Comprehensive Collection features Original Album, B-Sides, Bonus Tracks, Outtakes, Demos and Blu-Ray of Concert Filmed at Famed 9:30 Club in 2006
When The Decemberists made the unexpected leap to Capitol Records for their first major label album in 2006, fans' concerns of whether the band would simplify their trademark hyperliterate folk-rock or take their music in a new direction altogether quickly vanished when they delivered their most ambitious and audacious record to date in The Crane Wife. The Portland, OR troupe, led by songwriter Colin Meloy, challenged preconceptions with their fourth album, pushing the envelope and their fantastical music to new heights. "There are two ways we could have gone with our major label debut," Meloy says. "One was to get our money's worth with an album of singles. But we would have failed, because we are not a singles band. The other was to mess with the convention of what a band's major label debut should be like."
Produced by Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie and Tucker Martine, The Decemberists – frontman Meloy, guitarist Chris Funk, keyboard player and accordionist Jenny Conlee, bassist Nate Query and drummer John Moen – added surprising elements of '70s prog, hard rock and even quasi-disco to their folk-rock palette. The album included two mini-epics, the 12-minute multi-part opus, "The Island," and the album's namesake: a three-part suite based on the Japanese folk tale opens the 10-song collection with its mournful conclusion and bookends it with the fable's beautiful beginning.
In celebration of The Crane Wife's 10th anniversary, Capitol Records/UMe will release the album as a deluxe vinyl box set. The comprehensive collection will include five LPs featuring the original album as a double LP plus three additional records filled with b-sides and bonus tracks, unreleased outtakes, alternate versions and Meloy's solo acoustic demos. Records four and five collect demos of nearly every song on the album, including the three-part "The Crane Wife" together as one composition in its original sequence. The set will also include a Blu-Ray of a two-hour concert filmed live for NPR's second-ever webcast in 2006 at Washington, D.C.'s famed 9:30 Club, which has never been commercially available. A 20-page booklet will include liner notes from rock historian David Fricke, senior writer for Rolling Stone, and an essay by avowed fan Lin-Manuel Miranda, the award-winning composer, lyricist, writer and performer behind the Tony and Pulitzer-prize winning play "Hamilton."