When Interpol’s landmark debut album Turn On The Bright Lights turned 10 back in 2012, the band marked it with a fancy-pants deluxe edition full-court press of interviews and recollections which I helpfully collated and notated last year:
But time has munched on we’ve hit another nice round anniversary for a record which has, thankfully, remained as fresh and vital-sounding as when it was originally released 20 years ago tomorrow. Rather than re-hash memories that have gotten more faded with age and preferring to spend any face time discussing their just-released The Other Side Of Make-Believe, the band have dug into their archives and are marking the occasion with a couple of tasty artifacts.
First, they’ve released their ultra-rare The Black EP onto streaming platforms. In Matador’s words:
Originally released on August 26, 2003, as a limited-edition CD, the long out of print ‘The Black EP’ features the studio version of “Say Hello To The Angels”, a demo of “NYC” and four TOTBL-era songs recorded live in session for Radio France in 2002, including fabled non-album bonus track “Specialist”.Interpol – ‘The Black EP’ / ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’ (2002 Documentary) @ Matador Records
And in the name of authenticity – or laziness – there’s clearly been no polishing or remastering of the release as the Black Session tracks are way quieter than the other tracks. Guys, pushing the faders just a little wouldn’t have been amiss. And if you can’t find it on the streaming artists pages, the release metadata still has it as a 2003 release, so it’s waaaaaay back in their list of EPs. FYI. PDA. NYC.
Also shared – and this one has thankfully been given a digital polish for the modern age – is a 2002 mini-documentary about the band in their very early days. It’s a fascinating look not only at a band on the verge of breaking out big, but also a look at a New York City that’s so familiar yet so different from now.
And just because the band haven’t done any press around the record’s 20th anniversary doesn’t mean there isn’t any. A couple sites who have Bright Lights in their DNA have gotten misty-eyed about those early days:
Turn On The Bright Lights Turns 20 @ Stereogum
Interpol’s debut album still sounds ‘Bright’ at 20 @ BrooklynVegan
And while I was going to commend the band on not doing another re-release of the record, they actually are. It’s the September record of the month for Vinyl Me, Please and it’s unique selling point is – besides being RED – that it’s been remastered into a two-LP edition so while it’ll cost you almost twice as much, Carlos D’s basslines will sound that much deeper. VMP also has an anniversary piece on the record – that’s free to read, at least.
Interpol’s Timeless Turn On The Bright Lights @ Vinyl Me, Please