Smith's "This Charming Man" is downright embarassing and should of never seen the light of day. Read more
Published on December 28, 2003 by T. Lee
1.0 out of 5 stars Are you kidding?
I enjoyed the Forbidden Love EP way back when. But now what is all the hype? And what is with the horrendous Smiths cover?
Give me a break.
Published on February 20, 2003 by Daniel Sama
3.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, it's Death Cab, but it's not all that cool.
I'm a huge fan of DCFC and I love every song on every record, but you can really see why these ones didn't make it on to the records. Read more
Published on January 8, 2003 by Ryan
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