There was a point a few years ago when I was pretty well convinced that the only American ‘rock’ band left that really mattered was Spoon. Starting with 2001’s Girls Can Tell, Spoon put together a string of four back to back records on Merge, with each new brilliant album being slightly better than the last. Their sound wasn’t based on 60’s surf, 70’s classic, 80’s synth, or 90’s alt-rock… it was, just a groove that made your head nod and forced you to pay attention. You see, Britt Daniel and Co. are more subtle than to give you an obvious influence and instead channel elements of opposing song writing giants to play off of. You get a bit of Costello, a smidgen of the Clash, a hint of the “wall of sound” with a touch of Bowie and then mix in a heaping of original creepy grooves and the result is Spoon.
2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is the fourth and finest of the Merge years taking on all the elements of their previous work and then adding a kind of studio wizardry that arrives from the production of Jon Brion. Britt Daniel can be as depressing as all hell, but the vibe is so intoxicating that you feel compelled to be entertained by the misery. He sings “I want to forget how conviction fits, but can I get out from under it” on “The Underdog” but despite the hostility of the lyrical delivery it plays against type with hand claps and horns “for the Lords of Austin have returned.” (Yes that is a Lord of the Rings reference!)
So, with all this enthusiasm, you know I have to add this to my vinyl collection. Of course the choices are limited to only two. The first is a still widely available regular black vinyl that comes with a download card.
The second, released by Newbury Comics in 2014, is a very limited run of 500 in 180 gram red translucent vinyl that also includes a download card. As you can see, it is gorgeous.
While you can get the standard black for about $20.00, you can expect to pay at least $50.00 on the reseller market for the Newbury edition. Just hoping I can find a copy on a trip to the U.S. so I don’t have to pay a ton in shipping costs.