Rubaiyat (Elektra's 40th Anniversary)

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Rubaiyat (Elektra's 40th Anniversary) compilation cover
Rubaiyat (Elektra's 40th Anniversary)
Compilation by Various Artists
First released September 24, 1990 Tracks 39
Label Elektra <9 60940-2> Length 148:19 (2-disc)

Rubaiyat was Elektra's 40th anniversary album, featuring Elektra artists covering other Elektra artists. A rare four-disc version of the compilation was also released, with the extra two discs containing the song recordings by the original artists.


They Might Be Giants recorded a cover of "One More Parade" by Phil Ochs, who was previously namechecked in "The Day", for Rubaiyat.

Originally, Elektra requested that TMBG cover Queen's "We Will Rock You" for the compilation, but Metallica ultimately ended up covering a Queen song for the compilation instead (which later made it onto Metallica's 1999 compilation Garage Inc.). It's been stated that They Might Be Giants had the "We Will Rock You" cover ready to go, but had to change course due to the Metallica conflict.[1] TMBG's alleged 1990 recording of "We Will Rock You" may have been bound for the later canceled Superfueled Freaksicle compilation at one point, as well.[2] Flansburgh elaborated in a 2020 Tumblr post:

They wanted us to do “We Will Rock You.” I don’t think they were trying to be insulting, but it felt to me like it would be hard not to see their intentions as having the faint taint of novelty thinking (“oh these guys are funny and small and don’t really rock—how clever it would be to give them that arena-oriented rock song”). I mean the TELL is that we have so little in common with Queen. In almost every other case it was like with like—a bluesy act covered a bluesy song, a folkie did a folk song, etc. Also a lot of the material covered was quite obscure with tons of room for interpretation.

Unless we could cook up an original fresh take to it, what would you do that wasn’t just a shitty tag along? But because it was also a suicide mission, being the original is so famous, so definitive and so great, it wasn’t hard to beg off.

Track listing[edit]

Disc 1[edit]

# Title Artist Length
1 Hello I Love You The Cure 3:27
2 House Of The Rising Sun Tracy Chapman 2:03
3 Seven & Seven Is Billy Bragg 2:15
4 I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing Jevetta Steele 4:13
5 Hotel California Gipsy Kings 5:47
6 Werewolves Of London The Black Velvet Band 3:40
7 Motorcycle Mama The Sugarcubes 3:44
8 One Meatball Shinehead 4:38
9 Bottle Of Wine The Havalinas 3:27
10 Born In Chicago Pixies 2:11
11 You're So Vain Faster Pussycat 4:11
12 Marquee Moon Kronos Quartet 4:13
13 Get Ourselves Together Phoebe Snow 4:17
14 Tokoloshe Man Happy Mondays 4:18
15 Let's Go Ernie Isley 4:41
16 Going Down Lynch Mob 3:35
17 A Little Bit Of Rain Ambitious Lovers 3:15
18 You Belong To Me Anita Baker 4:42
19 Road To Cairo Howard Jones 5:34

Disc 2[edit]

# Title Artist Length
1 Kick Out The Jams The Big F 4:03
2 Almost Saturday Night / Rockin' All Over The World The Georgia Satellites 4:04
3 Hello, I Am Your Heart Sara Hickman 2:44
4 Make It With You Teddy Pendergrass 5:32
5 The Blacksmith Linda Ronstadt 2:41
6 Going Going Gone Bill Frisell 5:58
7 First Girl I Loved Jackson Browne 4:44
8 These Days 10,000 Maniacs 3:27
9 Stone Cold Crazy Metallica 2:17
10 Apricot Brandy Danny Gatton 3:11
11 Union Man Shaking Family 3:55
12 One More Parade They Might Be Giants 2:22
13 I Can't Tell You Why Howard Hewett 3:52
14 Mt. Airy Groove Leaders Of The New School 4:37
15 You Brought The Sunshine Shirley Murdock 4:17
16 Inbetween Days John Eddie 3:59
17 Love Wars The Beautiful South 4:36
18 Both Sides Now Michael Feinstein 5:14
19 T.V. Eye John Zorn 2:25
20 Hello I Love You (Slight Return) The Cure 0:10