When They Might Be Giants released a new “electronic” version of their 1990 single “Istanbul (Not Constantinople),” one of our writers inquired about whether it was okay to write about a band covering themselves. We were about to say something along the lines of “ehhh…” when we remembered, oh yeah, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” has always been a cover. They Might Be Giants’ version is actually a cover of a Four Lads song from 1953, so this weird new electropop version is really them covering their earlier cover. Fair game!
This bizarre new version appears on rarities collection Album Raises New and Troubling Questions. It comes with a surreal new video that combines a tacky ‘80s-ish performance with things floating in water, fitting well with the Moog-and-drum-pad theme. As with so much of TMBG’s repertoire, you’re not quite sure whether they’re just messing with us – they do repeatedly say what sounds like “yikes!” – but it’s a fun ride regardless.
They Might Be Giants – Electronic Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (The Four Lads cover)