Philadelphia greats The Wonder Years are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their 2013 record – ‘The Greatest Generation’.
To mark the occasion, the sextet will be releasing a limited edition anniversary box set which includes a 32-page booklet of photos, stories from band members, and essays by Hanif Abdurraqib, Hannah Seidlitz, and Thomas Nassiff. The box set also includes rare demos and voice memos from the original recording session.
Listen to Previously Unreleased B-Side – ‘GODDAMNITALL’
Amongst the previously unreleased material is ‘GODDAMNITALL’. Vocalist Dan Campbell said it’s a track “that almost was, and then, for a long time, categorically was not, and now is.”
“When it came time to find bonus content for this box set, we went grave digging in old hard-drives to find the demos from TGG that didn’t get finished and then exhumed and reanimated this one. It was the closest to being done at the time. All of the music was there. The chorus had lyrics and melody but, for budget and time constraints it got abandoned before it had verses and a bridge,” explains Campbell. “Now, a decade later, it’s finally finished. We asked Steve Evetts to produce it the same way he would have if it were on the original album and it now stands as a spiritual and somewhat literal b-side to The Greatest Generation.”
You can view the video for GODDAMNITALL,’ which takes a retrospective look at ‘The Greatest Generation’ era, below.
Tell me about ‘The Greatest Generation’ 10th Anniversary Box Set
The Wonder Years are scheduled to release a 10th-anniversary box set of ‘The Greatest Generation’ on September 8th.
It will consist of 3 x LP vinyl, rare demos and voice memos from the original recording session, and a 32-page booklet consisting of photos, stories from the band, and essays written by Hanif Abdurraqib, Hannah Seidlitz, and Thomas Nassiff.
A/B: Orange Inside Ultra Clear with Blue Splatter
C/D: Blue Inside Ultra Clear with White Splatter
E/F: White Inside Ultra Clear with Blue Splatter
01. There, There
02. Passing Through a Screen Door
03. We Could Die Like This
04. Dismantling Summer
05. The Bastards, The Vultures, The Wolves
06. The Devil in My Bloodstream
07. Teenage Parents
09. An American Religion (FSF)
10. A Raindance in Traffic
13. I Just Want To Sell Out My Funeral
15. Need You (Voice Note Demo 9-12-12, 2:37 PM)
16. Madelyn (Voice Note Demo)
17. The Devil in My Bloodstream (The Mill Demo 8-5-12, 12:47 AM)
18. We Could Die Like This (The Mill Demo, 11-23-12, 5:29 PM)
19. Teenage Parents (The Mill Demo, 7-31-12, 1:31 PM)
20. Dismantling Summer (The Mill Demo, 8-1-12, 3:52 PM)
21. The Bastards, The Vultures, The Wolves (The Mill/Bandwagon Demo, 11-20-12, 3:57 PM)
My Thoughts on ‘The Greatest Generation’ – 10 Years On
Upon its release 10 years ago, I reviewed ‘The Greatest Generation‘, summarising by saying “With stronger choruses, introspective and relatable lyrics and confident consistency, ‘The Greatest Generation’ has the capability to open new doors for The Wonder Years.”
Now a decade later, I still hold the record in high regard and it’s probably my favourite record from The Wonder Years. While the albums that have followed has allowed the band to grow, especially musically, they’ve not completely abandoned their origins. Last year’s full-length, ‘The Hum Goes on Forever’, built on those foundations, organically evolving the emotional core that albums like ‘The Greatest Generation’ had thrived on. Yet they’ve maintained a flair for writing memorable, bold hooks.
For me, ‘The Greatest Generation’ is the album I’ve gone back to the most, even though I feel uncomfortably old realising the lyric “Jesus Christ, I’m 26” from ‘Passing Through A Screen Door’ is now 10 years later.
From the opening guilt-ridden line “You’re just trying to read” on ‘There, There’, to the interpolation of other tracks on ‘I Just Want to Sell Out My Funeral’ and everything in between; the constant introspectiveness, repressed emotions and pent-up frustrations, The Greatest Generation’ continues to captivate me 10 years on.
It’s a credit to The Wonder Years to continually celebrate the albums that helped them get to where they are today. Having done so previously with ‘The Upsides’ and ‘Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing’, it’s clear the Philly group realise how important these records are to their fans.