They Might Be Giants – Flood: #508 of best 1,000 albums ever!

They Might Be Giants - Flood

So why is They Might Be Giants’ Flood on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

There’s something both odd and strangely comforting about They Might Be Giants that in combination is quite pleasing.

“Birdhouse In Your Soul” is great example. There’s a little bit of a Devo thing going on, sound-wise, but I think (I think?) they don’t have a subversive agenda. They’re just super witty oddball pop craftsmen with nerdy, eclectic vibes.

Here’s a really fun live version of “Birdhouse In Your Soul” from late Johnny Carson-era The Tonight Show with a full band accompanying the lads*.

* Just me, or does John Linnell have Danny Pudi AKA Abed from Community vibes? Oh, never mind.

“Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” was They Might Be Giants’ “big hit,” as memory serves, and it wouldn’t surprise me if many at least know of this song without being fully aware of the band. Though some might argue that this one is a little too catchy, I find it to be a surprisingly pleasurable listen whenever it pops up.

The 27 second-long “Theme from Flood” is pretty, funny, weird, and obviously succinct. In other words, it’s great.

“Minimum Wage” might be the best two-word song that also happens to be an indictment of late-stage capitalism that I’ve ever heard.

Personal stuff that’s somehow related to They Might Be Giants’ Flood

They Might Be Giants and Flood pull me back to my first few years of college at Binghamton University in two respects. The first is that I happen to recall that there was an article about the band thumbtacked to the wall of the Resident Advisor’s office for some reason during my two years of living in good old Johnson Hall.

The other ties specifically to “Istanbul (Not Constantinople).” As I just relayed to my in laws over the weekend, one of the reasons why I wound up majoring in history as an undergrad was that 1) classes generally started after noon and 2) class requirements tended to consist of lots of reading/lectures and precisely two papers – one at mid-semester and one at the end of the semester. A procrastinator’s delight, in other words.

I took a full year on the history of the Middle Ages, most of which I’ve absolutely forgotten, sadly. I did enjoy learning about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, though. The Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine Empire, was particularly interesting to me.

Its capital happened to be called Constantinople… at the time.

Some stats & info about They Might Be Giants – Flood

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, College Rock, Indie Rock, Nerd Rock, New York Bands
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Flood released? 1990
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #508 out of 1,000

They Might Be Giants’ Flood on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from They Might Be Giants’ Flood that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople, been a long time gone, Constantinople, now it’s Turkish delight on a moonlit night.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.