‘Did I Tell You,’ Yo La Tengo

The cover of Yo La Tengo's 1990 "Fakebook" album.

The cover of Yo La Tengo’s 1990 “Fakebook” album.

The great Hoboken indie-rock band Yo La Tengo has both a mellow and an abrasive side, and rarely has the former been as magical as it was on “Did I Tell You,” a pensive late-night ballad from the band’s 1990 Fakebook album. (The song was actually first released on the band’s 1987 album New Wave Hot Dogs, but was re-recorded for Fakebook.) Ira Kaplan delivers the lyrics as if he’s having a heart-to-heart discussion with you, and Georgia Hubley’s ethereal backing vocals add an almost otherworldly element.

Fakebook has a unique place in Yo La Tengo’s discography since, unlike the band’s other releases, it’s dominated by acoustic covers (of songs by artists such as Ray Davies, Cat Stevens and John Cale). Just five of the 16 tracks, including “Did I Tell You,” are originals.

It’s also the band’s only album on the Hoboken-based indie record label, Bar/None.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.


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