Monday, March 5, 2012

Bright Eyes - Vinyl Box Set

Bright Eyes - Vinyl Box Set by Tim PopKid
Bright Eyes - Vinyl Box Set, a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
Saddle Creek (2003)

One thing that never ceases to be odd to me is how shocked most people are when they find out that I like Bright Eyes ( I get a similar reaction about early Oasis as well). While the Bright Eyes discography is inconsistent at best, there are some incredible songs throughout and I think the band gets a bad rep from folks too cool for school.

This box set came out in 2003 and contains the 1st 3 Bright Eyes full lengths and 2 EPs. Saddle Creek has recently started reissuing these records individually and that has sent the price of this box set plummeting. This thing at times went for close to $300, I grabbed this for way less than it would have cost to buy the reissues separately. Plus I bought it from a mustachioed man that I met at a Starbucks in what may likely be the dorkiest psuedo drug exchange ever. Regardless, I'm happy i got the box set instead of the reissues. It has bonus tracks, fancy art and everything sounds really good.

To briefly discus each album; let's be frank. A Collection Of Songs flat out sucks. It's the epitome of the asshole-in-his-bedroom-with-a-guitar nonsense that sends me running for the hills. I haven't listened to that record since I got the CD for free way back when, and it's even worse than I remembered. Letting Off The Happiness is a gigantic leap forward, and though it's still spotty in places, it shows a lot of potential. The Every Day and Every Night EP is where the band really announced their arrival. There are some really great songs on here, including one of my favorites Bright Eyes ever did; "A Perfect Sonnet." Then we move on to Fevers & Mirrors. To me this is the absolute best Bright Eyes record, and even though it's dark, depressing and borderline whiny, I still love it. Such interesting instrumentation & sounds, plus the version in this box set has 2 bonus tracks. Lastly is the Don't Be Frightened of Turning The Page EP. Not quite as good as Fevers, but still containing some great songs.

I didn't plan on writing this much, but when you're dissecting a 7 LP set, I guess it's tough to keep it brief. Here's a couple of songs:

Bright Eyes - Perfect Sonnet:

Bright Eyes - Something Vague:

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