Wiggle Diskette

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Wiggle Diskette demo cover
Wiggle Diskette
Demo by They Might Be Giants
First released March 30, 1985
Release details / collectors: Show | Hide
Tracks 2 Last demo 1984 Promotional Demo Tape
Label TMB Music <850647S> Length 4:22 Next demo 1985 Promotional Demo Tape
Back cover

The Wiggle Diskette is They Might Be Giants' first official release, a one-sided circular 7" flexi-disc released on March 30, 1985.

The release was produced by Bill Krauss, engineered by Al Houghton and Alex Noyes, and featured drum programming by Chris Butler. It was a limited-edition of 1000 copies. The tracks included were "Everything Right Is Wrong" and "You'll Miss Me", both of which resurfaced in drastically rearranged versions on their debut album and Lincoln, respectively. The cover artwork features a photo of a young girl at a wool machine threading wool, with a small photo of the Johns at the bottom. Above, THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS is modestly printed. Some copies were distributed by stapling or taping bagged copies to telephone poles and street signs around Manhattan,[1] as well as nailing them to trees around Tompkins Square Park.[2]

To celebrate the release of the Wiggle Diskette, They Might Be Giants hosted a release party for the disc at Darinka, with extra reception also being held at 8BC. Due to the discs being easy and cheap to manufacture (under $0.10/disc), a majority of the people at the event were handed out free copies of the flexi-disc to listen to.[3][4] According to Gary Ray, the release party was a "really big deal." [5]

The disc was reviewed by William Leith for New Musical Express on August 10th, 1985:

A world away from the savage bass-driven grudges, the hairstyle neurosis, the shoe-fear and shirt-searching and simply falling asleep at the mixing-desk that we're used to, this is two minutes of flexi-pop tricked out to look completely natural, like it didn't care, although I suspect that there's a lot of (hidden) studio microsurgery behind it. It's a miracle of compounded reference: twangy voices and wah-wah-gimmicks and burned-out psychedelia. "Your money talks / But my genius walks." This is it then, I suppose — the last word, the final vinyl.

If anyone wished to get a copy of the flexi-disc, they were instructed to send $2 to TMB Music, 432 W 47, NYC, 10036. It was also available at Printed Matter and Rocks In Your Head.[6]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Length  Lyrics Guitar Tab
1 Everything Right Is Wrong 2:25  N/A
2 You'll Miss Me 1:57  N/A


  • Early releases of the Wiggle Diskette came with an extra "Norwegian for Travellers" Berlitz disc.[7]
  • The drum tracks were created using musician Chris Butler's Oberheim DMX, which they also used for other early demos. In a 1990 interview with Imprint, John Linnell explained how they got the drum machine:

I think it was in the middle of '84 that we decided we were gonna ask a friend to loan us a drum machine in order to make a record with, instead of with the real drums we had been recording with. I think the machine we used at the time was a DMX. Boy, I don't even know what's happened to those things now. It was state of the art then, and I listen to the tape now and the sound just sounds like one of those things that are attached to your parlor organ, like the rhythm, you know.

  • John Flansburgh on Chris Butler's involvement with the band:[8]
Later on I got to know [Butler], but I certainly didn't know him at all when I first encountered him, and he just was like, "Listen, I've got a drum machine if you need to borrow a drum machine." This is back when drum machines were, like, $2,500, and John [Linnell] and I were living on falafel and ramen. He just was so generous and so supportive, and he didn't want to produce us, he didn't want to be our friend. He just thought we were doing an interesting project, and he was so generous.
  • The disc was twice played by famous British disc jockey John Peel on BBC Radio 1 — once in 1985,[9] and again in 1990.[10] After this second broadcast, he read out a letter that the band had sent him, along with the disc, in 1985. The letter mentioned their plans to perform in London in September of that year, as well as a 12" EP to be released in the U.S. around the same time. Both of these plans were scrapped, and have not been mentioned elsewhere.


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