It had never occurred to me that this might be the best Galaxie 500 album. But that's what this blog post suggested last week.
It always felt like a bit of an afterthought to me. With typical record company aplomb, the boxed set comes out, providing a definitive and comprehensive document of the band's entire recorded work — and then a few months later, "Oh, yeah, look what we found behind the filing cabinet; maybe you'd like this too". Or, more cynically, "Wow, you suckers seemed to lap up that ramshackle collection of leftovers; let's see if we can wring a bit more out of you."
Well, yes, I bought it immediately, of course. It was recorded three weeks after the one time I saw them, so it's a good memento of that evening. I remember remarking to C how much Dean sounded like Neil Young. I think I was talking about the guitar solos, but it could have been the voice, a bit, I suppose? Back then I had a pet theory that Galaxie were equal parts Neil Young, Velvet Underground and late Joy Division. The Joy Division bit was just the bass playing, I think, which Naomi has acknowledged was at least partly modelled on Hooky. But a couple of decades on (ouch), Galaxie own their sound themselves and in their own right: they're just Galaxie 500.
I think our blogger friend has it wrong, to be honest. He seems to be saying that this is the best album because the band were "loosed from [producer] Kramer's hazy shimmer", but Kramer is evidently present at the mixing desk for the gig — you can hear Damon and Dean talking to him at one point, and the booklet says "live sound by Kramer" — and seems to be doing his best to recreate that shimmer.
MusicBrainz entry for this album
Wikipedia entry for this album
Rate Your Music entry for this album
Listen to this album in full at Last.fm