Then: The Earlier Years
Collection by They Might Be Giants
|First released|| March 25, 1997
Release details / collectors: Show | Hide
Then: The Earlier Years compilation combines the band's first two albums (They Might Be Giants and Lincoln) with the 1991 B-side/remix collection Miscellaneous T, with two tracks omitted overall—"(She Was A) Hotel Detective (Single Mix)" and the original album mix of "Don't Let's Start" (the album mix and single mix of these songs, respectively, do appear on the compilation). There were an additional 19 bonus tracks, many of which had not been formally released previously.
- 1-3; 5-19: They Might Be Giants (1986)
- 4; 20-22: Don't Let's Start (EP) (1987)
- 23-27: (She Was A) Hotel Detective (EP) (1988)
- Different track order, missing "(She Was A) Hotel Detective (Single Mix)"
- 28-36: Previously unreleased or limited to Dial-A-Song, except:
- 1-18: Lincoln (1988)
- 19: Lincoln Sampler (1988)
- 20-22: They'll Need A Crane (EP) (1989)
- 23: Don't Let's Start (LP) (1989)
- 24-26: Purple Toupee (EP) (1989)
- 27-36: Previously unreleased or limited to Dial-A-Song, except:
- The non-LP tracks from this set are sometimes referred to—as sold on the TMBG Download Store—as Giants Jubilee (disc 1) and Mightathon (disc 2).
- A hugely scaled-back version of this release, titled Best Of The Early Years, was released through BMG Special Products in 1999. Also, an instore promo version Selections From The 2-CD Retrospective Then: The Earlier Years was released and contained a different set of tracks.
- Curiously, the single mix of "Don't Let's Start" is the one included here, as opposed to the fuller mix on the original album.