Personnel: John Flansburgh (vocals, guitar, keyboards); John Linnell (vocals, accordion, saxophone, keyboards); Laura Cantrell, Robin "Goldie" Goldwasser (vocals); Eric Schermerhorn, Lyle Workman, Dan John Miller (guitar); Mark Feldman (violin); Frank London, Mark Pender, Jim O'Connor , Charlie Seplveda (trumpet); Dan Levine (trombone); Kurt Hoffman (horns); Brian Doherty (glockenspiel, drums); Steve Calhoon, Zachary Alford, Dan Hickey (drums); Alan Bezozi (snare drum, tambourine); Skyline Staff (hand claps); Luis Jardim, Mauro Refosco (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Ed Thacker; Alan Winstanley; Patrick Dillett; Roger Moutenot; Tom Durack; Bob Clearmountain.
Audio Remasterers: Daniel Hersch; Bill Inglot.
Recording information: Bearsville Sound Studios (??/1986-06/2002); Clinton Recording Studios, New York, NY (??/1986-06/2002); Coyote Sound, New York, NY (??/1986-06/2002); Dubway Studio, New York, NY (??/1986-06/2002); HIt Factory (??/1986-06/2002); Kampo Studios (??/1986-06/2002); Pachyderm Studio, Cannon Falls, MN (??/1986-06/2002); River Sound (??/1986-06/2002); Skyline Studios, New York, NY (??/1986-06/2002); Sound on Sound (??/1986-06/2002); SoundTrack (??/1986-06/2002); Studio Four (??/1986-06/2002); Studio PASS (??/1986-06/2002); The Magic Shop, New York, NY (??/1986-06/2002); TMF Studio (??/1986-06/2002); Westside (??/1986-06/2002).
Anyone who appreciates melodic hooks, humor, originality, and inventiveness, but doesn't know They Might Be Giants, should pick up A USER'S GUIDE. Whereas 2002's two-disc, 52-song box DIAL-A-SONG offers a broad overview of the Brooklyn band's catalogue, A USER'S GUIDE is their first true "greatest hits" release, condensing the Giants' prolific output to 29 of their most insanely catchy, beautifully crafted tracks.
Given the consistency of head Giants John Flansburgh and John Linnell's songwriting, many great tunes have necessarily been left off the compilation. Still, the absolute essentials are here, including the surrealist love anthem "Birdhouse in Your Soul," the spastic power-pop of "Don't Let's Start," the angular wit of "The Statue Got Me High," and "Boss of Me" (the theme to TV's MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE), along with other wondrous tracks. Accordions wheeze, horns blare, keyboards pound, and Flansburgh and Linnell unravel verses full of clever wordplay and absurdist (yet oddly resonant) philosophy, making A USER'S GUIDE a gleeful pop jubilee.