Back Numbers is the second album by Dean & Britta - AKA Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna) and Britta Phillips (Luna). It was originally released on CD in 2007, this is the first time it has been available on good ol’ vinyl. It was produced by Tony Visconti of legendary producer fame. It sees the married couple, before they started making x-rated record sleeves, running through covers by Lee Hazlewood and Donovan, among others.
Vinyl LP £24.49
LP on Wouldn't Waste Records.
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- Back Numbers by Dean & Britta
When speaking about 2019’s 'Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest', Bill Callahan mentioned that he was worried about making music from a place of contentment. There’s such a premium put on art about or informed by struggle that it’s easy to think that people wouldn’t find contentment interesting. Bill probably never heard 'Back Numbers' by married couple Dean & Britta then, because if he had, he probably wouldn’t have worried so much.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard an album that captures the pleasance of domestic mundanity as much as this album. It’s not fiery or passionate. It’s not angry or annoyed. It’s just… nice. It’s balmy and reassuring. Life doesn’t always have to be exciting and nor does the music we listen to. Sometimes it’s enough to hear two people in love gently cooing to each other about their feelings.
Dean is of course Dean Wareham of Galaxie 500 and you can hear a lot of the sweet melodiousness of them on this album. It’s simple, but hearing Dean & Britta dueting on ‘Words You Used To Say’ while Sonic Boom does that electribe thing in the background just works. Other than the ex-Spaceman, the instrumentation is also very simple and sweet. Lightly strummed guitars and wilting synths make up most of the rest of the backdrop.
There’s even a couple covers thrown in for good measure (Lee Hazlewood, Donovan) which makes 'Back Numbers' feel even more like a couple doing a nice thing together. Lovely.
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