Conor Oberst’s punk band Désaparecidos released their killer debut album Play music/Speak Spanish 20 years ago this month, and to celebrate, Saddle Creek announced a special anniversary edition. It has been completely remastered by Sterling Sound’s Ted Jensen, reinvented the artwork and is pressed on colored vinyl for the first time. The album is due out May 6, and you can pre-order it on clear blue wax now.
Here is the description:
2022 sees us releasing the 20th anniversary edition of Desaparecidos Play music/Speak Spanish in a world in which the fear and disenfranchisement depicted throughout the album seem as relevant today as they were then. The characters and settings may have changed, but the surprising narrative has not.
At the end of 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. This debut album, released in the post-9/11 fog in early 2002, shouted observational commentary on urban development, the sacrifice of human value for the dollar bill, and the new American dream in a way who felt distinctly out of step with the hyper-patriotic atmosphere of GW Bush-era America.
The band toured, got some attention, then broke up for a long time. In the following years, Play music/Speak Spanish gained cult status and became one of the most beloved and meaningful documents of the time, capturing the alienation that those who had seen through the fog of war for $$$$ felt at the ‘era.
20 years later, those feelings are just as, if not more, relevant than they were then. America has transformed into a confused new version of itself, in many ways unimaginable two decades ago. Yet the fear and disgust expressed on Play music/Speak Spanish now seems 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 vinyl, which includes a bonus 7-inch with B-sides “What’s New For Fall” and “Give Me the Pen,” which you can hear below. below.