They Might Be Giants is a pop/rock duo consisting of John Flansburgh and John Linnell. The two first met as children in Lincoln, Massachusetts. They began writing songs together in high school, but they never officially formed a band. Eventually the two went to separate colleges after high school, and Linnell joined The Mundanes, a New Wave group from Rhode Island. The two finally reunited, and moved to Brooklyn to continue their career.
The band takes its name from a 1971 movie starring George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward (based on the play of the same name written by James Goldman.) The band began performing their own music, accompanied by a drum machine, and soon became fixtures on the Manhattan underground. Although they had a strong local following, they had a hard time getting a record deal, so they set up Dial-A-Song, a call-in phone line that played songs on an answering machine. The idea worked, eventually leading to a deal with the independent recording label Bar/None.
The duo released their self-titled debut album in 1986, and it became a college radio hit. The video for Don't Let's Start became a hit on MTV, earning them a broader following. In 1988 they released Lincoln, which was also successful. The single Ana Ng reached number 89 on the charts, earning the attention of major labels. In 1990 they signed with Electra Records, and released Flood. Flood earned them a gold album, thanks to the singles Birdhouse in Your Soul and Istanbul (Not Constantinople),. Following those successes, Bar/None Records released the B-sides and rarities compilation Miscellaneous T in 1991.
The 1992 release of Apollo 18 saw Flansburgh and Linnell attract a supporting band, consisting of former Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone and drummer Brian Doherty. Several albums have followed, none quite as successful as Flood, but the decision to include their single Boss of Me as the theme song to the hit television series Malcolm in the Middle, as well as inclusion on the show's compilation CD, has brought a new audience to the band.
- Self-Titled (also known as The Pink Album)
- Miscellaneous T
- Apollo 18
- John Henry
- Factory Showroom
- Severe Tire Damage
- Long Tall Weekend
- Mink Car
- Various and sundry singles
Official They Might Be Giants web page