Galaxie 500


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One of the best things about 1996's Galaxie 500 box set was the inclusion of a full disc's worth of unreleased tracks and rarities. In 2004, Ryko decided to release the disc on its own, slapping a title (Uncollected) and a new cover on it. Easy for them and welcome to fans of the group who may have missed out on the box set. The disc itself is a fantastic appendage to the group's three studio albums, including some wonderful outtakes, single tracks, their first demo, and a live song from 1989. It also adds the video to "Blue Thunder" as the obligatory multimedia track. Perhaps the most revelatory songs here are those from the band's original demo recorded in 1987. The three songs are much more straightforward than later recordings; "Walking Song" and "On the Floor" even rock in a peppy '60s pop kind of way. Only "The Other Side" gives a hint of the future with its atmospheric feel. Of the outtakes, the best are their lilting cover of the Young Marble Giants' "Final Day," the aching "Maracas Song," and the stuttering "Song in 3." All of them are essential listening, however, with each being good enough to appear on the albums. Also of much interest are a different version of Today's "Oblivious," which was only available on a rare 7", and the sax version of "Blue Thunder" from the Blue Thunder EP. The live medley of the Beatles' "Rain" and Jonathan Richman's "Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste" is pretty essential, too. Best of all is their trippy cover of the Rutles' "Cheese and Onions," which pulls off the neat trick of making a parody song sound as good as the source material (the Beatles circa Yellow Submarine). Uncollected is a charming and important disc; it is a rare disc of rarities that is a satisfying listen from beginning to end as well as an often revelatory experience. If you don't already have the box set and are a fan of Galaxie 500's beguiling charms, this should be on your wish list.

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