Desaparecidos’ ‘Read Music/Speak Spanish’ getting remastered anniversary edition (pre-order on blue vinyl)
Conor Oberst's punk band Desaparecidos released their killer debut album Read Music/Speak Spanish 20 years ago this month, and to celebrate, Saddle Creek announced a special anniversary edition. It's been fully remastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, has reimagined artwork, and is being pressed to colored vinyl for the first time. The album is due out on May 6, and you can pre-order it on transparent blue wax now.
Here's the description:
2022 finds us releasing the 20th Anniversary Edition of Desaparecidos' Read Music/Speak Spanish into a world in which the dread and disenfranchisement detailed throughout the album feel as pertinent today as they did then. The characters and settings may have changed, but the startling narrative has not.
In late 2001, Conor Oberst, Denver Dalley, Landon Hedges, Ian McElroy, and Matt Baum spent a week at Presto! Recording Studio in Lincoln, NE recording a punk album. That debut album, released in the post-9/11 fog of early 2002, screamed out observational commentary on urban development, the sacrifice of human value for the dollar bill, and the new American Dream in a way that felt distinctly out of sync with the hyper-patriotic atmosphere of peak G.W. Bush-era America.
The band toured, got a bit of attention, and then went their separate ways for a long spell. In the ensuing years, Read Music/Speak Spanish gained cult status and became one of the most beloved and meaningful documents of the era, capturing the alienation that those who had seen through the fog of war for $$$$ experienced at the time.
20 years on, those feelings are just as, if not more, relevant than they were in that moment. America has mutated into a new confused version of itself, in many ways unimaginable two decades ago. Yet, the fear and disgust voiced on Read Music/Speak Spanish now sound more prophetic than paranoid, making the album’s message as necessary as ever.
There's also a Saddle Creek exclusive edition of the album on blue and white spinner vinyl, which includes a bonus 7" featuring b-sides "What's New For Fall" and "Give Me the Pen," which you can hear below.